Saturday, July 11, 2015
Riotous old age.
Another of those 'Please Lord let it rain' type days. We're out at six. Too many critters still up and about in the ditches for Bob to be let off his lead. A badger scurries across the track in front of us. Bob's keen to give chase.
The sunflowers are enjoying the heat - as are the village retirees. We find The Old Farmer tinkering with the engine of an ancient Ford Transit truck. A vehicle we've never seen before. He's replacing the air filter before loading his fellow octogenarians and nonagenarians in the back and taking them for a spin .
With the mercury rising towards 40 the patriarchs clamber, with the aid of chairs and upturned potato boxes, onto the truck. Madame Bay and her friend Renee ( pronounced Re-knee ) are the last on board. The Old Farmer is there to help them up. They tell him to mind where he puts his hands. The sound of laughter turns into shrieks of delight as they head off past the chateau towards the crossroads. Madame Bays chiffon scarf trails behind the Ford like a pendant in the breeze. A rubenesque Grace Kelly. From time to time the sound of carousing and not quite synchronised gear changing drifts up across the valley towards us.
Oh to be a Latin unburdened by concerns over health and safety. The absence of seats ( or seat belts ), the overcrowding, the fact that some ( Madame Bay ) are standing, the question of insurance ( or the probable lack of it ), the age of the vehicle or the fact The Old Farmers eyesight isn't as good as it once was. These are all things that weigh on the mind of a Presbyterian. There again why should you bother about things like that when it's hot, you're 90 years old and living in a village in deepest, deepest France profonde ? What could possibly go wrong ?
Bob and Sophie think it's the best day ever.