Friday, 23 March 2007
Living the dream in rural France
Every bone in my body was aching with tiredness when I eventually slumped still in paint splattered overalls in front of the fire. We had already had the 'do we have anything for supper' ? conversation and visions of pasta, more pasta, were beginning to form whilst I toyed with an idea for yet another imaginative sauce. Mon Frère Jumeau phones, that's the twin brother in case you are puzzled, I was for a long while when people kept asking me the question and gesturing towards him. Looks vaguely like me poor soul but talks less and does more if you get my drift. "Do you get Channel 4"? he enquires. Simple enough question one would suppose but I wasn't sure of the answer. "We get something with adverts on in-between" I venture. He does a short sort of 'pffffff' down the phone, never ceasing to be amazed even after all these years at my uselessness at answering the simplest of questions. "I'm busy" he informs me with impatience, can't stop long. If you do find out you get Channel 4 you should watch the programme 'No going back, Chaos at The Castle, its brilliant and completely hysterical. People must be utterly mad who take on that sort of project". Satisfied that he has imparted all that needs to be known the phone goes dead. Oh yes recollections of the programme vaguely materialize. Some lucky sods who threw in their jobs in the city, bought themselves a proper chateau with turrets, spent loadsa' dosh on it, got in a TV crew, threw a few wobblies, and guess what ? bobs your uncle finished and tickety boo within the year and taking the bookings, merci beaucoup. Contrived, no surely not ? Everyone knows how easy peesy it is to renovate a house in France don't they? A true reflection of those of us who have managed to 'live our dream'. Yeah right.
With 9 days to go before the Inspectors of the Guide I really really want to get into arrive the roof decides to develop a leak. The gorgeous Jean-Pierre of yesterday has disappeared off to another job. Well he wasn't to know we would have gale force winds was he ? so I phone the not so gorgeous B. I've phoned him three times already but what the heck I'm desperate enough to grovel. He gives a bored yawn, "your roof then is it" ? a pause," terribly busy with getting everyones places ready for Easter before they come down 'fraid". A belch. 'Yummy Mummy' then gives family a 'rant' and not a film crew in sight, my what a missed opportunity Channel 4.
I wouldn't want to give you the impression that I'm in the least bit stressed, nooooo, why I've even managed to admire the beautifully drilled fields with their neat rows of lettuces. Marvelled at how quickly the local farmers onions are progressing and gazed reflectively at the wheat moving in that mysterious way it does in the wind. Wondered what was going to be planted in the newly erected polytunnels in the next village, smelt the blossom, heard the bees stirring, watched the butterflies dancing, sniffed appreciately at my hycanths, picked a few early periwinkles.
But my roof's developed a leak and there's not a man in sight and I'm worried, just ever so slightly.