Yesterday, Wilf lay listlessly on the floor amid the paint pots listening to Aude holding forth on life. His once every ten days post-pancreatitis stomach upset had laid him low. I wish we could find out what we could do to stop the pain. Thankfully, after six hours of discomfort he returns to normal and this morning is once again in tip top form. On our morning walk an intermingled gaggle of pheasant and quail chicks with their parents meandered across the road in front of us. Anything small and fluttery would have brought out the demon in Digby but Wilf just stood, looked, and then got on with his sniffing. He is a happy dog.A late night walk with Wilf and 'the font' was interrupted by the deputy mayoress emerging , wraith like , from under the chestnut tree on the village green and holding out two glasses of punch. A celebratory moment to honour the firing up of the kiln. Fifty yards further down the lane all the villagers were to be found clustered around the brick monster which was belching out flames and smoke to a quite alarming degree. The heat from the chimney had blown the tiles off the roof and a plume of cinders and ash was gushing heavenwards. Wilf looked at the dantesque sight and nestled in a little closer to my knee. 'It's up to eighteen hundred degrees !' the deputy mayoress gushed as if this was something to be proud of. Not that 'the font' and I cared. The hastily gulped down combination of vodka, armagnac, rose wine and orange juice had led to a sudden and inexplicable loss of feeling in our lower jaws. As we walked home we agreed that the best that could be said about the punch was that the taste was memorable and that orange juice and wine were added to the vodka and armagnac in infinitesimally small quantities.
The village is looking very spruce in readiness for the celebrations. The mayor has wound up the church clock which is back to chiming eleven, on the hour, every hour, twice. The tarmac in front of the mairie is spotless, and freshly laid and raked gravel leads down towards the kiln. The second night of the art show passed without incident although our American house guests have been harangued into being photographed by the local paper ( you could not make it up) as a sign of the international communities interest in the pottery kiln. Closer to home the immovable object (Cost centre 3) and the irresistible force ( the font ) are still disagreeing over whether being a greeter at A&F is suitable summer employment. It was not wise to have said 'I'll only be showing my abs' - the effect at the breakfast table was vaguely akin to the arrival of a new ice age. 'And what else might you be showing ? ' the frosty response. Roll on the start of the new semester then we might all get some peace. Wilfs view is that this one is beyond my diplomatic skills and our time would be much better spent buying sausages.