Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Tell a compelling story.

Aude, the bipolar decoratrice, shows up at the gate at seven twenty. She chats away to herself as she puts up scaffolding. Putting up scaffolding is an activity that Bob finds intriguing. Aude was supposed to be here on Monday but was delayed waiting delivery of a replacement hand loom. Today she's wearing green dungarees, black army boots and a yellow tee shirt with the motto '' Tell a compelling story " emblazoned across it.

'The Font' is presented with an undyed pashmina. Audes specialty in the Women's Cooperative. The white and grey tones alarmingly reminiscent of Elmo before he keeled over in the  rose circle. 

The 'Loonj' is finally ready at the Volkswagen garage. Angus and Bob head off in the little replacement Up! to collect it from the repair shop. It's only taken four weeks to get it back on the road.

To celebrate having a car with electric windows dog and master detour via the bakers on the market square. The chocolate things are for Angus. The lemon meringue tart and the rum Baba for 'The Font'.

Sophie is given an hours walk round the old roman walls in the afternoon.

Here's an unusual fact. The worlds largest Hindu temple is under construction in Robbinsville NJ :

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

On his watch.

As warm and bright as a summers day. On our way back from the pre-lunch walk we pass a couple heading to the car park. Their arms laden with daffodils. I smile at this sign of Spring.

As we turn the corner by the Salle de Fetes the source of the daffodils becomes apparent. The couple have pretty much picked all the flowers along the ditch by the gate. A few solitary specimens survive along the side wall.

Bob looks horrified that this could have happened on his watch.

Sophie is less bothered. She's aware there's salmon for lunch. 


Monday, February 27, 2017

Prescription strength.

Monday morning. Bob and Sophie make it plain they're full of energy and ready to 'mix it up'. When I explain it to them they seem relaxed over the best picture confusion at the Oscars.

We head off to the early opening garden centre. The storm has done for the orange and lemon trees on the terrace. Replacements are required. The examples we find have that curled leaf look that tells you it's a national chain where no one's responsible for looking after the products. We'll buy them from the man in the market.

A dog washing machine has been installed by the front door.

Angus reads the instructions. The thought of walking Bob up a ramp, settling him down on a stainless steel tray, tying him up and expecting him to sit still why he's washed and blow dried beggars the imagination. The probable presence of shoppers with hyper-active children makes this flight of fancy even less likely. Both dog and owner would need a prescription strength sedative if they were to try it.

Sunday, February 26, 2017


The Belgian lady stops her car at the gate. She's off to see the Old Farmer in the Nursing Home. He's proving to be a difficult patient. The food is bad, he doesn't want unknown women giving him baths and the doctor's too young and a complete idiot. His daughter has suggested he recuperate in her flat in Toulouse. He refuses with the words '' You're working all the time. I might as well be in my own home ". Current plans call for him to be released on March 6th. The Belgian lady will be at hand to nurse him to recovery.

Bob and 'The Font' head off for a power walk round the lake. Sophie has an amble with me to the crossroads. It's not far in distance terms but there and back takes us an hour. Every clump of grass is sniffed, every vista enjoyed, every animal greeted. Our progress is conducted at a glacial pace. We detour, as we do morning and evening, to check on The Old Farmers house and chase the cats from his car collection. 

Yesterday afternoon there was great excitement in the village. A bus load of pilgrims from Pamplona arrives. The bus driver knows that all French village halls have free facilities. The sixty or so pilgrims are soon forming a disorderly queue outside the WC. I notice, but thankfully can't hear, the village odd job man standing by the swaying Jesus. A group of eager Spaniards surrounds him. Angus prays that he's not selling them bottles of Holy Water from the Holy Well. One mans miracle is another mans business opportunity.

Bob, Sophie and Angus head off to the macaroon store. Some flavours seem to sell out more quickly than others.

A large wild boar, followed by three piglets and an agitated mother charge along the lane at sunset. They run in a perfect line astern formation, the tiny legged little ones keeping up with their parents. Something must have startled them into activity. This is why I keep the PONs on a lead.

Scotland beat Wales in the rugby tournament. The teams excellent field craft is a source of much delight to Angus . Is there any other anthem in which the second verse is sung unaccompanied ?

A record of those little things ( with the exception of the rugby ) too unimportant for a diary but too important to go completely unrecorded.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

A doorstep discovery.

While we're out buying croissants Loic the gardener tidies up the garden. A favourite toy is found in the lavender border and placed where it can be easily found. The PONs return home and are overjoyed with this doorstep discovery.

Bob watches Loic blow leaves into piles. The family fellow then sets about 'unpiling' them. Loic is oblivious to the mayhem behind him.

Sophie engages in some pre-breakfast worm gathering from the disturbed soil around the fallen trees. Angus looks at her muddy muzzle and declines the offer of an affectionate lick. In return he gets an umistakeable '' It's your loss '' look.

Barely seven and our day has started off the PON way -  'enthusiastically' and noisily. How else would you start the best day ever ?

Friday, February 24, 2017

Happy Hour.

By seven it's light and Bob is waiting patiently for the days entertainment to begin. The builders will be here in half an hour. The electricians will also be making an unscheduled appearance. Yesterday there was a slight 'incident' involving a morose lad, a light fitting and the fuse box.

Harness on time is a high spot of the day. Way up there alongside mealtimes. Great excitement ensues. Great excitement is a dog owners way of describing chaos. You'd think that after four years the angelic duo might temper their enthusiasm and stand still while the harnesses are put on.

'The Font' is of the opinion the Angus has got to an age where he should dress more 'brightly'. In the rugby store ( where Angus buys much of his clothing ) they are selling trousers in red, white or blue. 'The Font' wonders if Angus should buy a pair of the red ones for our upcoming trip to California. Angus is of the opinion that he's happy to stick with blue - a colour that works well at any age. The red trousers are the sort of thing a Happy Hour crooner in a Palm Desert cocktail lounge might wear. Not even the inducement of 50% off tempts this Scotsman.

Nothing need be added :

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Taking the unexpected in your stride.

One of the morose lads leaves a roll of kitchen paper on the floor. Sophie finds it. By the time I track her down some of the kitchen roll has been gummed, some swallowed, some regurgitated and the majority shredded. Angus muses out loud on the joys of having a low maintenance dog in the family.

Little did we know when we got up on Monday that within 48 hours 'The Font' would have flown back to Malaga, hastily arranged a cremation, collected an urn full of ashes and returned home. Things get done very quickly in Spain.The PONs are overjoyed at the flocks reunion. Little do they know how close they were to a visit to the k-e-n-n-e-l-s. 

'The Font' wonders why the joiners have installed the basin and the basin unit before the builders have taken out the old paneling behind. 

The basin has been designed by someone who doesn't shave.  It's a metre wide broad but extremely shallow. Not deep enough to scoop up water to wash away shaving foam. The other bathrooms will be 'rethought' to make them more shaver focused.

Old photo of a dog and a cat in Paris :