On the slopes of the Cournouze (see the above image in the Antipodes header), on the other side of the Bourne, there's a tiny white blob... which looks like this when photographed with a telephoto lens:
It's the center of the commune of Châtelus: a name that evokes the castellum (fortified residence) of a certain Lucius, maybe a Roman settler. The earliest surviving trace of the name of the commune was the term Castelucii in a document of the year 1100. The left-hand structure is the church of Saint Martin, which lies alongside the municipal building. Apart from that, there's little else in the village of Châtelus. The hundred or so residents of the commune are scattered over isolated properties.
Throughout the countless municipalities of France, there is usually a strict separation—both symbolic and material—between the architectural structures of the Catholic Church and those of the French Republic. At Châtelus, on the contrary, the church and the mayor's offices share a common wall, which suggests that they've always been good neighbors.
The municipal elections took place well over a year ago, but my neighbor Madeleine still speaks of Gilles Rey as the "new mayor" of Châtelus. One of the republican mayor's first operations was to repair the bells of the church.
The bells of Châtelus now ring out the Angelus at three moments of the day: 7.45 in the morning, noon and 7 o'clock in the evening. The chimes reach Gamone almost as clearly as if I were located in Châtelus.