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.