|Klingon bird of prey uncloaking over the Alps|
Also, it has absolutely nothing to do with what we rather euphemistically call "working girls", who are admittedly quite busy down on the nationale these days. You'd be surprised at the number of Audis pulled up there. Or maybe not.
"Oh," said the mechanic on hearing the various noises, "that's not right. Something is deboulonné. Leave it with me, squire ..." And so he gave me a little Peugeot 205, along with a grim warning not to try to lock the doors ("if you do, you'll never get back in and there's nothing worth nicking in there anyway") and I happily drove back home.
And the piece of steel plate, bolted on under the steering wheel as an afterthought to hold the ignition which would otherwise have fallen on the floor, was a nice touch.
And you try telling the yoof of today about the Plasticine Era, before they invented power steering.
Of course, when I went back to Frontenex to reclaim it on Friday night, I got stuck behind a frikkin' Aixam. You will not have come across these, for they are peculiarly French, and you are doubtless better people for it. I say this because if there is one thing guaranteed to send you directly to Hell, no passing Go, no $200, it is being behind one of those things.
I mean, what are they actually doing there? Where are they going at this huge speed? Have they run out of senior-citizen nappies and have to head off to the only supermarket in a 50km radius that stocks the things, or are they just blissfully oblivious of the pain they are causing to actual human beings? For all I know, they think they're just walking downstairs in their slippers to pick up the morning paper.
I can see that my attempts to be a Happy Zen Person are not entirely successful. I will work on this, and try to be a better person. Some time, real soon. Right now, I have some adorable fluffy kittens I need to stuff in a sack.
Whatever, it seems we're going to have at least three days of summer. Starting today, and counting down. I really had hoped for something a little better, but quite frankly after what seems like a solid month's worth of rain (I know, I know, I'm exaggerating a bit) I'll take whatever I can get. And with luck there'll be at least one fine weekend in July for the traditional barbecue - provided, of course, that I can get down to the garden some time soon with a weedeater.
And now it's Sunday, must be at least 32° and the sun is beating down: probably not, despite the old adage, the best time for going and making hay but I thought I'd better get onto it anyway. So I have just spent three hours down there and am taking an extremely well-earned break to get some feeling back into my arms before heading back. I am so looking forward to a shower.
|NOT a crown of thorns, pigeon defence|
On the other hand, I note, upon closer inspection, that I have apparently been attacked by Genghiz Ant and all his angry buzzy followers, and judging from the fruit content a swallow has crapped on my head. That shower is going to be so appreciated. At least the paddock's starting to look a little less like something out of a van Gogh and a bit more like somewhere you might want to sit and eat a nice bit of grilled meat. Especially now that there's not a dog wandering around to scarf it if it looks neglected.
So now we also know where Jeremy's not going: Lyon. The compagnons apparently don't like them being too close to family, suppose it makes escape look like an attractive option. So it'll be Nîmes or Perpignan, both of which - no matter where we end up - will be suitably far away. One down, no more to go. Definitely the right time to sell the house.
Then a week later it had been watered - not something anyone around here is likely to do - and someone had stuck a toothpick into the soil and carefully tied the stem up.
And then this morning, once I'd headed off and got a baguette and a pain au chocolat aux amandes (you really owe it to yourselves to have one of those before you die, you know: they are just so good especially if you're looking for a sugar fix in the morning) and wandered out to have a coffee and wake up a bit before doing manly gardening things (did Hemingway ever write about that, I wonder?) I found the damn thing had been repotted.
OK, I've moaned and bitched and now my prayers have been answered: our trans-atlantic cousins seem to have got over their fixation with silly ball games (incidentally, the technical documentation for the Telit GE-863 modem has a section enticingly entitled "Balls Array", don't get your hopes up though as it's a BGA package and has nothing to do with what you were doubtless thinking) and have started pushing out good summer television again. So "True Blood" has started up again, and now "Burn Notice".
Just need a bit more trivia-with-violence, and I will be a Happy Person. Who knows, maybe I'll even smile at an Aixam.
And of course, it's being June, there are now certain things available at the market, many of which are affordable and, in most cases, legal. Things like nectarines (which, for some reason, the French insist on calling brugnons) and pêches blanches which are absolutely delicious and also go well in a tart, cherries (OK, those are still hideously expensive) and strawberries and, still, asparagus. And great bunches of mint, and parsley, and basil, and coriander if your tastes happen to run that way.
Even the tomatoes are staring to have a bit of taste, which is always pleasant (especially with a bit of basil and goat's cheese, or just lotsa mint), there are lots of baby carrots and the courgettes are no longer agricultural-society monstrosities. And thanks to the miracles of modern agriculture, there are still rougette available.
But the aubergines are not yet quite what they should be, which is sad because I'm rather looking forward to a decent ratatouille.
Can't be arsed with dessert, mind you. Ice cream is always good.
In any case, s'been a good day. My arms are still limp appendages, I am pink and bumpy all over and the paddock is still only half-done, but what the hell. I don't seem to have broken the debrousailleuse (a first, for me), summer's here, and I for one rather plan on taking advantage of it.