Friday, August 27, 2021

Pride and joy.

High summer. The mornings start of cool but the heat soon builds. Sophie patiently checks the garden for C-A-T-S while her human companion makes sure the irrigation system is working. We chat to 'The Font' who has refused to pay £38.50 for continental breakfast in the hotel ( + 20% VAT) and has opted to go to a Pret a Manger where coffee and porridge came to £6. 'The Font' thinks the hotel pricing is outrageous. Angus thinks ' Welcome to London'. 

The Old Farmer is out and about at first light. He cut his lawn twice yesterday and twice the day before. It's now reduced to buzz cut length - which may explain why it's rapidly turning brown in the sun. This morning he's resplendent in a white tee shirt, opened toed sandals and blue track suit trousers held up by a pair of clip on braces. He shouts across the road ' Would you like to see the engine in the Mercedes ? ' We spend a full ten minutes having the workings of this three and a half litre marvel explained to us. Angus makes , what he hopes, are suitably impressed noises. Sophie settles down for a doze. The venerable Mercedes is my neighbours pride and joy. We agree that they ' don't make them like this anymore'.

Having been regaled with a description of the technical workings of a thirty year old Mercedes engine, Sophie is ready for a lengthy drink from the zinc bath by the village pond.

So starts a new day in a small village in deepest, deepest France profonde.

 The French love dogs :


  1. We recall being in New York when the United Nations were meeting there, during Trump's presidency, and being in a hotel very close to Central Park, with the place bristling with police (I took a photo from the front of the hotel and you can see about 15 police cars, both parked and in the traffic) and perhaps 4 non-police vehicles... and the price of breakfast was similar. We took ourselves to a Pretty a Manger where I paid about that for a fruit salad, muesli and a coffee.

  2. Another fascinating map. What a contrast between France and its alpine neighbour.
    And can the 'Font' help explain why Swedes are apparently so unenthusiastic about canine companionship?

  3. Oh Angus, I'm not sure I can agree about the French loving dogs. Round here (Lot-et-Garonne farmland) every house has at least one dog as a guard dog, far from pets they are wretchedly kept on short chains alongside an outside kennel or just run backwards and forwards along a fence - no walks, no ear rubs, shouted at when they do their job (barking at strangers). Our immediate neighbour has six hunt dogs caged and only let out when the hunt season starts. Doesn't feel much like love to us!

  4. In Greece the dogs just roam the streets and countryside - incapable of being enumerated on a household census.

  5. We briefly had Pret a Manger in Tokyo, but they quickly gave up and departed. I am not sure why they were not successful, as packaged sandwiches, etc. are very popular here. My guess is that, if they had persevered, they would have succeeded. Japan is a long-term market, but some companies have too short a time-frame. Ebay, Sephora and others came and went. Not to mention Pizza Express, which was the greatest place to go when our kids were small, but is no longer here. (Whenever we are in the UK, they have to go and order the doughballs.) I loved the dog map. I was just explaining to Charlie this afternoon that, even though he could not come with us to the airport in Tokyo to see our son off, if we move to France, things will be different. (Charlie shares Bob's fondness for automatic doors.) We are still thinking of relocating to France for a year or two, and recently discovered that AirFrance is probably the only airline that will allow us to bring Charlie in the cabin for an international flight. The birds are still a challenging "no go," but AirFrance's attitude is good!

  6. Interesting map. I've read that France has a high number of dog owners, and also that they have the highest number of abandonments at holiday time. Every year a large percentage of dogs are just thrown out when their owners go away on holiday - they won't pay for kennels, and make no provision for them to be cared for. Like Suej - I wouldn't agree that they are a dog loving nation.
    Sophie is much loved and treated as every dog should be, but her owners aren't French!

    1. Hari OM
      Yes, you and Suej picked up exactly what struck me looking at the map. Numbers of dogs does not = Love of dogs. I noted Ireland looking higher than the UK... but what we know is that a significant number of puppy farms and puppy smuggling emanates from there! Yxx

  7. Very interesting comments about the dog map. Having moved from state to state within the United States, we have seen how differently dogs are treated (in general). I admired the clean, good looking engine. Perhaps that should inspire me to clear the leaves from the engine compartment of my five year old Subaru Outback.