Which means that every time she goes shopping, Philippe knows that he has to get the back-hoe digger into the garden behind the house and prepare at least ten three-cubic-metre holes, to plant the things. Could explain why, when we met, he rolled his eyes heavenward in an admittedly theatrical manner whilst she waxed lyrical over the virtues of this, that or the other giant celery plant.
Whatever, after a week of chilly, cloudy, wet weather the rain has finally stopped and the sky is clear brilliant blue again. Not that this means it's any warmer, there's the eternal wind from the west which is, like I said, very lazy - goes right through you, rather than around you. Which means donning scarf, gloves and coat for the morning Evacuation Exercise, and also reminds me that I have not yet found, amongst all the boxes that haven't yet been unpacked, my big heavy overcoat.
Flabbergasted investigators say that a previously unknown, very exciting Brazilian pussy was right under their noses but they have only just realised it.
Sometimes, the fruit of our loins is a puzzlement. Jeremy is a wonderful young man, but sometimes he seems to be as blonde as cousin Elise. Nothing to do with intelligence, I think Elise has an IQ the size of the GNP of Peru, but things happen ... and so it is with J, what with his
It's not as though he did anything wrong there, the scooter was in a locked garage and the lock was forced and surprisingly enough, shortly afterwards the scooter was gone - but you have to wonder, how exactly does he manage to attract this attention?
Back in the day, the gendarmerie would have been right in the centre of town, somewhere between la Poste and the mairie, but in these enlightened times they like to stick them out in the wops, I suppose on the grounds that if the yoof feel they have to go out to burn and pillage and otherwise annoy the officers of the law, at least they won't be disturbing decent law-abiding citizens while they're at it. For in Lézignan, the caserne is located about 5km from the centre, in the middle of the tundra and surrounded by empty fields as far as the eye can see, its closest neighbour being an empty building site which proudly proclaims itself to be the location of the new lycée. Once the state and the conseil régional cough up the necessary cash to put up anything more than the sign, anyway.
As Margo remarked, it's really rather good planning - with the plods next to the college they won't have far to go to look for the criminals. In one building, or the other, take your pick.
Whatever, we eventually found the place, buzzed at the gate and got admitted and cooled our heels for a bit in the waiting room whilst the cop in charge (very nicely kitted out, by the way - expensively shiny-looking synthetic trousers bloused into glossy black boots, a couple of handguns and more radios than you could shake a stick at) looked after a bad case of colic, and then got asked to explain our business.
Which we did, as best we could (not always easy, trying to re-explain Jeremy second-hand) and he sniggered politely and although he doubtless had better things to do kindly explained: "Ne vous inquiètez pas, le temps que ça arrive de la Savoie ce sera en deux mois, ça sera classé et on va pas vous emmerder ...". I guess that's reassuring.
Also, Saturday being rainy and thus propitious for such things, I headed back to the market at Carcassonne, for we were in dire need of vegetables and great bloody hunks of meat. (Also wine, but we picked up another 5000l at CDD that evening, just to fill the emergency tank, so that's alright then.) And I must be growing feeble in my dotage, for I stopped at a stall manned by a tall shaggy pony-tailed man, and bought some certified biological organic bread.
In my defense I would just like to point out that even though he claimed to grind his own flour for the pain aux quatre ceréales it was not, as is so often the case, lumpen and sufficiently dense to sink unwary ducks, and the raisin bread, sweetened with molasses, was excellent, and contained no nuts. (For some strange reason, raisin bread in France almost always has walnuts in it. I've never quite worked out why this should be so, but take it from me. So this was a pleasant surprise.)
His accent was sufficiently execrable that I spotted him immediately as an American: we didn't really have time to chat, because the meat was calling out to me, but I kind of picture him as an aging hippy who fled California fifteen years back to live in a yurt down south, communing with nature and his goats, and knitting his own yoghurt before the bottom dropped out of the fermented dairy products trade and he was obliged to take up bread-making in order to make ends meet. That's my theory, anyway.
I swear it followed us all through the palais des rois de Majorque (a particularly short-lived dynasty, by the way, only made it up to king n° 4 before dying out) and it must have thought we were friends because it followed us into the centre of town and waited patiently outside the restaurant to play some more when we came out, to go look around the Belle Epoque bits of town.
I'll go into that at a later date: right now I have some confit de canard to fish out of its own fat and stick in the freezer for a rainy day. Enjoy your spring, won't you?