Friday, August 25, 2017
What have we done ?
Another night of thunderstorms and the banshee rattle of hail against the shutters. The sodden ground doesn't seem to bother the workmen who are hard at work cutting the grass verges as the sun comes up. A horrible job in this stifling humidity. They work for half an hour then park their tractor in the field outside The Rickety Old Farmhouse and head off for breakfast. Bob maintains a running commentary on everything that's happening from his observation spot on the stump seat.
Sophie is not enjoying the heat. She is encouraged into the cool of the kitchen.
Bob settles on the wooden garden table in the shade. He turns on his back and snores.
The Old Farmer wanders over for a chat. He doesn't like the physiotherapist who he thinks is too 'violent'. He's got an appointment at the teaching hospital in Toulouse. They have a department for muscular reeducation. Being an old soldier he moves to the top of the list and can start a course of therapy sessions next week. He's brought us a small gift - a bottle of cognac . The bottle doubles as a bust of Napoleon. The ungentlemanly might observe that prior to delivery the bottle has been opened and a small tumbler full poured.
On my walk round the village with Bob the man with anger management issues stops us. '' I know what you're doing " he says by way of greeting. Angus wonders if we've done something dreadful. '' I want you to know we're grateful " he adds. With that he holds out four tomatoes and two courgettes. '' They're from my garden ". Angus accepts them effusively. When in France the best thing to do is layer thanks or praise on with a trowel. Angus claims that courgettes are his favourite food - an outright lie as he viscerally hates them - but allowable, I think, in the circumstances. Neither Bob ( who observes this interaction with his head tilted ) nor Angus are any the wiser as to what it is we've done to deserve such a gift.
Two presents on the same day. Perhaps after nearly nine years here we've become honorary villagers ? Trust is gained slowly; loyalty finally returned.
In the cool of the downstairs kitchen 'The Font' , watched closely by Sophie, sets about making a fresh tuna, tomato and courgette flan. Sophie likes courgette. She also likes tuna. Pastry is a favourite. She doesn't like tomato.
So passes another August day in deepest, deepest France profonde.