Six thirty am. The builders come to pick up their cement mixer. '' Got an emergency. We'll be back. Probably on Monday " says the chief honcho with studied imprecision. What sort of emergency requires a cement mixer is left unsaid.
Seven. The electricians show up to repair the security lights. Despite aggressive lopping of the wisteria branches , they have managed to get stuck permanently on. Something deeply irritating about security lights beaming away on a sunny day. The electrical system in The Rickety Old Farmhouse is an impenetrable example of French logic. The lights are switched off , not as one might expect at the circuit board , but at a hitherto unknown switch in the garage.
The PONs watch the coming and goings with interest. Before the builders leave they are coerced into a five minute game of 'throw the furry fox'. The electricians prove to be standoffish. Sophie gives them a look that makes it clear they're off her Christmas card list. The PONs make their own amusement. This involves Sophie stealing her brothers toy and then savaging him; noisily.
Eight thirty. The Old Farmer hoists a very large yellow canister onto the back of a trailer. '' Just off to get some diesel at a very good price " he informs me. As he says this he winks and touches the side of his nose with his index finger. '' Just 1500 litres " he adds as if this somehow puts everything into perspective.