Monthly Archive for June, 2016


The chaos in the UK is enormously depressing. The locals are most sympathetic and I was invited next door for for supper, consuming consolation whelks, andouillette and shrimps. They seem well-informed and, if the shambles continues, I suspect the polls here may show a reduction in the 61% who wish to leave the EU.
The barley is being harvested and there’s nothing you do but be intimidated when a monstrous combine lumbers up the road towards you. A big difference between very minor roads here rather than in Britain is the hard verges that you can run onto in the sure knowledge that you won’t get stuck in the mud.
I ticked off a couple of booted eagles in the I-Spy book today. They were mixing it with a buzzard but soon became bored and continued on their way, trilling like demented fairies.


At least four citizens of this commune, including me, have set in motion the process for French naturalisation although, with a fair wind, I could end up with a Scots passport and still be within the EU. My daughter in London reckons it’s ‘Like some crappy sci fi novel about a parallel universe where Kennedy wasn’t assassinated or we lost WW2.’ My son merely promises to visit once I’ve been processed into the internment camp or suggests I join the Foreign Legion. The campaign and its results were shameful.
To compound the stress I am trying to make sense of an iPad. Once you know your own machinery, you forget how horribly complicated trying to understand something else can be. I have only just been able to restrain myself from kicking the bloody thing into the hedge and hoping the dog sinks its teeth into it.


Roebuck from the chateau regularly bark at us, but to see three boars trotting along is less usual. Aside from once or twice a year when the chasse sweeps through, nobody ever goes there; its couple of hundred hectares are a sanctuary for wildlife with this house having a grandstand view of goings on.
I find myself feeling increasingly alienated from the UK that one reads about or sees on TV. And although I’m told I ought to, I do not respect the position of those who wish to vote for a Brexit nor believe that the rightward lurch that will occur if we leave the EU will make Britain a fairer or more decent country. That the sum of human happiness is advanced through more co-operation, not less seems to me a no-brainer.
Any time there is a soccer competition in which players must wear crocs, I will have immense transfer value. I practice every day by being required to kick an orange plastic toy for Poonkie to retrieve. I can do back spins, lob it over fences, and drive it into the hedge 20 yards away so that it wedges in at a height of three feet. Winkling it out with a process of leaps is when the dog thrashes its tail the most.


Of course I have already voted and have nothing to gain by sitting in front of a screen like a mesmerised rabbit as the horrors of the referendum campaign unfold. But I do. However I still find it impossible to believe that the Brexiters – any more than Trump – will win, but they’re already denting my meagre fortune and UK politics looks like being a shambles for years to come. None of them are going to kiss and make up on June 24.

The football has affected the village only in that the weekends are more peaceful. Often various throbbing bits of machinery whizz and roar for much of the afternoon. The grandson’s efforts at grinding the bodywork of a car the other day brought puzzled enquiries from a neighbour more than a kilometre away. But the macho men with machines watch their TVs instead and we wimps can sit on the terrace and enjoy the tranquility and the sunshine. At least we’ve managed it for a week or two but everyone is complaining of the horrendous weather. I never expected to duck and dive between showers out here to cut the grass but it’s better in general than any Scots summer I remember so I find it hard to empathise.


For some unfathomable reason a small variety of fly does its courting beneath a beam in the sitting room. It is irritating because you have the prospect of a faceful of flies when passing through. But the electric fly swatter does the trick. A couple of times a day I have a few swipes and a few satisfyingly explosive cracks to clear the trysting spot. My backhand is best. The maire has now obtained one to deal with mozzies. So far, they have not invaded us.
The grass needs cutting every few days at the moment. The engine on the mower drives the cicadas in the hedge into a frenzy as they try to drown it out. They just about succeed.
The lake round which we occasionally promenade the dogs now has a 200-metre cable car under process of construction across the water. To use it will save a 10-minute walk round the shoreline path. I guess it will haul along some sort of boat since one’s arse would get wet if one was suspended in a chair. It looks very expensive with steel towers bolted to great rafts of concrete and the virtual lack of a catenary curve on the cable is a tribute to their strength. One wonders what Boris-type loon thought it was a good idea and how he got a budget allocation to fund it.