Friday, January 20, 2017

Nothing compares.


'The Font' phones to remind me that I've to go to the town hall to get the passwords for the census forms. Every five years France has a census. This year we receive a letter ( 1st Class postage ) informing us that we can fill the forms in on line. A week later we get a second letter ( 1st Class postage ) telling us that the mayors secretary will come around to fill in the forms for us. A third letter arrives ( 1st class postage ) to say she will be with us on January 20th at 8.00 pm or we can phone her and schedule an appointment to receive the passwords. We are the only people in the village to choose this last option. Angus wonders why she can't just e-mail the codes but this is not the way French bureaucracy does things.

All the villagers are sent these letters. Considering 60% of us live within 100 metres of the town hall door this strikes me as a a rather profligate use of public funds. In France the word 'austerity' has a different meaning.


Bob and his master note that the Joyeuses Fetes sign above the church door has been disconnected from the power supply. At some stage in the next five or six weeks the village odd job man will get round to taking it down.


Today, due to the extreme cold, the mayors secretary is wearing three cardigans and a blue, white and red bobble hat pulled halfway over her ears. She greets me primly, or as primly as someone wearing three cardigans and a bobble hat can. I suspect her cool welcome is in part a suspicion that online form fillers will do her out of a job. '' Will you be here if I have any problems ? " I ask in a manner designed to show that she remains a vital cog in the government machine. ' You shouldn't need my help. The form is self explanatory. In fact it's simple'. As she utters the word 'simple' she looks at me in a way that some folks might find disconcertingly judgemental.


Sophie continues to recover. Four walks round the garden and an extremely noisy and emotional reunion when 'The Font' returns home. There is pickled herring as a treat. For the PONs nothing but nothing compares with pickled herring. It has turned out to be the best day ever.


This cartoon seems timely : https://twitter.com/AdamMGrant/status/821709184811012096




15 comments:

  1. A very timely cartoon. Today is a day to stay at home, turn off all media (excepting favourite blogs which are a refuge of sanity, intelligence, humour, warmth and grace) and savour the consolations of family and beloved pets.
    Cheers, Gail.

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  2. Absolutely right there Bertie !
    Pickled herring - all the way from Sweden - oooh, joy overload !

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    1. What is it about pickled herring and dogs ?

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  3. So funny. I can imagine the mayor's secretary trying her best to be prim in her get-up.
    In our village, news is transmitted by loudspeaker. It is preceded and followed by a clip of music, usually some pop hit from the '80s, unless it's a death announcement, in which case a few bars of the tract of Mozart's Requiem crackle over the speakers. We are on the edge of the village and can't hear anything.

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    1. Unsmiling would be another word for prim although neither pose works with a bobble hat..

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  4. So good to see Bob and Sophie enjoying the outdoors together....they've got a lot of time to make up for.
    Brownie is jealous of the pickled herring treat....he is now more in love with the Font.

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    1. Only a few more days before we go to the vets for that ( hopefully ) final X-ray.

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  5. I'm glad to read that somewhere, someone 2 or 4 legged thinks that it's the best day ever. I honestly cannot shake that feeling of dread I've had all week. Rain today and with nothing but the inauguration being reported on this morning, I'm already ready to turn off the TV and go back to bed! Thank-you for your blog, and giving me a place to escape to, if only for a few moments.

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    1. January rain and leaden skies don't do much to life the spirits.

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  6. Sophie's recovery is the best news ! You've done a splendid job helping her recover her strength and mobility.
    What will come out of that odious person's mouth at today's inauguration! Too horrible to watch, too frightening not to.

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    1. The speech draws attention like a moth to a flame.

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  7. We’re definitely with Bertie.
    A beautiful picture of Sophie on the shadow-striped grass. And the waning moon above the ROF in the 1st photo.
    Thank you for the all too perceptive cartoon.

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  8. We are also keeping the tv off. It feels as if we are in mourning for America, in America.
    So happy that the Font is home again. Your little ones look fantastic and we are all counting the days until Sophie's xray. Can't wait for some GOOD news!
    Pam in NH

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  9. We just had the 'on-line' Census a few months ago. The whole system crashed! Much embarrassment for the government. But the few who chose to do a 'paper' census didn't fare much better. No organisation.

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