Saturday, June 18, 2016

They are not small gold objects but endless fire.


The week has flown by. 'Events' seem to have dominated it. First Orlando. Then, for the first time since 1812 ( other than by Irish republicans ), the assassination of a sitting British MP .

At The Rickety Old Farmhouse we're coping with changeable June weather. The baritone grumble of far away thunderstorms a constant background . The garden, which by this time of the year has usually been baked solid, is loving the hourly rain showers. Exotic bulbs, planted long ago and then forgotten, spring to life.



Coming back from our pre-breakfast walk we see one of the old farmers heading off to hospital for a cataract operation. This being France, the hospital has sent a taxi to collect him and offered his wife a room in a nearby hotel. She has just had a painful hip operation and is in no fit state to go . From the front seat of the car he waves at us as he passes. The old man smiles at Bob. Angus recognizes that 'male' look that's determined to hide the fact that he wishes he wasn't having to do this alone.

'The Font' goes round to the old mans wife with a bottle of wine. Sometimes the knowledge that someone is thinking about you is the best prescription for a speedy recovery.


Bad news about The Very Old Farmer. He's tried to get out on his tractor again. This time he's fallen off it. The Belgian lady finds him lying on the ground . He's bruised and unsure of where he is and what he's doing. The SAMU are called and take him to the hospital. The Belgian lady tells me they displayed great kindness.

This weekend the social services will determine whether he can be allowed home or whether he should be put in a maison d'acceuil . The fact that they're assessing him tells me the answer.



For Bob and Sophie life is a whirl of dozing, chasing invisible threats and racing from one end of the orchard to the other.


After thirty years I'm reading Saul Bellow again. Was it easier reading him thirty years ago ? It's heavy going now. This line catches my eye : ' We are funny creatures. We don't see the stars as they are, so why do we love them ? They are not small gold objects but endless fire ".






18 comments:

  1. In by reading of your older blogs, I calculate that today is the Fonts birthday! If I am correct then, we are sending special birthday greetings, for the best day ever !!! If my calculations are off, we still hope you have the best day ever! The joy you have brought to your community, by planning and bringing the young musicians was a very thoughtful event to be celebrated and remembered with happiness.

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    1. Slightly early but well remembered ! On behalf of 'The Font', who is power walking Bob round the lake, thank you !

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  2. Happy Birthday to 'The Font' - whichever day it is.
    Sad news about the Very Old Farmer, but one has to admire the very fact that he actually tried to get out on his tractor.

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    1. guess that at 94 tractor driving might have to come to an end.

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  3. I do hope that the assessment doesn't deprive, but rather provide for his final days and that with a little extra supervision, he might be able to stay at home. All the very best to him. What a spirit.
    All this rain is turning my courtyard into a forest; so many elder saplings. Interested to see how many more have popped up when I return in a couple of weeks, despite the new double layer of weed membrane!

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    1. There's a home in the village where a family is paid by the government to look after those who can't look after themselves. The idea is that he'll be near the places he knows. Not sure whether that's a reassuring concept or not.

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  4. France is awfully good about home health care and aides for keeping the elderly in their homes. We recently lost our Very Old Vigneron, who until shortly before his death continued to drive an ancient Lambourghini tractor to the vineyards and to prune the vines last winter. He was bent completely in half, as if perpetually about to reach down to tie his shoe, but it didn't stop him. He was tough, like his tractor.
    That quote is beautiful. I will have to explore Bellow. Thank you for the introduction.

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    1. The idea of maison d'accueil, fostering for the old, is one that works in France but wouldn't, I think, work in the UK or US.

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  5. In a world of chaos, I appreciate your blog so much..

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  6. We're dealing with another wild fire here in Santa Barbara. My thoughts always go to the animals.

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  7. You are right, the best prescription is knowing that someone is thinking of you; a thoughtful gift from you and 'the font' for the Old Farmer's Wife. I send my best thoughts and wishes for both "farmers".

    You're right about Saul Bellow. Humboldt's Gift was the first book I read, and is probably my favorite. Herzog came next, and was a pretty good read, and is probably one I should re-read sometime -- My Mother had it in her library, and I have her copy.

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    1. She was pleased to have a visitor. Particulalry one bearing a bottle of Margaux.

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  8. We’re wishing all the best for the Very Old Farmer.

    And a best day ever for The Font!

    The Saul Bellow quote is beautiful, as are today’s pictures.

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  9. With the 'events' of this past week, it's re-assuring to know that Bob is guarding the front door.

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  10. Love the quote. Recently watched a panel show about the 'books that defeated them.' Keep going.

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