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 .


  1. A good lesson.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  2. Angus, we feel that lesson #4 today may particularly apply to Scots living abroad....

  3. Nice that things are more or less back to normal for you and Wilf. I marvel at how these little businesses manage to survive, and have always been bemused at French Cafe decor in the little villages and towns almost everywhere. Wishing you a happy Monday.

  4. I wish that our politicians would follow your advice instead of using a shovel!

  5. Angus, you're always the diplomat! Well recovered, I must say!

  6. As long as the water is back on and the half croissant eaten, then life as we know it is back on!! I wonder if they make a whiskey from Clan Cameron? That's my clan...Wilf looking dapper as always! Keep on going Wilf, handsome boy!

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

  7. just from all your posts, i have always suspected that your true career is a diplomat. men in dark suits... switzerland... the patient way you deal with plumbers...
    ah yes. the picture is becoming complete.
    wonder how many american gentlemen would just quietly put the paper back and get it later? perhaps there is the real lesson of today!
    or is wilfee the true diplomat and you his honored assistant?
    we will never know. but we love finding out!!!
    godspeed in the france profonde,
    tammy j

  8. Glad normal is back, your diplomatic skills intact and Wilf again enjoying his bit of croissant :).

  9. Ketchup in a packet? What is this world coming to? :)

  10. Whew - if you hadn't saved the moment, Wilf might not have gotten his half croissant! Magnifique!

  11. Good lesson for life at home, too. Good luck to the cafe owner with his new restaurant. Takes some optimism to start a new endeavor in this economic climate. Hope everyone's water is back on and any flood damage has been repaired, so you can look forward to Spring in France Profonde with the charming font and the most lovable Wilf.

    Jed & Abby