Saturday, August 24, 2019

Benefit from its presence.

Our morning starts with what looks and sounds like one of those 'alternative' productions of Macbeth.

The PONs find the eight kittens and the cat asleep on the garden chairs.

There follows a witches brew of activity. Kittens go flying everywhere. Two rush into the barn. Some rush through the lavender beds. Others clamber up trees. Yet others hurtle across the lawn. The angelic duo howl. The kittens are soon safely out of sight but not out of mind.

The sturm und drang lasts for all of ten frenetic minutes.

We set of along the lane for a post excitement walk passing the Senegalese melon pickers as we go. The PONs rush over to see them and then, unhappy that the melon pickers have no biscuits to offer, rush back.

Lines of fire engines and riot police coaches heading along the motorway in the direction of Bordeaux. Reinforcements for the G7 meeting in Biarritz. Angus is much more interested in a mobile wine bar that is heading in the same direction. The heads of state would probably benefit from its presence. 

Gwyneth Paltrows book curator speaks. Thatcher Wine - celebrity bibliophile. And to think that book shelves used to be for books you'd read :

Friday, August 23, 2019

The boom box interlude.

The two tykes have returned from their summer holidays with their grandparents in Ste.Etienne.  We know they're back because they spend the afternoon doing wheelies on the freshly laid gravel outside the church porch. They have a boom box that one of them balances, precariously, on his handle bars.  'The Font' notes that school starts again on September 2nd so they only have a fortnight in which to drive the village insane.

Bob is having a bad hair day. It is what Angus terms the electrocuted Ringo look. It gets like this when Bob's been sleeping on his back . He is soon put to rights.

The Old Farmer returns to collect his post. All mention of the trip to Belarus has gone. We assume that the pleasure of having someone cook three meals a day and laugh at all his jokes is keeping his mind closer to home.

The eight kittens spent the night in the garden. They sit safely in the branches of the Holm Oak and look down on two shaggy dogs hurtling round the garden following C-A-T scents.  The shaggy dogs have no idea where the kittens are.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Just the heat ?

The year moving on at a hectic pace. It's much darker in the mornings now. We don't head off along the lane until the sun is starting to rise at six thirty. The PONs wait by his desk with a semblance of patience while Angus talks on the phone to a group of men in dark suits about Denmark, dual loyalty and Jay Inslee. There is to be a speech in Warsaw on the 80th anniversary of the start of World War 2 on September 1st.  Will it pass off without inflaming transatlantic relations ? Probably not.

Later, Sophie licks clean Angus's yogurt pot. The yogurt clings to her beard and gives her an unmistakable Lenin look. Big brother has also cleaned out a yogurt pot but starts his day looking somewhat more sophisticated.

The cakes at the bakers indicating that the latest addition to the bakers family is causing them sleepless nights. Or maybe it's just the heat ?

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The away day.

To London for the day. The weather perfect. Sunny, a light breeze ands no humidity. Angus walks to his meetings.  This gives him a chance to look at some bronze penguins in an art gallery ...

... and an interesting collection of rose wine in a wine merchants window. The Domaine d'Ott an absolute favourite.

The Swedish Embassy has moved to a 1930's era primary school building. The building has had a thorough renovation but to this observers eye still looks like a 1930's era primary school.

We buy some Pistachio Baklava to take back to France ...

.... but regret doing so when we see the cakes for sale in a bakers along the road.

The blueberry and lime cheesecake looks wonderful but there's no room left in Angus's bag.

Back at Toulouse airport it's pure unadulterated chaos. Four  Jumbos bringing pilgrims back from the Haj pilgrimage to Mecca have landed before the British Airways flight. 

It takes an hour to get through immigration.The presence of a gaggle of riot Police doesn't help. The fun really starts at customs which is completely seized up.

The only solution is the perma-smile, the cheerful ' Excusez moi ', an occasional '' Oh la la " and all the determination of a head down rugby winger in full charge. After 20 minutes of deft footwork and trolley weaving I'm through.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Car body parts.

Bob knows something is out of kilter. The village kittens have been sleeping on the garden dining chairs again. Hearing the angelic duo rush into the garden they scuttled off en masse to the safety of the high orchard wall. Sophie has spent a full ten minutes following their scents round and round and round the terrace.  Bob can sense their presence but can't see them.

Little does he know that he's being carefully studied by two of the kittens who are sitting, prudently still, on top of the wall.

A wonderful old door in the neighbouring village. What were the grilles on either side for ? Ornamentation or a way talking to the person outside without having to let them in ?

The village refuse bins have been discovered by fly tippers from Toulouse. Today we have two car seats, an office chair, a printer and various car body parts. The cans of wasp killer have been removed by the long suffering ( and rarely thanked ) dustmen.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Fearless interloper.

The Old Farmer has been away with his lady friend for a full week. We can only assume that things are going well. His post box is full. 'The Font' will call and offer to take over the bills if he's not planning on coming back this week.

Bob and Sophie start their day on hyper alert. They can smell the presence of C-A-T-S but can't see the interlopers standing on top of the wall staring down at them. One of the interlopers appears to be quite fearless, the other seven members of the litter less so.

At the bakers a rather fine fraisier attracts our attention.

The farmer with the green metallic Toyota Land Cruiser has returned from his holidays. He waves 
at us as we're walking back from the storm drain. I wave back. The Westie throws itself against the back window in fury when it sees the PONs. The two tykes and their sister still haven't returned from visiting their grandparents. What lovely, long suffering people they must be.  So starts a Monday morning in a small village in deepest, deepest France profonde.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Sunday wedding .

Yes, there are eight kittens and a mother. They all live on the ox track that abuts The Rickety Old Farmhouse and have taken to climbing onto our upstairs terrace and sunning themselves. This morning they can be found dozing snugly on the garden chairs. Sensing the angelic duos approach they clamber up the trellising and stand staring from the safety of the wall. Seven are shy. One ( there is always one ) tries to out stare the PONs.  The arrival of these unexpected guests has turned the PON morning noise level up several notches.

Garden cleared of intruders we head off along the lane. Sophie stops, turns, and glares at her laggardly brother. He's found something under one of the plane trees. She wants to head off to the stream. Faced with a glare big brother dutifully picks up his pace.

Despite the early hour the old church in the little market town is the scene of a wedding. That most European of all sounds as the bells chime away.  As we leave the bakers a couple drive up to the church porch in a open top Ford Mustang. Of all countries in Europe France seems to be the one where Ford Mustangs are a thing. The young lady from behind the bakery counter comes out to see what's going on. Seems the couple had their civil ceremony yesterday and are squeezing in a church wedding this morning before the scheduled mass. This works out well as the choir and the organist can earn a little extra money. 'The grooms from Clermont Ferrand' says the bakery girl with a tone of voice that suggests this is the height of big city exoticism. 

PONs and owner detour across the forecourt to investigate. The car is decorated with sprigs of blossom. This is the first time I've ever seen a car festooned with flowers . Presumably they drove to the church very slowly.

We stand at the door and peer in. The old church is so ramshackle that wire netting is strong from the pillars to catch any bits of masonry that might fall off the roof. We listen as two violinists play '' In the bleak midwinter " before the happy couple take their vows.  Perhaps the tune is set to different, less seasonal, words in France.

On our way back to the car Bob de-threats the two front tyres on the bridal Ford Mustang. In the universal scheme of things this should be taken as a sign of great good fortune.

Sunday art :