In fact, "boring" is a very appropriate word for cleaning stoves. I have my huge stainless steel English stove with five gas rings and three ovens (a grill, one natural convection and a large fan oven for patisserie) and it takes an entire Sunday after-groaning once in a while just to keep it pristine. Unmount shelving, spray, rinse and repeat. There's a lot to be said for watching paint dry.
I suppose I wasn't the only one to comment on this - I mean, there are actually public toilets inside - but at least I said something offensive in English: someone else was not quite so lucky for as I ambled off towards place Carnot I could hear the elder harridan screeching something rather like "Ok, mossieu doesn't like it? Too bad for the dainty mossieu! I bugger your mother and I piss on your shoes!". Sadly, I was out of earshot by the time she started on the really inventive invective: one should never miss out on a learning experience.
It's going to take me a while to get used to it being so light in the stairwell now: had rather got accustomed to going up and down something that looked like the gloomy stairs in some watch-tower in Mordor, lit only by sputtering sheep fat. And today he replaced the two rotting pillars that nominally held the verandah roof in place: I say "nominally" because in actual fact it was only supported by the metal framing of the sliding glass doors. So now we have light, and access to the terrace which does not require a hydraulic jack to get the doors open. A great advance, here at The Shamblings™.
But the other day I really wanted some garlic sausage, and I absolutely could not be arsed driving 10 km off to the Carrefour at Lézignan to get some, so I went back to the Vival. It being 15h, it was of course closed: it's kind of quantum, and only opens whenever the manager gets entangled. I think. But Margo told me that I needed to go back about 17:30, when there was a 90% chance of collapsing the wave-form, and this is what I did and lo! the door was open, and I stiffened my spine and walked in.
And I returned triumphantly home, holding my sausage proudly over my head as others might hold a banner, and then I cut it into thick slices and stuck it into one of my vasty cast-iron casseroles with the lamb shanks, dried beans, leeks, stock and garlic that had been simmering away, on and off, for most of the week: and then we had it for dinner.
Whatever, you may have noticed that August is over, marking the unofficial end of summer in these parts. Everyone has gone back to work, and every moaning small children trudge unwillingly to school. And in the mornings and evenings, when I take the hairy retards out, it is a pleasantly cool 17°, and I know that sometime soon I shall have to bring my jeans out of estivation.
But the days are still bright and warm, and although the barbecues have been tucked away we may well head off mid-week to la Perle Gruissanaise, to eat seafood and drink the excellent la Clape wine under the sun, watching as the yachts go past and the seagulls turn overhead.
Mind how you go, now.
*"The inhabitants of the quiet village of Moux are still in a state of shock: every week, for the past 70 years, nothing happened last week."