Wednesday, 13 September 2006

French Notices

Back into Carcassonne for the books we didn't manage to get yesterday. Quelle horreur, for the first time in weeks it's raining. Only yesterday I had enjoyed a leisurely swim in the pool with the temperature showing a very respectable 82 degrees.

First things first though and it's a trip to the local post office in Lasserre de Prouille. It is now open for three hours every morning which is the most amazing progress. It's looking suspiciously closed to me so I get out (in the rain) for a closer look. The opening times are quite clearly displayed on the brand new double glazed front door which has appeared on every Poste throughout France regardless of whether it is in keeping and sympathetic to the style of the building. In our village, which makes up one of the many circulade villages in the area of the Aude the post office itself must date back to the 17th c. Enough said ! Pinned to the door on a small scrap of paper is a note which reads "Patir a la Marie, de retour en 10 min (Gone to the Mayors, back in 10 min). As there was no time to when the note was composed I decided to take my custom to the next village. C'est normal.

We're driving along the beautiful plane tree lined road that leads from Montreal to Carcassonne and as we do we spy Ryan Air descending through the clouds and I always feel momentarily sorry for people arriving with anything less than sunshine and clear blue skies. We're suddenly behind a car with a queue backing up nicely behind us. Anyone who has driven on French roads knows that 90% of the drivers come equipped with a death wish. Even so, there's keeping to the speed limit and slow and this one was definitely the latter. We braced to overtake and in doing so our eye's were drawn to the notice fixed to the back windscreen. " Presse de vous tuer ? Moi NON ! (Are you in a hurry to die ? not I ! ) Once we were passed the Small Cross One muttered, "and it was homemade" in such a way that it was difficult to detect admiration or scorn.

Talking of all these notices though I much prefer the one that is placed on my back lawn. "Please do not throw stones at this notice" which in French roughly translates to .............

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