Some years ago when I was trying to arrange to travel from London to the Jura, via Paris, I blithely told the French Railways person that I wanted to book a ticket to St. Laurent. “Which one?” she asked. “The one in the Jura,” I replied. “No” she said, being French “I need to know the name of the station.” “St Laurent,” I repeated taking a deep breath. “But which St Laurent,” came the reply?
There are, it seems, a multitude of stations with that name in France. All with a du- this or de-that, en-this or sous-that suffix. They can be found on the Riviera, in the Loire valley, in Aquitaine – all over the shop. My St Laurent is in fact St-Laurent-en Grandvaux, a small and charming town set in the Haut Jura. It has a SuperU and a bricolage place, brilliant cheese shops, because it’s France, and also great in wonderful wine cellars, for the same reason. It also has an excellent bookshop, which sells cards and postcards as well as books.
Which brings me to the point of this post. For it was in this bookshop that I first came across Les Bidons Sans Frontières and the photographer, Gérard Benoit à la Guillaume. His photographs make me smile. A lot. The concept is quirky and imaginative and he must have so much patience. It’s almost unnecessary to say that the English translation is ‘milk churns without borders’ or maybe ‘without limits.’ The photographs speak for themselves. Here’s a small selection, but to see the complete series go to www.bidonssansfrontieres.com He also takes brilliant pictures of cows, among other things. Click on his name, above, to take a look.