Village life

As well as a rather long wake, spending time getting new work and then starting doing it and trying to make the most of the end of the Summer there’s not been much time for posting.  Some rare time during the day when I’ve been out in the sun for some time so here I am.

During the time I’ve spent working to get extra work I’ve been travelling to new, for me, parts of Alsace.  One place I’ve been to a number of times for both work and purchasing the flat we live in has been Pfaffenhofen.  It is a very typical Alsacian large village with a centrer comprising many old houses and shops and like many in the area it has a station but no train service, which has been replaced by a bus service.  Whilst the boundaries of the village are well set out with ramparts and defences still visible in some places, the growth of three neighbouring villages has meant they have become to all intents and purposes one larger area.  Here and here are a couple of views of shops in the village.  More recently I’ve started to discover Illkirch Grafenstaden at the southern end of Strasbourg.  As a completist by making a mistake and staying on the tram one stop further than I needed tram line A in Strasbourg was able to join C and D in the list of those I have travelled the full length of.  After leaving the municipal but not built up area of Strasbourg at Bagersee the tram travels past the cross at Place de Calvary and then past Quartier Militaire LeClerc named after the Major General of the same name who liberated Strasbourg in 1944 and recently announced home for some German troops on French soil – which caused some concern amongst more elderly Alsacians, although as many said “If it was good for France” then they would support it.  Then There’s the southern campus of the University of Strasbourg, the International Space University and the Parc d’Innovation.

I’m not the only one this week talking about places in Alsace.  Local boy made good, Arsene Wenger, in a management talk mentioned the things he had leant as a boy living in the pub in he village of Duttlenheim:

The Frenchman has also been waxing lyrical about his upbringing, claiming that growing up above La Croix d’Or (Golden Cross) pub in Duttlenheim, a village in France’s Alsace region, gave him the insight into the ways of men and human psychology for which he is regularly lauded.

Despite projecting an air of European sophistication, it was the earthier exchanges of his parents’ establishment that taught the young Wenger everything he knows, he told an audience of industry leaders at a management conference organised by the League Managers Association.

“There is no better psychological education than growing up in a pub,” said Wenger, “because when you are five or six years old, you meet all different people and hear how cruel they can be to each other. From an early age you get a practical, psychological education to get into the minds of people.

“It is not often that a boy of five or six is always living with adults in a little village. I learned about tactics and selection from the people talking about football in the pub – who plays on the left wing and who should be in the team.”

Being aware of the effects of alcohol also helped to shape the future beliefs of the Frenchman, namely “that drink ought not touch the lips of a player”. The drinking culture which existed at Arsenal when Wenger arrived in 1996 was swiftly broken up and the manager stood firm behind his captain Tony Adams when the defender struggled with his alcoholism.

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