First light. It's warmer this morning - no ice on the dog bowl by the front door - but there's a brisk breeze. Angus, Bob, the mayor, the man with the Yorkie, the Yorkie, the man with the day-glo yellow jacket and the village odd job man are standing on the village green. We're looking up at the crucifix in the churchyard and waiting for an expert to come and quote for repairs. Angus really doesn't want to be here but the mayor has requested his presence. 'The Font' thinks this might be because I can bring some experience to the situation. Angus wonders aloud what experience might prepare him to deal with a three ton swaying Jesus. This question is met with silence.
The statue has already been 'sorted out' by a friend of the man with the Yorkie but the repairs didn't work. The concrete infill between the brick wall and the wooden down post failed to set properly. Fresh action is now required. The expert arrives, ten minutes late, in a brand new Peugeot 4x4 with racy wheel trims and more LED lights than you would think a car could have. He wears a red velvet hat with a black band. This together with his camouflage trousers and leather jacket gives him a slightly menacing 'mafioso capo' air. '' Someone made a dogs dinner of this '' he informs us somewhat nontechnically from the top of his step ladder. The sway has increased. A health and safety official from the region has opined that if it gets much worse it might present a hazard to passing pilgrims. Two options present themselves. 1) Have a decent builder repair it and pay the going rate or 2) rope it off to stop it collapsing and killing someone.
The builder stays for 45 minutes. He jots things down in a note book and goes. '' I'll send on a quote . It won't be cheap " he says in a funerial tone of voice suitable when bidding for remedial work on swaying statues. The village 'technical' committee disperse. After the builder goes Sophie is allowed out onto the village green. She skips and screams with delight.
Bob is walked down the hill to the old Roman road. From here the steeple of the church just visible on the skyline.
When we get home Sophie is impatiently waiting for us .
So starts a quiet Sunday morning in deepest, deepest France profonde.
Ben. A nice name for a dog :
Mmm, I'd be very wary of anyone who wore a red velvet hat with a black band and driving a racy 4x4 ! Is he a relative of the kitchen man you had, who wore red trousers?
Could it be that you have been seconded to the committee, Angus, because you are nearest should a pair of ladders be needed in a hurry? Or is it the post meeting champagne normally sampled at the ROF?
We suggest that Bob and the Yorkie might have a better idea of what's to be done ! Oh and don't forget Sophie - she might have an idea or two !
"It won't be cheap". No surprise there to readers of the blog!
Bertie says well done Ben and wishes there had been a march in Aberdeen (where Trump is still planning to expand his hideous golf resort, ignoring, of course, his 'promises' not get involved in new businesses overseas during his presidency...)
A strong rope would be the more economical solution if it would be sufficient to avert tragedy.
But not half as interesting as going with the red velvet hatted man.
Certainly a wise move to bring in Bob and the Yorkie as adjunct consultants.
The picture of Sophie skipping and screaming with delight on the village green is a joy.
And no matter what Google (which is causing an identity crisis for me) says, I’m still Stephanie in Northern California.
We need more details about this hat. Velvet is soft--was it a squishy Ché Guevara kind of beret? Or one of those newsboy-style caps? Did it have a brim? We must know!
I love this!
How about a nice university educated engineer in tweeds to solve your problem.
You have had experience with the morose lads who will probably show up to crack the Village's water pipes.....
Would it be more of a Fedora shape, seeing that it has a black band?
Hearing several years ago John Kerry refer to Ben as a diplomutt, I took it to heart. When we went to Washington DC, Bailey Bob traveled with us. He walked into the Hotel wearing a white collar, black tie, with a US rhinestone flag pin on the tie. While sitting quietly,waiting to be shown to our room, someone asked the woman behind the check-in desk why the dog was dressed up. She replied, " because he is a diplomutt". The next thing I knew, a line had formed to take pictures of BB. If only he had been wearing a red velvet hat, with a black band too!
I just hate it when Google goes rouge! You know who you are, stand fast.
A friend of mine attending the march snapped a photo John Kerry & Ben. Another person I'll miss! (Our 3rd Golden was named Ben - After "Gentle Ben" the bear!)
I hope the repair doesn't bankrupt the treasury!
Agreed, what a good story!
Definitely a fedor unlike the mayors green and red plaid pork pie hat.
If only Bob and Sophie would sit still in hotels rather than do their ' where's the kitchen ? ' routine.
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