Thursday, February 13, 2014

Each day provides its own gifts.

Blue skies and sunshine. Bob and Sophie sunbathe on a table in the garden. The rule about climbing on furniture conveniently forgotten.

The old school teacher arrives at the gate. Beret and blue, firmly buttoned up, house coat. A long retired representative of a different age. '' Bonjour M'Ongoose. I'm sorry to bother you" . He's written a pamphlet about a Polish author - a one time winner of  the Nobel Prize for Literature - who's work is now deeply unfashionable. Would I be interested in buying one of the pamphlets ? ( He's had a thousand  printed). '' I was just passing and I know ten euros is a lot of money and I know it's not a subject that would interest everyone but the language is so beautiful and I fear that his work will disappear and there again perhaps my French will be too complicated for a foreigner to understand ". I take three copies. Enough to show genuine interest without being effusive.

Sophie has two attitudes to visitors. The 'don't dare bother me now' attitude and the 'you can adore me' attitude. The latter is displayed. The old teacher looks at her and laughs. She's happy. He's delighted. He talks away to her as if they're life long friends.That ability the really old have to live in the joy of the moment and be quite unselfconscious. What memories has she awakened in him ?

The unexpected, smile inducing richness of village life in deepest, deepest France profonde.


  1. We applaud the hopeful and loving spirit of the old school teacher. Clearly Sophie recognised it too.

  2. "Joy of the moment". Old people and dogs are similar.

    XXXOOO Daisy, bella & Roxy

  3. I had to read Reymont at school. Found The Peasants so boring the scars are still visible :P Maybe I should read the pamphlet. Reymont or no Reymont - I like the old school teacher already - for the pamphlet and because Sophie likes him!

  4. How refreshing, in a world where "legal highs", "sexting", and "who's to blame for the floods?" are the main news items of the day, that someone wants to keep alive the memory of a long forgotten author.
    It often takes an old person, out of touch with the latest craze, to remind us that some things are more important than the current obsessions, i.e. self destruction and blame.

  5. The two angels sunbathing on the "forbidden" table is soooo cute.
    Bless your heart Angus for buying three of the pamphlets to help the old school teacher keep the memory of Reymont alive.

  6. I think that you and Sophie made a difference today for the teacher.

  7. I think you both probably made the elderly teacher happy today! I've seen it many times, but I still love seeing the effect dogs have on people in unexpected situations.

  8. this post makes my heart sing. the pictures. the old gentleman. the words. especially and always your words.
    i am once again in love with france profonde. and reminded that one can live in peace and happiness anywhere ...
    if one stays away from the petty red tape of the world! it's rampant everywhere after all.
    the plumbers not fixing things quickly... well... that's another story maybe! LOLOL.

  9. You've just sent me off to the 21st-century encyclopedia to look up Władysław Stanisław Reymont. Forgotten now, perhaps, but he won the Nobel over more prominent names, and what courage to publish as he did in a country under the very firm hand of the Czar. Bravo to the old teacher for keeping his name alive, and to you for your kindness to Monsieur. Can we have Angus in charge of the world, please?

  10. Oh, Angus, what a beautiful post. You've outdone yourself! Thank you.

  11. Sophie joy was the key that unlocked the joy in the old teacher's heart. It's absolutely magical when an animal and human make one of those transcendent connections.
    I think first photo of Sophie and Bob
    Is one of my all time favourites. Talk
    about joy!
    You did a very fine thing today,
    Angus. But then, we've come to
    expect nothing less. We'll have to do
    a bit of research Reymont ourselves.

  12. Love the second photo! You're so lucky to see the sun - yet more howling gales here...