In unrelated news, after three years I have finally started to put up a small barrier on the wall around the terrace, so that the dogs can't jump off (both Indra and Jara have already tried that, and whilst no permanent damage was done it's not really something you want happening on a regular basis as plummeting dogs tend to alarm the neighbours) and to act as an impediment to those of our guests who may have drunken somewhat too liberally, and I spent an afternoon with a weed-whacker out at Old Hélène's pinède.
Nor, come to that, have we yet started to play with my new toy, which arrived a few weeks ago, as I have had to reorganise the kitchen somewhat to accommodate it: I have moaned before, Need Moah Bench Space and this is true. So I actually went and made some moah bench space by the simple expedient of sticking up a few second-hand girders from the Firth of Forth bridge (a very nice man sold them to me, guaranteed hardly used and certainly no-one's going to notice a couple missing) to support a slab of oiled pine over some otherwise unused space.
All this so that the microwave can go live next to the 8l deep-fryer and I can stick the turbine à glace in the corner next to the fridge, push the big KitchenAid stand mixer a few inches off to the left and put the Kenwood next to that, and I still get an extra six inches on either side of my marble slab, which is admittedly a small gain but still not to be sniffed at.
|Old Hélène learns to drive|
And even though the asparagus season is well and truly over (I am speaking here of les asperges vertes, not those gross fat white things that look like some sort of vegetable sex toy) a middle-aged man's fancy still turns idly to thoughts of salads, and strawberries and cherries and melons (all of which are in season) and pleasant combinations of such things to be taken orally at lunchtime under the parasol, such as it might be garlicky buttered prawns with snow peas with fresh bread, maybe followed by a few slices of melon ... melon canari maybe, electric yellow with a squeeze of lemon juice and a bit of sugar ...
And it is true that even I have taken to dropping a few ice cubes into my rosé. It's too hot not to drink, but more than 2 litres of fruit juice (unfermented) per day is probably a bit too much to be entirely healthy. (Which goes some way to explaining why I also picked up a SodaStream machine the other day, because when you're guzzling a litre of tonic a day, with or without gin, it kind of changes the economics.)
Puicheric is a little village not too far north from us, across the nationale, and there is an excellent boulangerie there: they seem to be open every day of the week (although I guess that if you turned up at 15h on a Sunday you might be lucky to find anything other than a single crusty baguette) and the bread is very good, so although the road is exceedingly narrow and there's always the risk of coming across some multi-wheeled juggernaut whose hopped-up driver has foolishly trusted the GPS, that's where I tend to go every other day to buy a boule or something.
Also, I have learnt much today. By vigorous and diligent inspection of election posters (such as one might put up were there to be, say, les élections legislatives) I have discovered that there is an Animalist Party ("Your pet is disenfranchised, vote for it. Early and often"), also a White Vote Party ("Make your spoiled ballots count!"). I have also been informed that there is a perfectly good Old English word, culf, referring to belly-button fluff.
Mind how you go, now.