Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Can it get any better ?

It's not so much the heat as the strong dry Saharan wind that's uncomfortable. The rose bushes shrivelling in front of our eyes. To avoid the heat ( and be up and about when the builders arrive ) the PONs set off for a walk at five. A mysterious 'quarter light' time of the day. Hares and deer look up to see who's intruding in their private world. The bees on the tilleuls on the village green already slaving thunderously away. You can here the humming from a hundred yards down the lane.

Bob is insistent he joins me for our morning trip into town. He usually sits behind the dog guard but today he's allowed on the back seat.  We drive along with all the windows down. His ears fly up in the wind. He has a look of unbridled joy on his face. Out with his best friend, no sister to bother him and the excitement of sitting somewhere he shouldn't.

Can it get any better ? Well, yes it can. There a crumbs from a Sacristan at the bakers.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The heat arrives.

A heat advisory in place. The village hall open and the air conditioning turned on. Those old folk who want to can spend their days there in the cool. Madame Bay and her friend Renee, both sprightly octogenarians, distribute water and prepare salads. 

To avoid the heat the builders start work at six and finish at noon. The morose lad ( who has now put down a deposit on the ancient Golf convertible ) also does a couple of hours overtime in the evening. The PONs are delighted with this arrangement. They can play throw the furry fox first thing, nap in the heat of the day, and then pester the morose lad for an end of day bout of fox throwing.

This morning they greet the workmen from their perch on the wooden table. Sophie checks their rucksacks for evidence of 'goodies'.

40 plus temperatures again tomorrow.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Allegro vivace.

A group of  early rising pilgrims saunter along the lane . With a 'whoooof' Bob is out of the door and onto his stump seat. The pilgrims wave and laugh. After the last one is out of sight Bob comes back inside.  He's wearing his serious ' I showed them who's boss ' face.

In the Place de la Republique ( all squares in France are called Place de la Republique )  tourists. Not a lot of them but tourists nonetheless. Summer definitely here.

We go to the delicatessen for some ham for lunch. The electrician is ahead of us buying four portions of Boudin Noir for his teams breakfast. Bob throws his head back and inhales. He tries to convince the shopkeeper, the electrician and his master this is part and parcel of every PONs diet. '' Boudin Noir. It's an old Polish recipe ".  He's disappointed.

There is more luck at the cheese shop where he gets a sliver of Brebis and some Chevres. His tail wags like a metronome set to allegro vivace.

Just one of those quiet summer mornings with a happy dog. Too unexceptional to be noted in a diary but too important to be completely forgotten.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Morosity defying.

It's been windy. The branches of the wisteria whipping backwards and forwards in front of the security lights causing them to come on and go off all night. Bob and Sophie feel it prudent to let us know what's happening. They don't tire of doing so until well gone midnight. Before our morning walk I'm up a ladder with a pair of shears lopping away at the wisterias branches. Oh for a night uninterrupted by floodlights. 

It goes without saying that sleep deprivation is something the PONs don't understand. They rush out of the front door. Sophie lets out a high pitched whoop of delight as she crosses the threshold. This is something she does every morning despite strict instructions to be quiet.

The builders are back again. Or to be precise one of the morose lads is back. He's diligently laying the tiles on the terrace. There is nothing like the lure of a new car ( or in this case a 20 year old Golf convertible ) to get a teenage boy doing overtime. A morosity defying moment. This morning he's wearing a New York Yankees baseball cap , backwards. The height of chic. He has brought biscuits so Sophie is happy. 

A very quiet Sunday morning in deepest, deepest France profonde. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015


The young sparrows are having flying lessons. A solo leap from the gutters to the Palm in the courtyard. The nervous ones chided into action by their mothers. A trilled ' I'm not going to do it !' '' Oh yes you are ! " dialogue between parents and offspring. At one stage eleven of the young ones enjoying their new found independence amid the palm fronds . The most common place of birds but their thrill for life is Olympian. 

From five in the evening onwards scores of Spanish pilgrims walking along the lane. They alternate between singing melancholic songs and talking loudly. It must be a holiday south of the border. Bob is torn between barking at them and asking them to play a game of 'throw the furry fox'. He settles on a compromise - sitting on his stump seat at the gate with furry fox in his mouth.  

One of those quiet days. Too uneventful for a diary but too quietly memorable to go completely unrecorded.  

Friday, June 26, 2015

Thursday, June 25, 2015

An angelic air of loveliness.

A beautiful morning. Even Castle Gloom, the frigid home of the local Comte and Comtesse , looks inviting. Sophie heads off with me to get some coffee from the supermarket while Bob goes off for a power walk round the lake.  In the car park on our way back we discover we have a puncture.

A quick trip to the local tyre man. Somehow, somewhere , a three inch nail has driven into the sidewall. We're running on the rim. The spare, one of those 'emergency' not to exceed 50mph things that hangs under the car,  is caked in mud. Worse follows. It's lost it's valve and can't be inflated. Lesson - check your spare once every year.

Two and a half hours later, the emergency tyre repaired,  we leave. The thought of spending a morning with Sophie on a garage forecourt is enough to take years off any ones life. However, today she has opted to don her mantle of feminine charm. This may be because the tyre fitters have diligently fed her tit bits from their biscuit tin. In return she exudes an angelic air of loveliness. How looks deceive.

After all that time and effort the fitters refuse to accept payment. I insist. They still refuse. '' You were in trouble and we helped ". Kindness a virtue difficult to find when you go looking for it but all around when you don't.

Sophie makes it quite clear to 'The Font' that she's had a dreadful morning and she's now ready for lunch. One of those ' You can't believe what's happened to me ! ' days.