Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Mystery mixed with whimsy.
Six thirty. The mayor pulls up in his little Renault without hub caps. It's a National Holiday and he's forgotten to put out the flags on the war memorial. '' Bonjour M'Ongoose. Can I borrow the step ladders ? ". The mayor is always cheerful and positive but this morning when I ask after his wife his eyes fill with tears and he replies with an almost inaudible '' She fights the pain. She fights the pain ". Her fifth hip replacement has not gone well.
The Senegalese melon pickers numbers have swollen. Last week there were three battered vehicles in their convoy. This week there are nine. Two pass us, then a gap, then five close together, then two follow up slowly behind. We stand well back as some of the drivers seem to have an insouciant attitude to which side of the white line they should be on. All brake for the speed bump as if afraid that something will fall off if they roll over it too quickly. The melon pickers all press their faces against the car windows and wave at Bob and Sophie. By the end of the summer the battered little Renaults and Peugeots will have been resprayed and tarted up, their chrome gleaming in readiness to be shipped back to Dakar where they will bear automotive witness to the hard work and diligence of their owners.
The French teacher stops to tell us she's sold her house and is moving to a 'new build' nearer to the school. The length of her commute will fall from seven minutes to three. '' It will make life much easier " she says. Angus wonders if the eight saved minutes are really going to be life changing.
Back at home after our morning walk Bob takes up his family guardian spot at the front door - rump inside, nose outside. His sister, who has been searching for something to eat in the orchard, returns to the house to find her way inside blocked. She barks to tell her brother to move. He feigns deafness. She barks again. He remains resolute and immovable. Sophie becomes ever more voluble and her brother ever more hard of hearing. This goes on for five minutes until a by now frenetic Sophie resigns herself to dealing with an oaf of a brother and settles down outside for a restorative nap.
The roses this year remarkable for their size and number of blooms. Another week and they'll be out in all their finery. The Ceanothus on the far wall must be nine feet high.
Sophie dreams and dozes. It's getting too hot for the angelic duo to go out in the car apart from the early morning run to the bakers and the cafe. Sophie has adjusted well to the change of routine. Bob is still in that ' Haven't you forgotten something ? ' phase.
The new standard roses by the war memorial are just the right colour. Not too pink, not too red. Formal enough without being sombre. They too should be in full bloom within a week.
The donkey field a sea of buttercups. A sight that is at once mundane yet remarkable. The donkeys graze away happily.
By ten the sun is up, the heat is building, the PONs are sheltering in the shade and their master is cutting the grass.
Angus is tasked with finding pictures for the wee house. This print of 'Hercules the Bear on Loch Sunart at night' by Gill Tyson a touch of Scots whimsy mixed with mystery. Perhaps it's just right for a Texan toddlers bedroom ? This over aged toddler thinks so.
So starts another day in deepest, deepest France profonde when 'nothing' happens.