On first moving here I was struck by the paucity of news in the local papers, or rather the choice of news in and around La France Profonde. Almost every day it could be guaranteed that the front page of La Depeche would have a photograph of a car smashed into one of the deep ditches that surround us.

The driver/passengers were invariably dead or, in direct translation, between life and death. And, if the accident had occurred on a major road, it was often between 2am and 5am after the clubs, when young men sped homewards.

I resolved to be very wary when driving the country roads at night as it was plain that fast cars and ditches promised annihilation.

But, like most of us around here, I have slid into the ditches a few times and had to be pulled out by friend or farmer. Thankfully, the one time when it could have been serious – when I swerved to avoid deer in my first year – it was on a rare, small stretch that had an incline rather than a ditch.

After rolling over a couple of times I ended up upside down hanging from my seat belt in my 4x4 tank which was a crumpled write off. I crawled out through the no-longer existing windscreen without a mark on me.

But I digress. News.

These days the wrecked cars still make the online front pages but lower down, yet still as frequent.

Instead the main reports are similar to yours – city stabbings in Toulouse; drugs uncovered (harder ones year after year); gang warfare in the banlieues among the tower blocks; racist attacks both anti-Semitic and anti-Islam; and occasionally, when warranted, coverage of our many strikes and demos.

For, as everywhere, life in La France Profonde intrudes in a manner in which it never did before. Our remoteness and insularity kept us detached from the changing world but no longer.

Its horrors and often incomprehensible cruelties have leeched their ways from city to village and nothing and no-one can be unaware or uncaring any more.

Stabbings, violent burglaries, matricide, fratricide, jealous confrontations and bitter family and village feuds are part – a small part – of the background to our lives.

In fact, our sleepy south was never the fantasy so beloved of the immigrants who call themselves ex-pats. Sure, on the surface it was – the beauty of its towns and villages, the scents of its exotic flowers and the dusty, gentle pace of life. And that still exists, at first glance or on a short holiday when longings to live here can overwhelm even the most astute.

But watch, look, and mine the memories and thoughts of our neighbours, and in time you learn, understand that we are all cut from the same cloth but in different styles.

Understanding, for example, the French attitude to strikes, demos and anarchistic leanings, comes, I would tentatively dare to suggest, with living here. With seeing the television coverage, reading the Press and talking…talking. To the French.

My Paris-based colleagues – fine journalists like Kim Willsher, Peter Allan and John Litchfield – have become increasingly exasperated and angry with suggestions they are part of a cover up hiding the fact that France is in civil war and Paris in flames.

From occasional comments beneath my column, moi, in my field, am also engaged along with the Government and the European Union to keep such "facts" secret in case insurgents rise up in the UK. I’m honoured. Le bloody sigh.

The harsh but simple truth is…"we" do things differently here and in the main the public support is solid if not, occasionally, uncritical. When real anarchists or casseurs, whose only aim is to create havoc and looting, get involved, then enter the riot police with their formidable outfits and armoury of rubber bullets and water cannon.

They are often brutal and seem to enjoy their role a little too much, with lethal consequences. When they do, they are often filmed, exposed and shown to the public. We all fear them but then we fear all authority that comes in uniforms.

I fear them because I’m a foreigner. The French fear them because they’ve learned it’s wise to do so. But they refuse to be intimidated by them.

For when it comes to fighting for their rights, even the police, along with firefighters, lawyers, health workers, farmers – oh, every stratum of society – marches to the same tune at one time or another.

The French have been doing so since the Revolution; reclaiming the cobbles at every injustice. There are, as Kim pointed out, an estimated 3,000 protests in Paris alone every year – roughly eight a day.

There is a website – a sort of what’s on in France – listing the daily demos and strikes and ways to avoid being car-blocked. It’s how we roll.

So, to sum up: I am not in a bunker as all around me explodes in civil war. I am not part of some conspiracy. France is not burning. France is not in turmoil. Macron is not hiding in the Palace – he eats out a lot – and there are no D notices issued to protect the UK from the truth.

And cars still crash into ditches.