A short time ago I visited the airfield at Galinat and found that it was totally overgrown with weeds because the runway appeared not to have been mown for many weeks, possibly even since the beginning of the season. I remarked in a post here on My Trike that I hoped that this wasn’t a sign that Galinat might be no more, especially since when I dropped in at where Christian, the owner lived, there was no sign that he was still there.
I went up to Galinat again today as I returned from the Véolia office in Terrasson, of which more in a moment, and I was initially encouraged by the fact that although the small white windsock that someone had erected was no longer flying, the runway had been run up and down a couple of times with a tractor so at least it should now be possible to land and take off there again. Until the grass grows too long again anyway.
However, my hopes for the future were dashed when on returning I stopped at Christian’s house instead of just driving by. It was obvious that nobody has lived there for some time, and more ominously, several of Christian’s old things were still hanging up outside. As I turned to leave, a youngish local pulled up in a battered old Peugeot of the kind of era that Christian himself would have been driving and asked if he could help. I asked about Christian and sadly he told me that he had died in June at around the time of the local elections.
So an era draws to a close. Galinat has not seen much life, since about the time I left actually. Christian will be missed by all who knew him but it would be sad if Galinat also suffers its demise as a result of his passing. The airfield falls under the jurisdiction of Tamniès and I do not know how it is regarded by the local ‘authorities’ as, although not to the same extent, there are people here in France who delight in getting such facilities closed down.
I have sent the Mairie an email to find out if possible what the future holds. At the very least, there is a FFPLUM on line ‘fiche’ for Galinat and at the moment the contact details are incorrect as they still link to Christian. If the airfield is to continue in operation (I do not know if Christian had children or other close family) there needs to be a new ‘manager’ and their details need to be posted on the ‘fiche’. I’ll let you know what response I get.
Regarding Véolia, I went to their office in Terrasson again this morning taking with me a copy of their invoice for connecting me up at Labattut and pointing out that as I’d paid over 1,500€ for the privilege nearly a month ago I needed to know exactly when the work was going to be done. The lady behind the bullet and Covid-proof plastic screen was different to last time, not so hatchet-faced, and she was almost sympathetic when she checked on the system, found my details and couldn’t find one.
She said that she would get the ‘responsable’ to call me to tell me when the date would be. She didn’t, however, tell me when that would happen. I don’t think that this is the end of the story, far from it. This is the appalling state that France finds itself in, when it is practically impossible to obtain the supply of an essential service. Even one that you’ve already paid for.
You couldn’t make this up. I’ve just returned to say that a few moments ago I was on the internet on my laptop and my phone dropped its connection. When I checked I found that there was ‘no service’ on both sims and as I couldn’t get it back again, I decided to reboot the phone.
When it came back on again, there was a message saying that during the few seconds while it was off, there had been an incoming call. Yes, you’ve guessed it, it was Véolia. I called back and a gentleman on the other said that my file had just been passed to him, that they were waiting on EDF and that my connection would be done by the end of this week or the beginning of next.
I’m saying nothing… 😐