I collected a fancy certificate stating that I am a naturalised Frenchman. It’s signed by the prime minister and the minister of the interior and I was told the signatures were in their own hand, but – thank you Google – they’re machine written. It would be odd if they weren’t. The fonctionnaire who dealt with me was strangely knowledgeable about my case. It transpired that the maire had badgered her half a dozen times to ensure smooth passage of my dossier. I now have to obtain a carte d’identité and have fallen foul of the rickety website that sucks you in for page after page of form filling before dumping you with a ‘contact the administrator’ after 20 minutes of life have evaporated.
I should be cutting the grass. The days at the moment tend to start out foggy with the chateau invisible and everything dripping with damp. It clears to bright blue in the middle of the day, but not enough to dry the grass into a suitable condition. In fact I can’t be arsed to do it. Next week there’s a 17-degree day forecast and I may brave the worm casts then. It’s still spookily rain-free.

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