Loudeac is a generally unlovely inland town which happens to have administrative jurisdiction for some things over where we live. We had to go there rather a lot when we first moved here, and found the functionaries in the offices we had to deal with often, though not always, unhelpful, defensive and grumpy, so we rather petulantly dubbed it Rudeac, or occasionally, childishly, Poodeac. However, Loudeac does have one grace that I've not taken particular note of before, because I haven't been here at the right moment: it is extensively planted with red-leaved, pale pink-blossomed ornamental crab trees.
The car park opposite, serving this and the tax office, looks like an Arcadian glade, overarched with boughs of the luxuriant blooms, its kerbsides slathered with the drifted petals.
the nondescript slate-clad and concrete modern buildings around seem to be illuminated and bejewelled by the flowery bounty.
What a stroke of town planning genius to make these trees such a theme here, even if they are only so striking for a short few weeks of the year.
I lack the nerve to take the small camera from my bag and try a view from the waiting room, through the plate glass entrance, though it is an interesting one, with the darkening hood of the building's porch accentuating the luminosity of the blossom, and the metal edges and bands of the doors intersecting the scene like rifle sights, and odd clashing scarlet tabs of gaffer tape stuck on the glass to stop people walking into it.
An elderly woman with a clipped blue poodle smiles at me indulgently as I squat down to take a macro of a single fallen flower. I hope the good citizens of Loudeac are all able sometimes to enjoy their pink blossom trees, even when they are having to sort out their tax and health insurance.
( CPAM = Caisse primaire d'assurance maladie, the national body overseeing healthcare funding.)