Thursday, September 3, 2020


Dog and master make it to the war memorial just as the school bus heads off.  It is a day of complete cloudlessness.

In the neighbouring village the local architect has done a good job of converting an old shop with two large ground floor  windows into something that looks as if its always been a house. Commercial to residential conversions rarely work well.

Our croissant this morning a sad affair. A fall in the rankings to a 5.2/10.  Angus finds little to recommend it - think of supermarket sliced white - but Sophie thinks its wonderful. A Tesla with British plates draws up at the bakers. A man gets out, wanders in and orders six croissants. He says neither Good morning on entering nor thank you on leaving. The French find this Anglo Saxon brusqueness vulgar. There again you try going down the local High Street in the UK wishing shop owners Good Morning and see the looks you'd  get.

Angus and Sophie stop outside the Vietnamese restaurant. This is the seventh or eighth incarnation as a restaurant since we've been here. Last year it was a deeply unfashionable Salon de The. Dog and master discover that there are such things as Vietnamese pizzas -  Khumer netwok - as the menu informs us. It is unlikely that Angus, having read the list of toppings, will be popping out for any of these exotic offerings.

Last night, late, the old Parisian lady came to the gate. She's just heard that her daughter, the daughters husband and their child are all in ICU. Someone coming down the motorway in the wrong direction ran into them. They are in three separate hospitals around Cannes. To make things worse the old lady's husband is at home with an eye infection after a cataract operation. We discuss her options. Too late to do anything this late at night. Today, 'The Font' is up at five to book flights, arrange transport and make sure Madame Bay and the ladies of the Beautiful ByeWays Committee are on hand to help look after the eye invalid.

So starts another day of unexpected events in a small village in deept, deepest France profonde.


Lisa in France said...

What a terrible situation for your Parisian neighbor, and even worse to have the three family members all in different hospitals. Reading this blog for several years now, it is striking how often your neighbors turn to you and the Font in times of trouble. I do not think you could ever be accused of Anglo Saxon brusqueness.

WFT Nobby said...

I too have noticed how often, in a crisis, your neighbours look to you and 'The Font'. And how generous you are with your help. I hope the old Parisian lady's family all pull through.
But I take issue with your comment about people not saying Good Morning in shops it the UK. It might be true in London and in the centres of large cities, but an exchange of pleasantries with the shopkeeper is common in my local corner shop in Aberdeen, as it is in the suburb of Nottingham where my parents lived. And all but compulsory in Torridon.

Liz Hamblyn said...

Living in very rural New Zealand, I can not emphasis the importance of the unspoken relationship one has with ones neighbour. When, forgive the vernacular but when shit comes to shove, it is your neighbour you rely on. We experienced a once in a life time flood here in 2015 to come after another a once in 500 year flood in 2004, and it is your neighbour who is the chap that will move your stock to higher ground, feed your animals because you can't get home, move the water pump (that supplies water to six properties) while knee deep in water so hopefully will not get too damaged, let you break into his garage so you can get his generator so you can plug your internet browser into it for five minutes of internet access to let your family know that you are safe and well, or the neighbour you lets you know that the helicopter will be there at 2 pm and if you can get your daughter there, she will be taken out back to school so she can attend her school ball. No mention of school at this point. Or letting your neighbours use your phone for two weeks because Telecom is not able to repair the phone cables. Then there is the neighbour who works 12 hours a day for a week to clear the slips all the way up the valley only to be told by the local council that he was breaking health and safety rules. BTW this is only a few examples of rural life.

Camille said...

So shocking and sad when these things happen. You and the Font are certainly an integral part of the village as kind and thoughtful neighbors and problem solvers too!

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
I second Gail's wish to speak up for morning civility in many places here! A smile and a nod even if no words is far from uncommon... I too send thoughts of support for the community situation that has arisen. Such togetherness in times of need shines like a beacon. YAM xx

rottrover said...

Absolutely true, Lisa.

The Life of Riley said...

Sending my best wishes from New Zealand to the old Parisian lady and her family. It is nice how your village helps each other out. Also good to know you and the Font have discovered an architect whose work you like if you ever want to modify or enlarge the ROFH.