Friday, 16 April 2010
The little ancient rateleuse looks content in her new home on a shiny green lawn that we had just mowed.
Mike is still glued, nay, obsessed with Le Bon Coin and as I sat obsessively crocheting in front of the TV he showed me a picture of an ancient Rateleuse, It does not matter what it used to do as this historic and most lovely piece of farming equipment is just perfect as a movable and interesting object in the garden. It was quite late, but I made that phone call and the next day we set off for a little adventure into the outback of France looking for a tiny village and an even tinier road. We use on-line page jeune, Yellow Pages, and ask for the Mairie, which is the Maires office, in the Village we are looking for. All little villages have a Mairie, we have one in Brevands so there is sure to be a map of the immediate area and we found the town and the road we were looking for so we had an notion as to where we were heading. An hour and a half driving through the bliss of French countryside with no traffic is no hardship and when we arrived we were met by extremely friendly people and the Rateleuse. This piece of equipment is a huge straw rake on metal wheels with a little metal seat where the farmer sits with foot peddles and hand levers to get this contraption to do his work. Originally it would have been horse drawn but has been adpted to be towed behind a little old tractor. We said we would have it and the family broke into a sweat with no suggestion too insignificant to get this piece of history into our trailer. The son and the toddler went off to get their tractor to push it in and then there came acres of wood and a cordless drill and screws appeared to make blocks to secure the trailer for the trip home. An hour of these peoples lives later, we set off back the way we came. We were offered coffee which we declined as I was feeling very embarassed at the time and effort they had put into helping us out and when I handed over 30 euro I just needed to get away before I emptied my wallet to them in gratitude for the service and attention to detail they had shown us. We drove back very happy with our purchase and managed to get it off the trailer just us two, 50% of the effort was helped by gravity and momentum but she came off without too much descriptive vocabulary and then we dragged her up into the garden and I very pleased to say the little ancient rateleuse looks content in her new home on a shiny green lawn that we had just mowed.