Sunday, June 24, 2007


These awards concern achievements around my home in the Royans.

In the category of beautiful homes, the winner is:

The vomit-hued stone wall has been there since time immemorial, but I have the impression that a new cement lion appears in the garden, alongside a naked Venus, every year or so. Village-level kitsch paradise.

In the category of municipal fountains, the winner is:

I've been convinced for ages that this construction, in the middle of St-Jean-en-Royans, will look much better when water starts to flow in the basins. Meanwhile, the metal cabinet on the left informs us that the whole artificial affair will be run (one of these days) by electricity. Committee-designed art.

In the category of staircases and balconies, the winner is:

I've driven past this place for years, and it appears to be still intact. I've often imagined myself residing in the upper-level cubic habitation on the left, and wishing to step down into the garden for my customary midnight moonlit pee. The consequences of the operation would depend upon whether or not I'd been imbibing no more than water.

Finally, in the prestigious category of dare-devil shit-houses, the winner is:

Friends at Pont-en-Royans tell me that this outdoor cliff-hanging "powder room" (as Americans say) is perfectly safe, since the big horizontal beams at the base of the construction are well fastened into the rocks. OK, but I'm obsessed by the image of leaning on the fragile wall while I'm putting my pants back on, and finding myself—a few seconds later—swimming naked in the Bourne alongside wooden debris and other floating objects. Here's the topographical context (viewed from above) of this much-photographed Pont-en-Royans shit-house:

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