29 June 2008

It’s All Gone Quiet - Well Now and Then !

Well Julie and the kids have made their escape to a Spanish villa loaned by a friend and I am revelling in the peace and quiet chez moi – well sporadically quiet. A new helicopter service has started on top of the mountain behind our house and every ten minutes or so it takes off and swoops down with a dreadful swooshing of it’s rotor blades. Given that I’m not allowed (by law) to use noisy machinery after 12 midday on Sunday I think this noise is an infringement of the well respected laws which I think are entirely logical – and logic is not something I readily associate with the French ! For example, as you know, French nouns are ascribed masculine or feminine status – so how’s this for logic – cheese (le fromage) is masculine whilst a place where they make cheese (la fromagerie) is feminine ! No wonder us ex-pats have a problem. I will recall to my dying day asking for a light for my cigarette on my first day in Tourrettes. A light is a light is a light – or so I thought so I was a bit bemused (and so was the rest of the place) when I asked for a lumiere in local the bar to light my cigarette. A lumiere is a light bulb ! Anyway things have progressed since then although I recently asked some visitors to the house if they wanted a bois (a wood) instead of a boisson (drink) !

So this weekend has been relatively quiet. A normal 6 hour dinner with Angie and her friends (Dan and confusingly another Angie) ending at 2am on Saturday morning started the weekend off nicely. I managed to stay reasonably sober by drinking spritzers but at about midnight the lemonade ran out and I was then back on Angie’s very generous glasses of white wine. Needless to say when I awoke later on Saturday morning the old head was not quite its usual self. The rest of Saturday passed without incident thank goodness.

Sunday morning was also quiet until Tan came over and suggested I join him and his friends for lunch. I decided to take a jug of champagne sangria with me which given that most of his group had only got to bed at 8am did not go down too well so Tan and I did it justice. Then in order to square a bet he’d made, Tan had to swim 40 lengths of his pool blaming his poor time on the sangria ! I didn’t force him to drink it !

The helicopter was still buzzing overhead so three of us went up the mountain and managed to get a ride almost immediately. Two things to report; (a) thankfully the copter is moving around the area so we’ve now had our two days for the rest of the summer and (b) the pilot appeared to have a death wish as he swooped over the tips of the mountains with the rotors making the branches of the trees below move and then he’d plunged vertically into the valley. He also turned the copter on it’s side as we flew along the mountainside. The pictures with this blog might not be too clear but they might give you an idea of the terrain he took us over.

Poor Dan felt much the worse for wear when he got out of the copter and when I tried to tell him that I had little sympathy after his 8am end to the previous night’s festivities he said that it wasn’t the actual ride which had been the problem but the overpowering BO of the old French guy who had sat next to him ! This is a very common problem in France and the country must have the lowest per-capita sales of men’s deodorants in the civilised world. It is pervasive – bank tellers, people standing in bars and the post office – you just cannot escape it – the odour is everywhere.

The rest of Sunday was dominated by Spain thankfully beating the Germans in the final of the European Championships (football). If ever there was a 1-0 thrashing this was it and I am not biased – I don’t care who beats the Germans !! So there !

The only other thing to report is that Shadow has been missing for about 36 hours now – he’s probably next door where Angie feeds him lamb chops and burgers whereas all he gets at home is boring dry dog food and the occasional ‘tossed spaghetti dinner’ (see blog for 26th June) !

No comments: