Monday, February 20, 2012
Always use a trowel.
The sun shining, the water main repaired, the baker back to making baguettes . Life in deepest France Profonde after the storms .
At the newsagent three ladies with string shopping bags are having an intense conversation with the purple rinsed hair lady behind the counter. '' At six she was sitting by her fire. By nine she was in hospital and on the operating table " . Angus waits in line for his paper . After five minutes he recognizes that the four of them have become so engrossed that they're oblivious to everything else. He puts the paper back on the rack and leaves . None of the ladies notice his departure. This morning Angus has learnt that the French for gallstones is calcul biliaire.
'' Take a look at this ". The owner of the cafe proudly escorts me into the newly redecorated ' restaurant ' behind the bar. The air still heavy with the smell of recently applied gloss paint . The beer and absinthe set never venture here, preferring to get their nutrition straight from the bottle.The owner has fixed an illuminated Fosters Beer commercial on the wall next to an advertising sign for Clan Campbell whisky and another for Ricard. I know that the sign is illuminated because the electrical wires are hanging out of the back.
'' C'est superbe ! Non ? " he inquires . '' Yes, it is ", I reply with a lack of conviction. The owner looks crestfallen at my half hearted response. '' C'est magnifique ! " I add , wondering if the French understand irony . He beams. Angus , the local arbiter of taste, gets a free coffee. Wilf gets a bowl of water and half a croissant .
Lesson #4 when living abroad . When applying praise always use a trowel .