Tuesday, November 12, 2019

A brief hiatus.

There must be something in the autumn air that triggers the PONs fur to go into growth mode. It seems as if it's grown a couple of inches in as many weeks. Bobs coat thick and luxuriant and soft.  Sophie's coat merely thick and luxuriant.

The mayor is an early visitor. He's come to take down the flags after yesterdays well attended Armistice ceremony.

There will be a brief halt in the blog. Angus has to go into hospital in London for a few days. This change to the routine is explained to the PONs. They will stay with 'The Font' until tomorrow night and then go into  the K-E-N-N-E-L-S for five or six days. Bob absorbs this information with all the  responsibility of a family fellow. Sophie is not impressed, she fears that the standard of cuisine will fall.

Monday, November 11, 2019

A good turnout ?

One of those joined at the hip mornings as  Sophie follows me round the house. Everywhere I go, she goes. The mayor arrives at the front door to borrow the step ladders so he can put out the flags on the war memorial. There is to be a ceremony of remembrance at 11.00.  An old farmer in a white van comes by as the mayor is clambering up the ladder. ' The driver stops, lowers the window, and shouts out ' Bonjour. What are you doing ? '. " I'm putting out the flags " replies the mayor with literal concision.

It's a national holiday here today. I'm guessing the mayors expecting a healthy turnout of villagers for this, his last, armistice day.

The pizza shop in the little market town has closed. Locals will no longer be able to enjoy its duck, cottage cheese and boudin noir toppings. On the other side of the road a new pizza franchise has opened. A 24/7 automated pizza dispenser.  It claims the pizzas are fresh but in a court of law this would probably mean freshly microwaved. To call it Bella Italia hints at the owner having a healthy sense of humour - or cynicism.

Bizarre British election insight of the day . A vote winning video. Prime Minister with a mop : https://twitter.com/ladyhaja/status/1193621611573891073

Sunday, November 10, 2019

CD's to North Korea.

One of those mornings when the PONs take some time to wake up. I'm guessing from the look on their faces that this is not a day for judging the constitutional merits of impeachment.

Another election e-mail from the British Prime Minister. This time it says the country exports Jason Donovan CD's to North Korea. An unusual factoid for an election campaign. Who remembers Jason Donovan ? Isn't North Korea on some sort of UN sanctions list ? I'm now looking forward to tomorrows e-mail to see what fresh aspects of Britishness it uncovers.

A busy start to a Sunday morning in the little market town. A lady with a Yorkie sees the PONs and immediately sweeps her little darling off its feet and into the safety of her coat. A beagle at the cash machine is ready to wander over  for a chat. I hurry the PONs along. Bob is always ready for a chat but with Sophie impromptu meetings can sometimes become 'noisy'.

Cheesecake day in the bakers. I ask the bakers wife what flavours they are. ' Cheesecake  she replies. Upon further questioning it transpires that they're lemon flavoured, classic with pecan, fruit and classic without pecan.

And an Arts and Crafts house that has been restored and opened as a museum in Cambridge :

How time flies. A tweet from the UK ambassador to France : https://twitter.com/EdLlewellynFCO/status/1193110735058087936

Saturday, November 9, 2019


No rain this morning. Just a brisk wind. Ideal PON weather.

Sophie heads off along the lane at a fast clip, nose down.  The owls have been busy overnight.The ground under the plane trees where they roost covered in morsels of discarded shrew and vole. While Sophie rummages Bob and Angus discuss whether Mulvaney, Giuliani and Sondland are willing fall guys. 

The British Prime Minister sends Angus a round robin e-mail. Election time is when a lot of politicians of all parties send Angus e-mails. In between times, when they don't want money, they ignore him. The e-mail says ' We invented the steam train. Gave birth to football. There's nothing as a country we can't do '. The banality of this makes Angus think this is some sort of spoof. Surely there are other national attributes that warrant mentioning ? I'd have liked to see something about decency or honour but these are presumably deemed non-vote winning.

Bob settles under my desk and is soon asleep. The challenge of working out how you measure the statement that 'No country in the world has greater potential than ours ' too taxing for the male PON at this time in the morning. Five more weeks of this before election day.

After Eight mints show up on the supermarket shelves. If there is any sure sign that the festive season is upon us it's the appearance of After Eight mints. These are considered to be the height of sophistication by Madame Bay who munches on them and considers them to be ' tres British'. Somehow she believes that Prince Charles makes them.

There are people in life who make amends for the worlds woes. The folks who run this sanctuary in Vietnam care for bears who have been farmed for their bile duct. Removing the bile a painful, invasive and risky process. Kept in cages for years they develop heart rending illnesses. Simply wonderful to see terrified animals cared for : https://www.animalsasia.org/us/our-work/bear-sanctuaries/vietnam-bear-sanctuary/vietnam-bear-sanctuary.html

Friday, November 8, 2019

Proudly borne.

What better way to start the day ? Sophie finds a dead baby pigeon in the laurel hedge. She carries it into the house, skips up the stairs and heads into the bedroom to share her good fortune with 'The Font'.

After the 'commotion' has died down I spend some time explaining to Sophie that not everyone finds a cold pile of feathers, drool and congealed blood dropped on their pillow to be the best start to the day. 

Sophie absorbs this news with a stoic ' It takes all sorts ' attitude.

Twitter of the day. Catch with a Beluga Whale : https://twitter.com/sofiabiologista/status/1192508856733224960

Thursday, November 7, 2019


Yesterday,The Old Farmer bought his new lady friend to visit the village. A major moment in the development of their relationship. She is introduced to the PONs before being driven to the mayors house for a coffee. I note that the venerable silver Mercedes has been polished until it sparkles. He is wearing cargo pants, open toed sandals and a brown check shirt. She is in red. Red leggings, red shoes, red skirt, red blouse, red jacket and red coat. Before they go he turns on his collection of Christmas lights. She tells him they're 'marvellous'.

This morning it's still wet. Still windy. The cushions on the bench in the terrace all scattered  by the gale. The PONs look at me as if to say ' You should have taken those inside a month ago '.

They then follow me through the house. The subplot is making sure I don't forget to take them  off to the cafe for a curly croissant end. Todays cake selection humdrum but there are additional choux pastry crumbs to go with the croissant. An indication that this is indeed the best day ever. Bobs tail thwacks against my chair.

Books I've finished this month.

This history of the US was a fast moving, high jinx type tale that only goes to show that there's nothing new under the sun. I enjoyed it.

This turned out to be a gentle, intelligent walk through European history. Didn't really relish opening it ( thought from the title the subject might be a bit dry ) but found the book to be well written and full of reasoned and enlightening insights. Probably one of the most thought provoking books of the year. Brexit casts a doleful shadow through its final pages. 

And this was a delight.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Mournful but well fed.

After a fourth night of  wind and heavy rain the courtyard is covered in leaves and branches. Bob surveys the garden for any signs of squirrels or, heaven forbid, C-A-T-S. At the drainage ditch Bob and Angus wave at the school bus and discuss Gordon Sondlands remarkable memory. Sophie , ever practical, heads off along the lane with a portion of owl discarded vole. 

The supermarket has segued straight from Halloween into full Christmas mode. This years must have item a four foot tall wooden nutcracker.

In the US section of the exotic foods of the world aisle six jars of Heinz Salad Cream make an appearance. What will the residents of the corner of France profonde make of this exotic delight ?

At the door of the supermarket 14 year old MiLou and his great great great grandson maintain a mournful watch for their mistress. Or, perhaps more correctly the great great great grandson maintains careful watch. MiLou just looks mournful in a well fed sort of way.