Wednesday, April 28, 2021

The olive tree


The breakfast radio tells us that the French President is almost sure to lift the lockdown restrictions on May 5th. This won't be a moment too soon for the mother of the two tikes who can be heard having a 'moment' as we head off in the car to the strawberry farm. We catch the words ' Why did you think this was a good idea  ?' Sound travels from one end of the village to the other at this time of the morning. The radio also has a lengthy story about the British Prime Minister, sleaze and who did , or did not, pay for new curtains in Downing Street. You'd think this would be a relatively easy question to answer but has somehow taken on a complexity that bemuses the reporter in London and confuses me.


The man with anger management issues has bought himself one of those old, gnarled, olive trees from the nursery. The sort that comes in a large plastic pot and has to be delivered by a fork lift truck. We know this because he spends all day working in his garden digging a hole , muttering to himself and and inviting any passers by to come and look at it. On our mid-afternoon walk we meet him and are invited onto the patio to admire his handy work. ' Very impressive ' I say in what I hope is a tone of enthusiasm suitable for a newly planted olive tree.


By the chateau gates we meet the German billionaire.  He's wearing mustard orange dungarees and a maroon polo neck. This is a style combination that might work on a two year old but is a surprising choice for a grown man. He greets me, in English , with an unusual conversational gambit ' My physicality is now in top form'. I tell him how delighted I am to hear it.  


Apart from that the village remains in pandemic fueled silence.

A map of Europe showing population density , It seems there are places in France even less densely populated than our little patch of paradise. We, somehow, seem to be in a narrow band of development , shaded orange on the map, that runs from Toulouse up to Bordeaux. How quiet must the parts of France coloured yellow  be ? 


7 comments:

  1. Sophie is lookung demure, sitting amid the daisies.

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  2. Yes, that's a charming photo of Sophie amongst the daisies.
    Somehow the idea of lovingly planting an old, gnarled, olive tree doesn't fit with my image of the man with the anger management issues! Perhaps it's been suggested to him, as a way of managing his anger?
    Interesting to see the European population density map. Some years ago we went on holiday to explore the Spanish interior and were amazed at the lack of - well, anything! Just the occasional wayside café or bar and nothing for kilometre after kilometre. The map proves the point that things haven't changed much in the intervening years. Not long ago I read an article about a move to sell off entire abandoned villages, in the hope this would encourage some form of regeneration.

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  3. Let's hope gardening soothes the man with anger-management issues. Olive trees grow VERY slowly. We planted one about 15 years ago that had finally gotten too big for its small pot; when we sold the house last summer it was about two meters tall. Olive trees big enough to require forklifts are extremely expensive.
    The yellow areas are mostly mountains (Massif Central and Pyrénées), and yes, there's really nobody around. I'm more surprised by Spain, which looks empty except for the coasts and Madrid.

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  4. Sophie looks so at home surrounded by pretty daisies!
    I think our little patch of paradise is in one of those yellow areas, which explains why it's so quiet and why we love it for that.

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  5. I continue to chuckle at the German billionaire's opening sortie! Sophie does look chic among the small daisies.

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  6. Sophie looks especially cuddly this morning! The hall rug suits her coloring. Did the German billionaire mean that he had now had both jabs? Odd.

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    1. Either that or saying he was feeling just fine - in a Teutonic way.

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