Saturday, September 2, 2017
Sophie starts 'singing' at five fifty. A series of ever louder modulating whines. Nothing quite like Sophie's singing to get Angus out of bed. She doesn't sing that often but when she does neither man nor beast is going to sleep through it. We use to think that she sang because she was in pain or frightened. Now we know Sophie sings because she can. As soon as I come downstairs she stops and falls into a deep sleep. Meanwhile, Bob has helpfully started barking to let me know that his sisters awake.
After breakfast Loic the gardener shows up on his 50cc Honda. He blew all the leaves into piles when he was here earlier in the week. This morning he turns his hand to weeding. He informs me that his mother uses white vinegar to kill weeds. ' Much cheaper than weedkiller but don't mix it with water, If it's too weak it won't work '. I thank him for this handy gardening hint.
After Loic it's the turn of Aude, the bipolar decaratrice, to show up. Aude is accompanied by a friend of hers from the Womens Cooperative who does wallpapering. The wallpapering lady, who has a buzz cut and is very tall and thin, wears cargo shorts, a tee shirt with the slogan '' JUST DO IT !!! " and black lace up military boots. Aude has one of those laser measuring instruments which she has some difficulty operating. The wallpapering lady is no better. There is some confusion between metres and centimetres. The little red dot appears in unusual places. Aude writes measurements in a little book or would if she had a pen that worked. '' I only bought it this week and its run out of ink already " . The wallpapering lady tells me she needs 30 rolls of paper for the small bedroom . I check the measurements with her. Angus calculates 6 will be enough. '' I was never good at arithmetic " she says. Angus doesn't disagree.
The curtains in the dining room are taken down and a coat of grey paint applied to the dark brown window frames. After an hour the furniture is moved back into place and Aude and the lady in cargo pants leave. '' We'll be back when the wallpapers delivered " they say with that cheery imprecision that is the trademark of life in France.
Sophie, having napped in the kitchen now transfers outside for a nap en plein air.