Thursday, April 13, 2017

Bitterly.


It's Madame Bays wedding anniversary. Monsieur Bay has bought her an amethyst ring. Not a large amethyst ring but an amethyst ring. Our octogenarian mentor arrives at first light, 'Wild Child' voiturette sputtering down the drive, to show it off. Madame Bay is wearing her summer heat outfit  - yards of chiffon draped and layered. A modern take on Gandhi although Gandhi lacked Madame Bays Rubenesque proportions and didn't ( as far as I know ) ever wear a paisley turban held in place at the front by what, from a distance, might be the Kohinoor diamond. Sandrine, Madame Bays hairdresser daughter has painted her mothers toe and finger nails ' Tahiti Passion Pink' for the great day. Open toed diamante sandals help show off the paint work to maximum effect. Angus is unsure whether the hairdresser daughter has painted her mothers nails as a fashion statement or whether the two of them have had one of their rows and Sandrine has taken revenge. The colour is 'strident'.

Madame Bay helps herself to a cup of coffee and holds out a hand so that we can inspect the ring. Suitable  adulatory noises are made. ' Madame Bay smiles and holds the ring up to the light. She imparts a little country folklore - " Did you know if you show an emerald to a snake, tears will flow from its eyes ? ". We remain silent. She pauses and then continues " The emerald's the colour of the garden of Eden. Bitterly does the snake remember its sin ".The 'Bitterly' part of the sentence is repeated not just twice but three times. While we mull over the enormity of this archaically formulated thought Madame Bay goes off into the larder in search of a chocolate biscuit. 


The box trees in the garden are being attacked by a moth that lays its larvae, spreads like wildfire and literally devours them. The disease is slowly making its way North. Angus buys some chemicals but the instructions advise the user to wear thick rubber gloves, a face mask and goggles while applying it. Not an ideal substance to introduce into a garden frequented by inquisitive PONs. 'The Font' phones the gardener who shows up with a power blower and a moth killing powder that won't harm the dogs. He's gone within twenty minutes.










16 comments:

  1. Heavens Angus! That wasn't the "before and after in my imagination" photos of the tree, was it!!

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    1. Thanks for my chuckle of the day.

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  2. the garden is lovely. Like Virginia I was wondering if this is the damage that can be done to the trees. Have a lovely Easter and I look forward to the photos of the Easter eggs and the purchases from the Patisserie.

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  3. We arrived chez nous after a week away last summer to find all our roses eaten. All the leaves were gone, just the prickly stems left. All kinds of roses, tall ones, short ones, climbing and patio ones. No other garden plants were touched at all.
    Our secret wildlife camera revealed the culprit - a young deer. It took him three days' visits to scoff the lot, after breaking down the fence to get in!

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  4. Ahhhh, the return of Madame Bay. Such entertainment!

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  5. It sounds like a wonderful visit with the Bays.
    All our boxwood were killed by the bug last year. I'm waiting to replace it. No sense in putting in new topiaries only to have them gobbled up.
    Meanwhile, husband is in a war with a butterfly that kills palm trees. It lays its eggs in the heart of the palm and the larvae eat their way through the new leaves, eventually killing the tree. The larvae are fought with extremely expensive larvae-eating nematodes.

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  6. So nice to read about Madame Bay today...Happy Anniversary to her and her husband.
    Angus thank you for your well written description of one of my favourite characters in your village....you made her come alive in all her "strident" glamour...gotta love her.
    What made me smile even more is that she still considers herself a "homer" and easily seeks out food from your larder thinking nothing of it.
    Hope your trees are spared that awful disease.

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  7. Would Madame Bay ever agree to a photo ? Maybe imagination is better 😊

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    1. I think of her as a Gallic version of Madame Arcati in Coward's "Blythe Spirit".

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  8. So pleased here too, that Mme Bay is still at large.

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    1. Not quite as frenetically busy as she used to be but still her family - and the village - matriarch.

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  9. I also find it is almost always recommended to follow any theological discussion with a chocolate biscuit.

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  10. It’s reassuring to know that Madame Bay is still our fashion maven without equal.
    All so delightfully described.

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  11. Mme Bay certainly makes herself at home !

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