The Lady of the Ring

Fear not, all will be explained.

And fear not, I will spare you anything graphic.

Well, graphic in the septic tank sense.

The reason for my tardy posts here on the blog relate entirely to paperwork.

Stuff.  I’m being assailed on all sides. Planning application paperwork in one bombardment and now the new and heavier bombing raid of our permanent residence permits.  A veritable forest of trees seem to have been decimated in the cause of a happier life here in France.

Luckily I am not going to wang on about any of that.

Except to say that the issue of an underperforming septic tank is about to scupper our plans to get a bit more space in our home. It was ‘flagged up’ in our declaration des travaux.

So what to do? Don the double thickness gloves and get digging.

And digging, and digging. I’ve never seen our septic tank properly before. It was buried in the soft fruit orchard and I must admit I had mislaid the lid.

It was lurking under a self seeded jostaberry bush and about a tonne of soil. And bindweed. Thank goodness Nicolas interrupted his day of brush cutting the brambles and self-seeded prunelier (sloes) on the lower terraces to give a good old heave.

And then I set to with the vile old job of ‘sorting the septic tank’.

Pause while I don’t show you any of that.

Instead let me show you something amazing.

Lurking under this huge slab of concrete is the grease trap. Those of you who own septic tanks will know all about these things.

Those of you who don’t…. you are so lucky! This is the gatekeeper for all things nasty before they head down the pipes to the tank.

And as I was scooping out stuff (not going there) I found an incredible thing at the bottom of the waste water concrete box.

A ring.

One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

I was listening to the Lord of the Rings talking book at the time (anything to drown out the shrill noise of Brexit death by a thousand paper cuts).

A beautiful ring. Platinum I think. It was sitting in water and probably had been for years. Dare I admit that the last time I cleaned out that little box of delights was 2009?

I pulled it out. Cleaned it. And saw that there was a date written on the inside. 1928.

11. 07. 1928.

How strange was that? Who on earth had lost it? A house guest I assumed. But so very odd to see it winking brightly at the bottom of the trap.

So I did what most people do in these instances. I posted a picture on Facebook. And asked if anyone had lost a ring.

I then completely forgot about it and went back to digging out the damn septic tank.

Lunchtime. And this popped up.

Lindy is it possible that it is there from long before you came? I know my parents married in june 1934 and they always told us they were engaged 6 years before, in 1928. Back then, you give each other the wedding rings and when you get married you just change the hand you are wearing the ring. I think it could be my father’s or my mothers ring…???

Ooh how intriguing. This post was from the daughter of the owners of our farm in the 1970s. I have a passing acquaintance with the three very grown up daughters. Two of whom have come by the farm for fleeting visits over the years.

More chat and then the answer.

It must be my mothers ring. Since my father passed away I am wearing his ring. I just looked inside and that exact date is engraved. 11.7.28 very vague, hardly see it but it still is there…will try to have it photographed


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That is my Mom’s, she had the platinum one and as you can see, my Dad’s one is yellow gold. I am sure she must have been devastated that she lost it and never told us about that. Usually you wear these rings together with an other one so we never noticed it!

Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, weddingIsn’t that amazing? A ring lost for fifty years somewhere in the pipes! And it has now been found.

We are going to have a reunion this spring and I can hand back the family heirloom. It has suddenly become very precious indeed.

And in the meantime I get the second prize. The booby prize. The wooden spoon. The septic tank.

Maybe I ought to have given it a rub and been granted a wish of permanent residence and an approved planning application.

I could do with some luck right now.