Saturday, June 18, 2011

Who Ate My Brain-Freeze ...

Once again, it's come to that time of year when all I can do is fume in hopeless despair as our American cousins down their teleprompters - or scripts, or whatever - and stubbornly refuse to produce any TV series for a month or two while they go off and enjoy themselves.

Oh sure, they leave a stock of reality shows in the freezer for us, many of them apparently involving improbably sexy housewives and hopefully lingerie, but that's too mind-numbing even for me, and in any case no sponsors have yet come forth to pay for ongoing research in the matter, so what to do?

It would have taken only a bit of foresight to realise that the stock of "Bones" and "The Mentalist" were running low, and order in a fresh supply of "Burn Notice" or "Warehouse 13" to tide us over the summer, but did they bother to think of that? Bloody rat's arse they did.

At this rate, we'll have to start talking to one another after dinner, for lack of anything better to do.

Or worse, bored couples, driven to extremes in the absence of distraction, might have to resort to sex to fill the gaping hole, as it were, and no good can ever come of that. Consider the spike in the incidence of STDs, not to mention the inevitable bumper baby crop come spring. Will no-one think of the children?

Not to mention the sheer magnitude of the public immorality, for of all those desperately shagging couples whose only excuse for this unwonted (and unsightly) exercise is that they're hooked on "Hawaii 5-0" many, although perhaps married, will turn out not to be married to one another. Statistics, or more properly human nature, more or less guarantees this. The TV studio executives really should reflect on their responsibilities here.

Well, it's certainly not going to be winning any awards for "Best-Dressed Lawn 2011" or something like that, but at least the paddock has been bludgeoned into submission.

It took some time, not counting the couple of hours I spent mowing Stacey's lawn so that she'd consent to part with the mower (for it is her friend), and I had to remove a rotting rabbit from the middle (bit of a shame really, it was nearly ripe and the head was just barely hanging on by the windpipe and it kept spinning whimsically, grinning and trying to catch my eye as I carted it off at the far end of a long-handled shovel), but it's more or less done.

Another couple of sessions, just to get it into shape, and we'll be good to go for a barbecue one of these days. Once Margo has finished having fun with the chainsaw.

Because there's no way I'm having her around me with that thing while I'm cooking. I could accidentally stand still a bit too long, and come to resemble a tree. And in any case many of our guests are friends, or a close approximation, and deserve at the least the chance to go home with all limbs intact, and still attached in their original positions.

Sumer is icumen, as we may tell from the fact that we have only two more weeks of (relative) tranquility before Jeremy returns to the roost. Of course he doesn't see it like that: what he sees is the enormous injustice whereby most of his friends finish at the end of the week whilst he, poor thing, still has another fortnight to go with his stage, at a restaurant gastronomique at Novalaise. Which is at least a bit closer to home than was Rochegude.

Margo got one of those nagging feelings on Monday that she'd forgotten something, and after a bit of rummaging around in her memory (and old e-mails) finally worked out what is was. We have guests turning up on Friday - our bridesmaid Raewyn and her brand-new husband, stopping over on their way down to the Dordogne. A good thing she remembered in time, if not they'd have to take us out for dinner.

I shall still have to think of something for dinner - suppose I'd better go check up Meteo France's pleasant fantasies about the weather for the weekend - not to mention how to occupy them on Saturday morning. I could always drag them around the market, I guess.

Well, I must have dreamt about a barbecue at some point, because it started pissing down and Thursday and hasn't really let up since. And I'm talking about real rain here, with hail and everything. Last night it wasn't so bad - we were snugly inside, around the table, eating and drinking to excess with Raewyn and Steve - but today it was pretty vile.

Off to ChambĂ©ry as usual and I got totally soaked going around the market - with my usual inexplicable lack  of forethought I left the car without bothering to dig the umbrella out from its lurking-place. Thinking to myself that it's really too much bother trying to carry an umbrella when you're going from stall to stall, and anyway I end up with two shopping baskets at the end and exactly where am I going to stick the brolly handle then?

Fair enough, but it really didn't help as I looked gloomily out from under the awnings of the fruit man at the enormous drops pelting down onto the pavement, getting the sinking feeling that the cold shower I've been putting off for years had suddenly caught up with me. (Mind you, when it's raining that hard an umbrella is bugger-all good anyway. The rain just bounces up off the tarmac: you still get soaked, but from bottom-up. Sad but true.)

At least things got better after that - they could hardly have gotten worse. Having dragged my sad sodden arse back to the car and deposited the loot it started to clear up, which could mean only one thing - drinkies!

So Bryan and I started seriously discussing the respective merits of various whites and their differing nutritive qualities, then Rebecca sidled in alongside us and one thing lead to another, as it will, and we wound up on the balcony of her 7th-floor apartment drinking Chateau Carton, eating bread and cheese, and discussing whether or not a trebuchet de table would have the necessary pull to lob a molotov cocktail onto the roof of the CAF building across the road.

Fortunately - or perhaps not - we ran out of wine before we could get around to empirical verification (just saying "Can too!" doesn't count) so we'll have to put that one off for another day. Preferably when we have some cows handy.

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