Daglan has just had a welcome change for the better, at one of the main entrances to our village. In fact, it’s really a banner day.
Let me set the scene: You are entering Daglan from the east on the department road D 60, first coming down into the Céou River valley and then crossing the little bridge over the Céou, the Pont Neuf. Immediately, you reach an intersection, where the D 60 swings to the left (heading south and west to St. Pompon) and the D 57 begins, curving right and heading through the heart of the village, then travelling north to St. Cybranet and Castelnaud.
Here’s a look at the intersection. To your left, just out of view, is Le Thé Vert, the tea room. Ahead of you, past all the signs, is the café Le Bistroquet. There’s a cluster of trees, under which residents play boules, and at the right of the photo a tiny group of grape vines.
What you may also have noticed is a large yellow banner, announcing an Exposition d’Art, which is opening today (Saturday) and which will continue in the salle des fêtes (community hall) through August 12. Here’s a closer look at the new banner:
Now I’m all in favour of the art exhibition, but that’s not actually what has me so pleased. What I find so positive for the village is that someone has finally replaced a similar bright yellow banner that had been hanging in the same spot for something like two years — a banner protesting against shale gas.
Non au Gaz de Schiste read the old banner — “No to shale gas” — and with the words came an ugly black outline of a human skull. To me, this wasn’t exactly the kind of charming picture I’d want to see on entering a pretty French village.
To be clear, I’m all for legitimate protest, so I didn’t have any objection to the banner itself. As well, I’m as concerned as anyone about the possible negative effects of extracting gas from rocks far below the earth’s surface. But many other protesters in the Greater Daglan Area have put up large anti-shale-gas signs and banners — just not at the immediate entrance to their villages.
Now I’m just hoping that when the art exhibition ends, the Non au Gaz de Schiste banner will stay hidden away — or else strung up in a less picturesque spot.