Those of us on a prolonged stay at Hill 80 are living in a dilapidated house. It used to be a Parsonage. This Disturbing Photo of the Day is of a series of murals on the wall. I dunno, was this supposed to be Mary Magdalene? The pallets are what all the dig equipment came to town on. Now it is furniture after a fashion....
It is kind of an odd place. Magnificent wifi, a shower that works, wood pallets for furniture. I have however been working hard enough that a foam mattress on - you guessed it - wood pallets has been very comfortable....zzzzz
Saturday so no digging today. I went for a bit of a wander. No goal in mind but the theme turned out to be: Bunkers.
In the woods a few hundred yards - I mean meters - from the dig site:
Notice the little "mail slot" in the door? This German front line bunker has been converted into a bat sanctuary. The perfect place to hibernate.
I've mentioned that in June 1917 the British set off a series of deep underground mines and blew up many German front line positions. Well, the Germans were not entirely clueless. They had attempted to dig a series of shafts to intercept the British efforts. The picture above is of a German mine dubbed "Dietrich". Now filled with water the unsuccessful effort went down 25 meters then over 180 meters towards the British lines. It is now full to the top with water. In this case the German tendency to occupy the commanding high ground backfired on them. They had a lot further to go to reach those British tunnels.
When the British blew up the German front lines in 1917 they did a very efficient job. But they missed a few. This bunker on the road between Kemmel and Wychaete survived the attack and caused many casualties to the Irish Division advancing through this sector. The barbed wire is modern and for no more militant purpose than containing cows.
Kemmel is a couple of kilometers east of Wychaete. It was a significant British stronghold during the 1915-1917 period when the lines were pretty static. It fell to the Germans in their last ditch 1918 offensive. Later in the year the Allies took it back. This is one area where American troops did come into play, but the Germans had withdrawn without a fight. These Bunkers were British, but with temporary German residents for a few months in 1918.
The inside structure is made of this precast concrete. You see a lot of it still in use in local farms. I assume it is "vintage".
Some of the bunkers have a few signs of damage.
A hot and sunny day for walking, 81 degrees Fahrenheit, which is about 800 degrees Celsius. I've been typing with a cold beer at hand and with my enthusiasm for much needed house cleaning steadily but near completely slipping away.....
Addendum. I have since learned that the odd decor is due to the house being used as a filming location for a Belgian mini series called Eigen Kweek . It is speculated that the lady on the murals is one of the actresses in the series but I have not been able to learn much more on it. The descriptions I have found of the show make it sound like a Flemish "Breaking Bad" where a potato farmer swindled by his stock broker turns to growing marijuana.