Archive for October, 2018

Le Repast Pour Les Ages.

October 29, 2018

Lunch for the old people of this Commune. And I have to say that a couple of them looked a bit more battered around the edges than I do. This was a small comfort. A touch of schadenfreude, I fear. You do this sort of thing when you get to my age.

But the really remarkable thing is that in what is a small Commune there are so many of us. It must be something to do with the fresh and clean Breton air, and or the vast quantities of cow shit that is used as fertiliser, rather than that other stuff that is killing everyone.
They do know how to farm around here.

I sat next to a charming, old Breton widower, who was more than delighted to practice his excellent English on me. This happens all of the time these days, so not much chance to practice my appalling French, yet again.

The lunch was excellent, albeit long and protracted, as ever, and coupled with large quantities of alcohol.
And interspersed with Breton Dancing. There’s life in the old dogs yet. Breton Dancing ain’t funny if you are feeling tired and emotional. It’s jolly hard graft. They say that it was invented to stamp down your latest new dirt floor. Hence the Cheese and Wine Parties.

This was followed by bursts of song from all and sundry, although not by me personally because I can’t sing. But then nor could a few who did. Mostly Breton Folk Songs. They had to wrest the microphone from one delightful old boy who was on Song Four.
Thankfully, none of The Brits were tempted to sing, “There’s an Old Mill by The Stream, Nellie Dean.” I would have felt compelled to join in if they had, and was half dreading it and half hoping for it. Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner. You haven’t lived if you’ve never heard a Cockney sing that. It’s a cross between a wail and a moan, if you get it right.

Sadly, no one sang La Marsellaise. I actually know that one, well, nearly.

The Mayor was there and charming to everyone. A jolly good time was had by all. Britons and Bretons alike.
I will almost certainly go next year. If I am still breathing.

Many thanks to the young people who put in so much effort in serving the near 200 people who were there.

And thanks to John for his rendition of “If I was a Rich Man.” He deserves a mention.

Over 70 Years Old.

October 24, 2018

And it’s that time again.  The Commune Dinner for us old folks.  How kind they are.

I am always invited but I never go.  I think I will, and then I don’t.  I don’t really know why.  Perhaps something to do with being a prat.  I am not good with people.  The French language no longer bothers me all that much.  I get by these days.  Mayhap it’s the Expats that scare me witless.  They will all be there, gossiping, as ever.

But this year I am not getting away with welshing out.  The husband of my French neighbour is 70 this year, and he’s going, and he’s taking me with him, whether I like it or not.  He will arrive on my door step and I will get in the car.  Okay.  Although he probably won’t be driving.  And his wife will undoubtedly pick him up to take him home before he gets rat arsed.  She isn’t 70 yet, so she isn’t invited, but she knows him and his penchants.  Such a thoroughly nice man he is, drunk or sober.  But she’s alright as well.

Shit, what am I going to wear that goes with The Pearls?  The only half decent jewellery I own these days, and I’m not going naked, as it were.  Must find the old Zircon Ring.  It isn’t Diamonds, but it looks as though It might be.  I sold The Diamond many years ago, although I sometimes wish I hadn’t.  It was a beautiful thing.

Does anyone think that a three string necklace of Pearls might be a bit too much for Rural Brittany at an Old Folks Dinner?  And should I care anyway?

I’ll let you all know what happens, if I remember.  It is bound to be hilarious.

Two For The Price Of One.

October 21, 2018

Guess who got a Speeding Fine in the post this morning?  Yep, Me.  But I wasn’t even there, Your Honour, or whatever they call The Judge here.

It took me two hours to work out what it even was.  I thought they horrible Septic Tank persons were having another go at me since they failed so miserably the last time, after Charlotte fell in the shit tank, and I nearly died laughing.  But only after Charlotte got hoiked out, I hasten to add.

It wasn’t me, okay.  But the car is registered in my name, so to cut the crap, pay up, or else.  They did send me a Form to say it wasn’t me, but then what?  If I even knew how to fill it in.  It is cheaper to just give in.  As my son pointed out to me.  And he is the one who will pay.

And as it happens I could quite likely have been driving much more fast as I still have no real conception of Speed Limits in France.  What Speed Limits?  And I am still getting used to a car that actually goes.  Let alone The Breaks.  I still haven’t cracked The Breaks.

My Silver Lining kicked in, as ever.  Dom was driving somedebody to the nearest Airport, so they paid for the misdemeanour, and Dom just sat in a car for several hours for nothing.  Good one.  Never under estimate Silver Linings. This is the stuff of  never being really pissed off about anything.

And then to No Name Cat.  I got up at o’crack sparrow cheep to get her into the box before she bogged off for the day, and  to get her to The Vet.  He’s Hot, oh my.  But that is by the by.   My son rolled his eyes in horror when I said that.  But Stitches removed.  And she won’t get up the duff again in a hurry.  Poor little soul.  But she still trusts us.  Actually, there is nothing even remotely remarkable about her.  But I doubt that she was ever part of this Stray Explosion round here.  She is too domesticated, so perhaps she was just dumped by someone who couldn’t cope with the cost of getting her seen to.  I can understand that.  The price wasn’t funny.  But swings and roundabouts.  You gain some and you lose some.  You just need to be able to spot what is worth what it is.

She isn’t my reincarnation of my Singapore  Cat, much as I would so like her to be.  But I doubt that I will ever give her a name.

Not Much Fun.

October 14, 2018

Still smarting from the 105 Euro Bill, I swore to have no truck with anymore stray cats. Only to arrive home to yet another strange stray sitting on my draining board and not looking very well.  So I opened a tin of Tuna, as you do when trying to discourage strays.  He ate a very small amount and then disappeared, still not looking very well.  So I worried about that.

Woke this morning to find the Siamese dead on the lawn.  I am gutted.  I nearly cried.  He was such a beautiful thing and was becoming just a teensy bit less afraid.  We might even have got there in the end.

It is looking as though someone has taken the cat problem around here seriously and put down poison.  No, I don’t blame them.  It was already out of hand.  But just not my lovely Siamese, Silly Billy, I was feeding him and he was beginning to look good.

Now I am freaking out about the neutered Tabby, and watching her like a hawk.  Fortunately she couldn’t get out of the garden for a couple of days because she couldn’t jump over the gate after the operation, so hopefully didn’t ingest any of whatever it was.  She will be at The Vet before she knows what hit her if she shows the slightest sign of being ill.  I don’t care how much it costs.

Thank You, God, in advance.

What a Day.

October 9, 2018

Got up at the crack of dawn to catch the female cat before she bogged off out.  Banged her up in a cat box.  She cried a lot.

Took her to The Vet to get done.  I don’t care if they mostly don’t mate in Autumn or Winter.  I am not chancing it.  And I can’t kick her out because she likes it here and wouldn’t leave anyway.

No, she doesn’t have a name.  No, I don’t know how old she is.  No, I don’t know if she has got anything wrong with her.  Okay, come back at 5 o’clock.

5.30pm and back at The Ranch.  She crept out of the box and fell over a couple of times.  I had to feed her on the floor because she couldn’t get up to get to her food.  Had to beat off the dog because the dog will eat anything at ground level.

Keep her indoors for five days, oh really.  No chance.  There is a bloody great hole in the back door for the dog.  She found that one all by herself, which is how she got indoors in the first place.

Combien, s’il vous plait?  C’est normal, Madame. 105 Euros, merci beaucoup.  Normal?  Bloomin hell.  That’s nearly my entire week’s pension money gone. The rest of it went on worm pills and flea pills.  The cat food was extra.  But the alternative didn’t bear thinking of.

However, she is a forgiving little soul.  Back on my bed tonight and purring away.  No loss of trust at all.

Please God keep her safe from that awful road.  She has grown on me.