Bob heads off for a power walk with 'The Font'. A power walk round the lake is that special moment when he can act as family guardian, chase ducks and escape his sister. In human terms this is known as bliss.
Sophie heads off with her owner to the little market town. They settle at a table outside the cafe on the market square. Angus reads Le Figaro. From time to time he shares a snippet of information with the princess. Non-dog owning clientele look at him warily. Sophie gets a bowl of water but sadly no half croissant.
The fancy bakers wife is in a recognizably post-natal mood. She asks if we've had snow. This is a surprising question as its sunny, cloudless and a spring like 14 degrees outside.
Sophie has a diva moment. She emits her concrete shredding yelp. She is given some crumbs of choux pastry. Some dogs get rewarded for being good. Sophie is a dog that gets bribed to be quiet.
We wander down the hill in the afternoon sunshine. The Very Old Farmer can be seen sitting on an ancient orange tractor. He lolls from side to side as he ploughs. '' Bonjour M'Ongoose. Lovely day " he says when I ask if I can be of any help. How he a) managed to propel himself across the village from his house to his vegetable patch b) managed to get out of his wheelchair into the tractors driving seat and c) manages to steer the tractor as he has no feeling in his arms below the elbows - are mysteries. It is however the day off for the regular district nurse.
Among the village octogenarians and nonagenarians the spark of life burns brightly. Very brightly indeed. In its own way a small Christmas miracle. 'The Font' observes that the ordinariness of life in a small French village is bizarre.