Sunday, July 3, 2016

Hellfire Burn Their Brains ...

Current dog population here at The Shamblings™
... yea, even until their eyeballs start to boil and explode from out their sockets, and wisps of smoke come up from their ears and from out of their noses, and may the smaller of the spawn of the Pit take up residence in their bowels and gnaw thereon from within and give them diarrhoea so that they may not get a good night's sleep.

You're right, I really do not like scummy scammy fraudsters. Especially when they screw around with fake debits to a dating site which means going off to the gendarmerie to porter plainte contre X and then send a swag of paperwork off to the bank in order to be  - in the fullness of time - reimbursed and then get your credit card cancelled and wait for a new one to arrive ... on the bright side, it wasn't me that had to explain away the charges to Meetic.

Guess it's a good thing I don't get to take psych evals these days. I was out looking at the evening clouds and there was a beautiful one, looked like a huge rat splayed out on the sky, only its head was breaking up into gobbets of flesh that were streaming out and away from it. Sod your Rorschach blots, that's what I say.

Anyways, one moaning this week our esteemed maire awoke with a brilliant idea, and that very same day he sent out his idiot nephew, duly equipped with two pots of paint: one green, the other white. He gaily climbed a ladder, shaved, groped and repainted the statue of St-Regis that stares benevolently down on our little square, and then ...

Difficult to say if he had misunderstood his instructions, or perhaps these were in fact unmistakably explicit: suffice it to say that he painted the stone basins of the horse-trough outside our front door a pure, blazing white. I suppose that I have probably seen a more hideously ugly effect, but I cannot remember exactly when. (Also, when we paint we tend to mask off the bits that aren't supposed to be painted: yes, we buy vast quantities of masking tape but at least the job is neatly done. This elementary precaution was apparently considered superfluous.)

Had it just been us we would have been stiff out of luck, and obliged to live with the blot on the landscape, but soon there gathered a veritable cackle of elderly ladies, muttering at his front door and pursuing him in the streets, crying out with one voice "Réné, Réné, we remember you from when you were in nappies and we ask - what the fuck have you been smoking?"

And so on Friday moaning the idiot nephew was back out in the square, under a blazing sun, busily employed with a sandblaster getting rid of the paint he'd so enthusiastically and inaccurately sloshed on two days earlier.

Of course the mairie wasn't going to pay a cent more than absolutely necessary so I suspect they'd sent him off to the local garden centre to get a couple of sacks of sand for a child's sand-pit, and when the tub of the sandblaster was empty he'd just scoop up a couple of shovels-full from the ground and stick it back in, stirring it well to mix in the gravel and pigeon-shit. By the time he'd done the verandah was full of dust and place St-Régis looked a bit like Paris-plage (only on a somewhat smaller scale), but at least I don't have to put sunglasses on just to check the mail.

We cracked - well, I cracked, if you insist on the truth - and went off to the SPA at Carcassonne on Thursday, and we now have two dogs again, if only for a short while. She's a russet hound, three years old (according to the SPA, but I have my doubts about that) and very sweet-tempered, and now named Jara after one of the multitudinous Hindu pantheon - goddess of domesticity and old age and, incidentally, a corpse-eater after hours.

I say "for a short while" because in about six weeks ie first week of August we are scheduled to take delivery of a six-week-old puppy who is currently small and black with a few white patches and apparently the most adorable little floppy ears that ever there were. I am so looking forward to taking them all out for their walk: Indra trotting brightly alongside, Jara darting off into the undergrowth given half a chance, and as-yet unnamed puppy being towed along on a skateboard.

Margo has been working on Angela for some time, and so when she went off to check out the puppies she took Angela, who dragged Martin along - with a puppy in his arms he found it impossible to say "No!", so they too are getting a small black puppy. Who will, no doubt, be rapidly taught her place by their four Maine Coons.

In late-breaking news, we may actually have a paying guest at the beginning of July. Not sure if we're ready for that. The village historian came past this moaning, to say that he'd heard that we could do chambre d'hote, and he had an archaeologist coming down for two weeks doing some work on the chateau/chapel (no-one seems quite sure entirely which it is) up in the Alaric, and could we put him up?

And as it happens that we have no friends descending upon us at that time (when you live in the south of France, do not have a swimming pool: you may discover friends you've never heard of, or people that you do actually know vaguely but, with the passing of years or the remembrance of long-gone school reunions wish you did not. Just saying.) when the guy called back I gave him the not-exactly eye-watering prices and we shall see. This is so exciting! An actual guest! (Note to self - put clean sheets on bed. Also, remove obnoxiously obvious dog hair.)

More exciting things: I guess that even over there in Upside-Down Land, where people walk on their heads (which sounds like something from Pliny back when he was doing some of the hard stuff), you'll have heard of Brexit. Around these parts there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth, in part 'cos there's the pension gone south, but mostly because all those to whom I have spoken are united in considering N. Farage (should be pronounced to rhyme, apparently, with garage) to be the most odious little turd in existence.

We made it off to the Fete de la Cave Coopérative, remembering this time to take our own cutlery and crockery, and a large bag into which to put it, along with all the wine glasses we snaffled before leaving. Which we must have done at some point in the evening, I suppose. Before, I think, the mobile disco started doing its thing.

It's not something I'd recommend you come along to unless you're attracted by the ambiance and the alcohol and the company and all that sort of thing, for the food is definitely somewhere south of mediocre. Copious certainly, but that's about all you can say. But no-one minds, the threatened thunderstorms held off, and we were sober enough to walk home under our own steam, no need for the wheelbarrows for which we had farsightedly made provision.

NOT beer.
And now we still have to face the July 13 celebrations, where the wine will flow even more liberally and the food shall be of a different order, and also there will be sparkly things that go BANG! to round off the evening, and then a few days later we shall head off north to Ian and Marie's country seat in Burgundy with Rick and Mary and Angela and Martin and two dogs, for a week amidst the turnip fields dedicated to lassitude (and eating, and drinking).

Whatever, I better go pack my bag: I is supposed to be flying out from Toulouse to bloody Bristol tomorrow moaning, and I so do not wish to have to pack and run through a checklist as the sun is coming up in glory.

(Note: according the WashPo's crack researchers, a major beneficiary of Tiny-fingered Trump's charitable largesse is a foundation for indigent real estate brokers. Is that even a thing? I mean, WTF?)

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