Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A special gift.

What a day. Everyone was here. The gutter repair man arrived at eight. I wished him a happy Christmas. The irony of my welcome went unnoticed. Ten minutes later the electrician showed up and then ten minutes after that the joiner. By the time Aude and Sylvie, the decorators, drove down the drive it was like Time Square on New Years Eve. The place was humming. At this rate the house might be habitable by Easter. A new visitor. Yvonne, a cropped haired, tobacco chewing lady from the womens cooperative. She has a cement mixer and is plastering the hole in the wall where the barbecue used to be. Wilf adopted his supervisor in chief role. Fifty five minutes of sleep under the palm tree followed by five minutes of barking. Repeat every hour, on the hour.

We met the old farmer on his way back from the cemetery. He goes there every day at noon to sit by his wifes grave and talk . 'Measuring up for his next move' as he puts it. He invited us in for a drink. While Wilf settled under the table our string vested neighbour produced a bottle of his home brewed eau de vie. Tooth jarringly sweet, gritty and with the kick of a mule.

Fuelled by this potent brew the old farmer soon started to recount his experiences in the resistance. I asked him if there was much hunger ( faim ) here during the war. He,however, thought I'd asked if there were many women ( femmes ). The response to my, misunderstood, question was akin to him sticking his pipe into the electrical socket while smoking it. " Women monsieur ! " he said sitting bolt upright in his rocking chair. " So many men were Prisoners of War. What was I to do ? Women have always loved me. I have a special gift ". Thankfully 'the font' came to collect Wilf for lunch before we were told what the special gift was.


  1. Most men think they have a special gift after a bottle of alcoholic beverage.

    Wilf's hair has a certain stylish wit all of its own today.

    Have a great day.

  2. I believe that every person has a special talent and some can't figure it out early but soon they will...Great post...I love it...^_^

    dog pens

  3. Hmm. Your final paragraph suggest another interpretation of the farmer's statement about 'measuring up for his next move'...
    Cheers, Gail.

  4. Isn't the farmer just proof that we often hear what we want to hear, regardless of what was said?

    Looks like Wilf's enjoying his supervisory duties, as always. And his weekends off.

    Jed & Abby

  5. Saved by the bell, or 'the font!' A good thing too, I don't think Wilf should be hearing about that particular kind of 'special gift!' :-) But you've started my day off with your 'special gift' to write a great post that has given me a much needed chuckle, thanks for that Angus!

  6. Hilarious. It obviously never occurred to the farmer that if the women were desperate.......anyone in trousers could look handsome !!

  7. That's my giggle for this morning! How did you keep a straight face? I'd have been rolling on the floor with Wilf!

  8. Your special gift to us has been sharing Wilf with the rest of the world. :)

    Blessings and Love,
    Janelle and Maggie Mae

  9. Ha, ha! Sounds like a funny guy but I'm glad that you were saved from the story of his 'gift'!

  10. What was the farmer to do indeed...what a Gallic response....very droll. Wilf looks happy and handsome in the sunshine.

  11. The old farmer will have happy memories all day. The font to the rescue again. First the septic system and now the "special gift". Blimey!

  12. Great haircut today Wilfee !!! is it the "special gift" of the old farmer that made your hair stand on end ? Strange people in that part of France profonde, Madame Bay, Monsieur Risotto, don't you think ?
    Happy new week sweet boy, enjoy each day. Don't forget to roll in the grass, eat croissants, and meringue and give Angus all the love you have to give him, he is such a great Dad for you.
    Bisous and cuddles beloved Wilfee.

  13. I cannot imagine any comment you make will go un-noticed, not to mention one loaded with irony!

    Your hair looks wonderful. Its a look that I would like to wear myself. What do you call it?


  14. Laughing out loud in my Anchorage AK kitchen!! So much to ponder in this post.... it will take me all day, looks like Wilf's head was rubbed many times. What fun for the family fellow!!

  15. Incroyable! Who would ever have guessed that your tiny corner of France, in the darkest days of the resistance, that the farmer would have owned a PON? A special gift, indeed...

  16. That eau du vie must have been something rather potent!! Makes the hearing go....nonetheless, we are sure it was a most interesting visit. And good for Wilf for announcing the hour! Keep going Wilf!

    With love, your Canadian pals,
    Dianna along with Tor, Willow and Tucker

  17. All I can say is "Hmmmmm."

    Except to admire our boy's hairdo.


    xxx Joan

  18. Home-brewed brandy and a stringed vest has been a deadly combination that has throughout history weakened the knees and prompted panty throwing from women around the globe. Succumb to your urges Madame Bay, resistance is futile!

  19. What a laugh - it looks like (from the fur style) Wilf was shocked by the conversation too!

    Angus - your own special gift is how you've shared "Wilf's world" and your love for him (and also for Digby) with us all. Your writing style conjures up such vivid images - such a contrast to our own day to day lives! Thank you for sharing so much through your blog.

  20. Hehehehe
    Wilf must have been wondewing too

    BTW, wilf..congwatoolations on the snoopewvising and bawking..I know it helped get the wowkews moving finally.
    Could you pleez tell me how i could get my haiw to stand up like youws..i thinks it's pawfect
    smoochie kisses

  21. Accents can make for interesting misunderstandings. The drink you described fits the description of one I tasted in SW Sydney.....an insult to grapes.

    XXXOOO Daisy, kendra & Bella

    You may be right about Easter as it's late this year.

  22. Wilfie you looooook great - you have a special gift too. The farmer, haha.... Love the stories!
    Have a successful time in France profonde and Wilf will be busy! Susanne Daisy and Foxiie

  23. Angus-you are a bit of a therapist to the locals. Seems like they spill a lot of secrets to you and you furry sidekick! I think you both bring out the best in people, especially that cute doggie of yours. Give the funky-hair-do boy a pat on the head from Karen & Kelly.

  24. Hahaha , you can't expect anything else from the French- les femmes et l'amour!!
    Et les bisottes pour le petit Wilf bien sur !!
    Thanks for your lovely stories and for a good laugh.

  25. You know, with all the work you've had to have done on that house, it might've been a lot cheaper to have bought a new one! But then again, I've enjoyed reading about all the adventures you've had in getting the current restored.