Lesson one for bloggers - Never ever write about how good the weather is. You can say it's miserable , or cold ,or wet, or snowy and nothing will happen. But, say the sun is out and the internet muses that deal with hubris burst into action. Today, our week of wonderful spring like weather has gone to be replaced by a cold, grey, dreech mist. More Tobermory than Toulouse.
At nine this morning a strange man appeared at the door . I say strange only because he sported a luxuriant mass of face stubble which was exactly the same colour as his bobble hat. The disconcerting combination of the two identical tones - the grey whiskers and the grey wool of his hat - made him look eerily shaggy, something akin to an ageing orang-outang. You will understand from this preamble that my attention was focused on his startling appearance rather than the verbal invitation to the village hall he delivered. I caught something about him being the caretaker, he'd turned the heating on, there was a gathering, the art class, the ladies would like to meet me, could I come over? Still distracted by his appearance and fearful that Wilf and Digby might catch a glimpse of this woollen apparition I gently but surely escorted him back to the gate and said 'yes, of course. I'd love to'.
As I pushed the door of the village hall open there facing me at one long table were twelve French ladies of a certain age, chatting vivaciously away, all rather smartly dressed . It was immediately clear from the pads and pencils scattered around that this was the weekly village art class. A scene of calm , gentle refinement. I introduced myself, thanked them for the invitation, spoke French as clearly and correctly as I could and shook each ones hand, remembering to ask where each of them lived and how long they lived there. It was only when I enquired what they were drawing that I was suddenly engulfed with a sense of approaching panic. Each of these apparently demur souls seemed to have an altogether unheathy fixation on the nude male form in its most anatomically correct state.What in heavens name had I stumbled across?
At this point I became aware of a noise behind me. Turning round I caught sight for the first time of a youngish gentleman standing on the hall stage . He was lighting a cigarette and clearly suffering from the cold. Heating or not the village hall is a place of glacial draughts. As he turned all was revealed - literally and figuratively. The reason for the twelve French ladies anatomical fixation now quite apparent. I smiled, and retreated.