This morning a helicopter buzzed around for a long time, first over the village of Bréau, then it came down –  low – along the valley of the river Souls, below me, up to the village of Serres, then it came back overhead, passing close over my house several times.

We are quite used to helicopters here.  With the major hospitals of Nimes and Montpellier over 50 miles away, it is quite common for the helicopters to pick up patients with medical emergencies and victims of accidents.  I remember one May morning, Sara and I watched a dramatic rescue of a cyclist who had fallen down the hillside opposite my house.  And last year, our mayor was helicoptered to Nimes with a heart attach (he is OK now).

But this time I didn’t see the SAMU (Service d’aide médicale urgente) logo. So, what was it?  A mapping vehicle used by Google or other location mapping services?  I doubt it, as I imagine they use drones rather than expensive helicopters.

So, I’m tempted to adopt a more sinister interpretation: police or army.  Annoyingly I can’t read what is written on the tail.  But I have identified it is an Airbus Squirrel, used amongst others by the French gendarmerie.


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