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A good hernia

Posted on December 22nd, 2011

Little happens in the small village of Lumières which sits below Goult, alongside the D900 road between Apt and Cavaillon.  Lumières is best known for Notre Dame de Lumière, built on the site of an ancient chapel.  In 1661, a local stone-cutter called Jalleton suffered from a massive hernia. He saw a vision, his iron truss fell off and he felt completely cured.  News of the miracle spread fast and within forty years a substantial church was erected at the site. The church houses an interesting collection of ex votos, paintings offered in thanks to Notre Dame for  performing further miracles.  There are around forty-five ex votos on display and the church has another 150 in storage awaiting funds for restoration. Most of the…

Arboristes

Posted on December 18th, 2011

A few days ago several caravans set up camp hidden behind a nearby unoccupied farmhouse.  At first they appeared to be Romany gypsies looking for a winter layover, but they soon proved to be a team of arboristes, or loggers from the Ardèche. The team were thinning pine trees to allow oaks more space and light.  Having selected a pine for felling the logger shins up the tree, removing branches and the tree top with a chain saw, so the bare trunk can be felled. The many remaining oak trees prevent the use of tractors, so horse teams are used to tow the logs clear.  Single horses or pairs crash through the undergrowth with comparative ease, obeying simple spoken commands as they are skilfully directed…