Sunday, July 16, 2017

Emma And The Cicada That Never Was ...

As Johann put it, "When Emma takes me on a run, if she is off the leash she can eat any shit she finds, but if she is on the leash she knows that she should not do this, and when we were running back I noticed that she had her head down, and her mouth was tightly closed, and she would not look up at me. So I stopped, and I said 'Emma, is there something you want to tell me?' And she looked at me with her big brown eyes, and she said nothing but shook her head, and there was a huge cicada wing sticking out of her mouth which was still firmly shut."

"So I asked her again, and she was going to shake her head but then the cicada started to chirp which worried her very much, because she did not know from where the noise was coming, and then as she looked at me the cicada went full-on Wagner and started doing 'The Ride of the Valkyries' and Emma was very upset, and ran around in circles ten times and then sat down heavily, and I think that then she bit the head off the cicada, because it stopped making a noise. And then she looked up at me, and grinned and opened her mouth and said 'See? You ain't seen nothing yet. Nothing in there, never was. OK?' And we ran back home, and she grinned all the time."

So now you know.

In other news, two burly, almost offensively cheerful young men turned up in a lorry this moaning and manhandled the new fridge I'd ordered through the gate and into the living-room. Luckily I was expecting it, although I'd not thought they'd be quite so early - and consequently had to rush back halfway through the morning walkies, following a phone call. So the large fridge in the kitchen has been replaced by an even larger fridge, which is all shiny! sparkly! and has no fingerprints on it, so we're not allowed to touch it for a couple of months, and the old fridge is sitting in the living room waiting for Peter to come and carry it off to his garage for whatever foul porpoises he may have in mind.

We did not actually need a new fridge, for the old one still did its job of keeping stuff cold(ish), but you know how it is: summer sales come around, you idly say to yourself something like "Hey! After the ice-cream maker, why not a new fridge with a freezer compartment that actually holds more than a single Mars Bar and doesn't need defrosting every half-hour?" and all of a sudden nothing will do but you must have a new fridge.

And in my case this meant going through all the big supermarkets around Carcassonne only to find that they were completely innocent of anything resembling a 25%-off fridge, until in a fit of stubborn spite I went into ElectroDepot and ordered the biggest one I could find that would actually fit into my kitchen, 400€ delivered and there you have it.

Sometimes you have to wonder. As you are probably aware, I have an accountant (that I see maybe once a year) and every month I get an e-mail asking me to send off incomings and outgoings for the month, so that he can send off the VAT declaration (and, incidentally, so that I may - albeit grudgingly - pay it). They have obviously embraced whole-heartedly the new digital world, for I just got one such e-mail apparently sent to all their clients, cc'ing everyone rather than doing a bcc. So now I know, for instance, that the photo shop at Carrefour is a client, as is the chateau de Belle-Ile, another domaine at Montbrun, a few garages and a cardiologist. I've not bothered going through the 420 others on the list.

Fair's fair, they all know I'm a client too ... what could possibly go wrong? Normally, that's the sort of unthinking incompetence you associate with the government, or someone like AT&T. I allowed myself the small pleasure of adding a snarky footnote to my reply, pointing out that it was considered best practice not to do this: should it happen again I might well hit "reply to all" and cc the CNIL for good measure.

Maybe I really should get around to setting up a junk mail account for these sort of dealings, sooner rather than later. OK, the horse has already bolted, but perhaps I can stop the donkeys from escaping ...

Whatevers, we are definitely in summer now and the dress uniform about these parts is shorts, T-shirt, sandals, sunglasses and (in my case) hat: the barbecues have all come out of hibernation and we (and various friends who come round) are always delighted to find that the ground-floor living-room is the coolest place in the house.

But I am getting ahead of myself, and possibly digressing. A few days back there was a bimmeling at the door, and there was Réné. (Another Réné. Not our Dear Leader, nor the putative café owner from 'Allo 'Allo, but a short shy stubby guy who used to be a helicopter mechanic for the Army.) He had come - shyly, as is his wont - to hand-deliver an invitation to a blues evening with The Smashing Burritos, at some place we'd never heard of just out of Fabrézan.

And after watching the fireworks with Bob! and Cassia on the 13th (don't ask) and drinking chez Réné (the other Réné, do tell me if this is getting complicated) on the 14th and discovering that Julian and Batu had managed to hock off all their wine and might even manage to turn a profit, however small, from it, we thought we might as well head along and see what was on offer.

Luckily, food was not a major concern because although I actually ordered a large barquette of chips fairly early in the evening they never managed to make it to our table (mind you, I never actually paid for it either, so I feel no angst): I do know that food was in fact available (for a given value of that word) for I did see some lucky punters being served up what looked like a semi-decent hamburger (and others, less fortunate, being served a piece of fish that reminded me just why I'm a carnivore) but all in all, the words "piss-up", and "brewery" do come to mind. Hell, they even ran out of rosé after an hour or so: not easy to do around here. Maybe they'd not expected such a commercial success: godnose it's hard enough to plan for, when you never know just how many are going to turn up.

Anyways, Réné turns out to be one of nature's drummers, stolidly sitting there behind the batterie banging away, sunglasses masking most of his face, whilst the others ponced about with their guitars.

Actually, it was very good. The place itself is great, and completely unsuspected from the road (possibly, also, only semi-legal because of alcohol being served without a licence, don't you know; but what the hell, it's a private club and the membership fee is included in the price of your first pichet of wine) and the music was excellent. Shan't hesitate to go back.

And then today I cremated meats (including a saucisse de vigneron, which does not actually contain more than 0.5% wine-maker) on the barbecue and Rick and Mary duly turned up to help us get rid of the stuff along with the first trial batch of figgy ice-cream (note to self: swap in honey for half the sugar when reducing the figs, just to make it even more decadent than it needs to be) and after we'd drunk moderately we went round to their place for coffee, and a swim in the little pool they have that's hidden in the jungle out back.

Hope it didn't snow for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment