Diary from Limousin 25

By Madeleine Dickson Monday
Gemini 21 May – 20 June Realization of dreams is within grasp for Geminis who dare to take the initiative
 
8.00 “Did you know that men use about 10,000 words a day, whereas women use 20,000?”
 
“That’s because women have to repeat everything they say, like me to you for example.”
 
J. frowns. “What?”
 
Gawd. If they can put a man on the moon, they should be able to put them all up there. Mad mullah now wittering tediously re constitution referendum. Tell him to shut up, plug word factory with obligatory strawberries. Ignore protests, have more serious matters to deal with. Think it is high time Gazelles had next scheduling meeting / binge. Must first evict Kevin and raving disciples from lakeside.
 
Yveline only 17 mins late, has set new personal record for punctuality. Locate, wake reluctant Kev and squaw. Refuse to wait while they roll breakfast joint, bundle junkies quickly into back of car. Drive to Limoges, avert eyes from unseemly display of affection behind. Plug ears against heavy breathing. Almost drive into river when hear zips unzipping.
Give them whirlwind tour of new campsite, local facilities etc. Should have been an estate agent really. “Cool,” Kev declares, scratches crotch, armpit, squaw’s hair. Hope my car seats don’t start scratching themselves.


 “It's a magical place, Kev, inhabited by the goddess, er....Vermina, cousin of Karma, mum of Sutra. But never reveal who gave you the nod, eh?” Wink conspiratorially. “Her favours are granted to a chosen few only.”
Kev nods slowly, winks back. “Got it, goddess. The secret's safe with me.”
Drive them back to lake, advise move after dark. Vermina patron saint of night manoeuvres, inter alia.
 
12.15 Ayatollah venting steam from all orifices, thrusts huge real-state translation at me, for completion Wednesday morning. Americans on a buying spree again, ruining French property market for real English-speakers.


 Leaf through post, spot tax bill, read same. Am outraged. “We work 60 hrs a week to be this poor?” Think it’s time to emigrate.
 
7 p.m. No gym, Arlette's cold worse. Lounge lazily on grass after marathon weigh-in of GL Dieters. Average weight loss after 7 weeks is 12.72 kilos, x 24 Gazelles (28 original Michelle Tysons, minus 3 toujours-megaton drop-outs, megaton-but-pregnant-Martine) = 305.28 kgs.
Wow. 4 Gazellesworth have vanished into thin air under raw veg regime. Hmm. Could call it The Great Vegime. TGV for short. Dieters a bit saggy round middle, would look disgusting in bikinis, but no longer apprentice Sumo wrestlers.


 Arrange site meeting tomorrow morning, dinner Saturday evening at local See the REAL Europe with Rail Europe low cuisine resto.


 Tuesday
Gemini 21 May – 20 June Legal matters may intrude again, but you will find a way to deal with them satisfactorily
 
5 a.m. Open shutters, feed cats. Boot coffee machine, eat 4 slices toast, 3 mini-Mars, banana. Have v. heavy day ahead. Horrid huge translation to finish, après-raver site clean-up to organise, Health & Safety refusal to resolve, etc.
 
Open Fatal Throttling Near Limoges.doc. Only a few pp to go now!
 
Apolline chewing pen, waits for fax from Paris police re Henri's mysterious missing ex-fiancée. Sighs, decides to clean desk. Puts contents of drawers on table. Half Mars bar, 3 sticks gum (chewing variety, hedgehog flavour), water pistol, 14 boiled sweets (liquorice), apple core, mouldy clementine, packet of condoms. Eats Mars, sweets, chews gum. Fires pistol at dog (Huh? Where’d the dog come from? - Ed.) Reads condom instructions. Blushes. Best before 01/04/99. Looks at calendar. 22/05/05. Only bit out of date. Puts packet in handbag. Waste not, want not.
Fax machine spewing out yards of paper. Rushes thereto. Scans through reams. Heart sinks, realizes all choices made now, no going back. Stands at window, watches passers-by passing by (all detectives do this just before dénouement).
 
8.30 Check Show grounds with Gazelles. All quiet except for million resident birds gossiping. Relieved cannabis plantation gone. Spend 3 hours removing 5 trillion empty bottles from lakeside. Dig holes, bury used condoms. Hope no little Kevins sprout.
 
Am forced to slave for rest of day to finish bloody American real-estate translation. Insert thousands of thereofs therein. Check through for typos. Is complete gobbledegook. Perfect.


 Wednesday
Gemini 21 May – 20 June Your sympathetic nature won’t necessarily be appreciated by all
 
9 a.m. Mr de Lionne on phone, sounds thlightly upset, plaintive even. Wails woefully re invasion of glorwious gween by undesiwables.
 
“Weally? Oh God, how awful. You are in the wars. Think I saw them on the telly last week. Disgusting layabouts. Have you rung the police?”
“Yeth, but they’re not interwested....” he moans. “ ...they thay these...these perthons are not committing a cwime....” Tsk sympathetically.


 ....nightly thex orgies....funny planth all over the gween....constant chanting....Vermina-something....”
 
“You're one of those bad things that happen to good things.” the Mad Mullah sniffs superciliously as I put down the phone. Really think he has attitude pwoblem.
 
 
Thursday
Gemini 21 May – 20 June A good time for pursuing creative ideas, whether alone or with friends
 
Some idiot left front door open all night. Cats, family of toads inhabiting kitchen. Move round latter carefully, not too well-versed in toad anatomy, but believe may make squelchy green mess if walked on.
 
Feed cats, soon-to-be-star-novelist. Scribble quick list. Designer sunglasses for Hollywood (Intermarché). Elegant TV interview gear (Carrefour). Arrange removal of name from France Telecom directories (so one can henceforth be Anon.).  Boot laptop. Only 2pp left!
 
“Henri de Villeneuve has not been seen all day,” says Madame Dinde, pursing thin lips disapprovingly. “No, Monsieur Martin isn't here either. We've had to cancel lectures all over the place, disgraceful behaviour.” Apolline tries both lecturers on mobile, leaves messages. What now? she wonders. Can't even haul them in, uniformed officers on strike again over pay and working conditions.
 
Hmm. Could put message to government in here, ministers bound to be reading blockbuster in between boring cabinet meetings. Is really golden opportunity to educate them re work ethic, cost of endless strikes, Laura Norder deficiencies etc.
 
9 a.m. Pop next door to see Bernie. Notice beanstalks 10 feet taller after overnight rain. Growing in interesting zigzag pattern after Spring reorganization, fertilizing by Gizmo and Whinge. Hope the beans don’t taste of Whiskas.


 
Outline cunning plan to deal with Health & Safety refusal. “I'm sure Scum-....er, your husband's behind all this. Which is why I wanted to run it by you first.”


 Bernadette wipes eyes, stops laughing. “Let's go for it, sounds like fun. But where are we going to get 30 white sheets?”
“From the geriatric department. Grizzelle Inc.”


 Friday
Gemini 21 May – 20 June You may find out that folk are only normal until you get to know them  
 
Apolline has decided can do no more, goes home after long day. Hums tune as she puts key in apartment door, lets herself in. Scream cut off by hand clapped over mouth. Henri's other arm snakes around waist. Kicks door shut, throws her towards couch. Misses.
Apolline groggy, surfaces slowly. Opens an eye, everything dark. Tries to control breathing. Struggles, but is securely tied to chair. Waste basket over head, cannot see but at least can hear, breathe. Just you 'n me together now, babe, Henri says huskily.


 Oh my God. Apolline thinks fast, heart hammering in chest. He's into weird sex. Still, there's a first time for everything, could be fun.
You realize this is the end, he says. Huh? Surely not. He hasn't done anything yet.


 I can't let you...Mobile phone rings, Henri answers. “Uh-huh...uh-huh, huh-uh, yeah. Okay, but one is a bit tied up at the moment...” Laughs.
Henri moves closer, Ap. can hear every ragged breath, can see his shoes. “Sorry about this babe, but....”


 
Door crashes open, shoes change direction. There’s a hole in his left sock, poor dear.


 
Ouch. Crack. Arrghh. Take that, you swine. Bamm. Whack, wallop. Oooouf.


 
Something crashes into Apolline, straw hat flies off. Henri and Martin Martin are locked in tight embrace on floor, nose to nose....lips millimetres apart.....


 Well, well. I never suspected they were that way inclined, Very confusing.


 Saturday
Gemini 21 May – 20 June Give free rein to your ideas this evening, but beware of misreading the situation
 
7.30 Walk to village with Bernie. Not that one expects to be incapable after Gazelle dinner. Just a beautiful evening for a walk, cloudless sky. Take brolly just in case.


 
Hugs, kisses all round. As if we didn't see each other most days. Think the French overdo the greetings stuff a tad. Denise reminds everyone to attend for bridesmaid outfit-fitting in 2 weeks. And to please stay the same size between then and the wedding.


 The owner puts us in upstairs room. “So you don't upset the other diners,” he growls, warning re unseemly behaviour, excessive noise, roll-throwing, balancing plates on noses etc. “You should know better at your age.” Do not understand, think age is a very high price to pay for maturity anyway.
 
9 p.m. “We need a celebrity to open the show,” Françoise says.
“Like the mayor?” Babette’s brain working at speed of light tonight.
“No, not the mayor you dope. Like Jean-Jacques Goldman. Or Juliette Binoche.”
 
9.30 Have compiled celebrity list, including Johnnie Halliday, Emanuelle Béart, Catherine Deneuve, Jean Reno. And Tiger Woods of course. Personally favour Sheik El Shirak, has impeccable credentials. Son of Limousin, noted foodie, goofy smile.  Also has politico-financial clout. Might squeeze the necessary dosh out of him for real golf course.
Engage in collective nail chewing. Have brilliant idea. “Why don't we just invite all of them? See which one accepts?”


 
“But suppose they all say yes?”


 
“That's not how it works, Denise.” Give colleagues lesson in basic marketing. “Send out a hundred mail shots, you expect 2 or 3 positive responses. So you see, with only 8 or 9 we'll be lucky to just get one yes.”


 
10 p.m. Draft invitation drafted. Bernie will transcribe same from paper napkin, send to invitees.


 Give Bernadette the floor again to outline brilliant plan for nuking Scumbag. Great reception thereto from colleagues, much table-slapping, feet-stamping. Patron arrives to deliver boring sermon again. Restore his good spirits by ordering another case of his excellent Madiran.


 
Sunday

Gemini 21 May – 20 June Oh dear, Gemini. You do have a tendency to overdo everything, don’t you?
 
10 a.m.Take 2 aspirins, crawl back to bed.
 
1 p.m.  Eat 1 plain yoghurt, dry toast, aspirin pudding.


 
Can walk without acute attack of seasickness. Go to see Martine. She clings, bursts into tears, smiles bravely. Guess she's living happily ever after. The scan shows it’s a boy, she says. Go through hugging routine again. Half-hugging actually, arms not long enough to encircle Martine. Think baby will be ready for school when born. She has long moan re Jerome, he thinks it's exclusively her fault she's pregnant. Obviously flunked his Birds & Bees degree. Reassure her things will change when little Jean born, Jerome will identify, bond with his son. “He'll be downing pints, having pissing contests in no time at all. Men are all the same Martine. they just have different faces, so you can tell them apart.”


Give her lowdown re last night, progress of Show preparation. Hangs on my every word, surprises me by insisting on joining Health & Safety protest. Actually, gives me another idea. Think that will refine the plan very nicely.
 
5 p.m. Grizzelle Sewing Enterprises has done first-rate job with sheets. One of G’s 80-yr-old apprentices quickly runs up mainsail for Martine from 2 queen-sized. Gazelles look bit like banshees, but it will have to do. Remind everyone to bring safety pins tomorrow to secure veils.


Accept Grizzelle's invitation to tea. Not a great fan of said coloured water, but must say hers is best I’ve ever had, tastes just like hot whiskey. Prevail upon her to make another pot.
 
Bonne semaine


© Madeleine Dickson
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