|La belle faucheuse|
As you can probably tell, up until recently, when her friend Gilles turned up with a faux (that's a scythe, not a false) her lawn was in even worse shape than ours. And while I admit that there are no good health & safety reasons to cover up when bringing in the hay, it really does take a Californian to do it in gumboots, heavy gloves and a bikini.
For some reason, over here it is considered more hygienic (or something) that they be threadbare swatches of fabric that I personally wouldn't use to scratch floors with, and almost, but not quite, big enough to cover up one's privates. There's certainly no way you could dry your back with one (even if one were long enough, it'd be more like scraping barnacles off a hull).
It's kind of odd because apart from the dour Scots, the stern Swiss and those Lutheran Nordic types there's not really any great tradition of self-mortification: maybe it's to remind people of Lent. Or, more probably, maybe no-one actually uses the things, preferring to air-dry or perhaps just skip the whole shower business.
|Cook, and bottle-washer|
For one thing, I'm not going to eat anything somewhere that I know my son is in the kitchen looking disapprovingly at our choice and possibly making sure that our salad contains the biggest, juiciest slugs he can find, and for another, he'll soon be leaving.
Because he has been accepted by the compagnons, some time this month he should find out where he's going to be spending the next year as an apprentice, and then any time from July on he will become Someone Else's Problem. Which more or less clears the decks for us to get on with our lives, after all these years.
If he does go ahead with that, he'll probably wind up making more money that enyone else in the family. Little bugger.
And I've managed to find suitable flights between Geneva and Edinborough, which means I'm doomed to head over to Glasgow for Mal's capping. (She only got 2,1 instead of the 1, whatever she'd been hoping for, but given that she paid her own way through university with no help at all from us, and has emerged debt-free, and with an honours degree, I think that's actually a rather creditable result.)
|Love. So sweet. Wanna fwow up.|
So I've reserved a place on their sofa, which she claims to be comfy, if small: just so long as there are no bed-bugs I'll be happy enough. I doubt I'll get away with wearing my painting shorts for the posh bits, so I will doubtless have to take some hand luggage: a shirt and tie, a few cleanish socks and a toilet bag ought to suffice.
In other news, Stéphane and Sébastien turned up on the doorstep on Monday with a friend of theirs: an estate valuer. We gave them all the full guided tour, and some time in the near future we will find out what she thinks. (Coincidence department: she spent a year in New Zealand, which may explain how she spotted us straight away for what we are: the jade, and the bare feet, were apparently dead giveaways.)
Reminds me that Mad Karen from Mumblefuck is going to have to change her sobriquet soon: not because she's getting any saner, just that her mother (yeah, that's the one that thinks I'm god's gift to just about anyone female and of Italian origin) wants to stump up some cash so that she (Karen) can put an offer on some enormous place in Seyssel.
(I am not, incidentally, going to go into exactly why it is that Sylvia is now in NY rather than Los Angeles, which is further away from Yurrup, and consequently safer. Suffice it to say that it involves sister Liz, new baby, and a healthy dose of neuroticism which would keep Woody Allen in scripts for the foreseeable future.)
|Heroic cloud sculpture of Dear Leader, Kim Jong-Il|
And then with Bryan having opened up this language school at Aix, it's getting pretty hard to find someone with whom to have a drink post-market on a Saturday. I mean it's all very well working and actually having clients who want lessons in the weekend, but it's kind of selfish when you consider all the times I've forced myself to loiter around under the sun with a glass.
Not that Beckham's much better, she's switched into summer mode which apparently means crawling from bed around 14:00 after a difficult Friday night's drinking in whichever bar will still accept her, and then going shopping for a few grocery essentials (like Chateau Carton white) with the rest of the flatmates.
|Gratuitous cat cheescake photo|
And having come across the recipe earlier in the week here I was inspired or credulous enough to actually buy rhubarb at the market - not something I've ever done before - with a view to trying it out. (Also - finally - managed to find some decent mint, which you'd think would be easy enough but let me tell you it's not. Yes, parsley and tarragon and basil and dill and chives are all over the place, but a lot of the mint is of the decorative sort that looks pretty and smells OKish but tastes like crap, so if your favourite Arab stall-holder is out of North African mint you are pretty much out of luck.)