Friday, July 4, 2014
He who is contented is rich.
Early morning. A foreigner can be seen striding along the lane that leads from the top of the ridge down to the old ruined hut at the bottom. As he goes he talks to two furry dogs. From time to time they look up and acknowledge his presence. The female dog, who is ferociously independent, wanders off into the sunflower fields in search of voles. She lets out a ''wait for me ! '' yelp every hundred yards or so. The boy dog leaps on invisible things in the long grass. All are, in their own way, happy.
Seven at night, the mayor arrives at the gate. Just in time for a glass of champagne. He's accompanied by the man in the day-glo yellow jacket. To celebrate the France v Germany match there will be a party on the village green. The depressive accordion playing physiotherapist will be there. So too will the band from the neighbouring village. ''Band'' is a loose term to describe four retired gentlemen who supplement their pensions by playing at pre-teen parties. Their repertoire includes 'Puff the Magic Dragon'. 'Sur le pont d'Avignon' and 'We're all going to the zoo tomorrow'.
It seems that the whole of France now believes that the World Cup is theirs for the taking.