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Diary from Limousin 28Monday
Gemini 21 May- 21 June The moon is in Sagittarius in your 7th house. You’re feeling obsessive about major changes in your work, career or lifestyle
5.45 a.m. Even the cornflakes are beginning to look bleary-eyed.
Leave Hannah and Patric at apple orchard with fellow sleepy pickers. Temperature already 25°, think may have to relocate to Greenland.
7 a.m. Check emails. Find message from NY writing guru. “...interesting ... certainly unusual...will need time to read this extraordinarily long manuscript...”
Well, Gone with the Wind wasn’t a quick read either. And what about T. Clancy, S. King, R. Ludlum? Bet she's just gobsmacked / jealous that I can write such stunning stuff.
8 a.m. “Did you know that bats always turn left when exiting a cave?” Mad mullah mumbles behind his Amazing-But-True-Facts-No-Woman-Wants-To-Know journal. Wonder if anyone would notice if I started inserting some of these gems into Profit & Loss accounts, writs, judgments etc. Actually, think clients might also appreciate a little light relief therefrom.
8.15 Resume revolting annual accounts. Still, translation only now only temporary career, will soon be perusing own turnover, profit numbers, depreciation of new limousine etc. Hmm. And hire of young, beautiful chauffeur. Clean-shaven. Mute, of course. Plenty of dumb males around.
11.15 Answer phone for 120th time. Start to recite usual recorded message re temporary unavailability of heirs, am cut off by irritatingly upbeat telesalesperson
“...we’re cleaning carpets and rugs in your area this month, madame...”
“Oh gooood. Just the service I’m going to need. Can you remove bloodstains? Human bloodstains? He’s driving me batty...can’t take any more Reader's Digested knowledge...have to get rid of him...”
Strange, the phone’s gone dead.
2.30 Buy gorgeous glistening XL tarte aux pommes, scrummy caramelized apples in yummy pastry, last but one fling before Denise's wedding, also nice treat for worker-offspring. Pick up 2 kg bag of apples as afterthought, as reputed to repel medical personnel.
5 p.m. Am forced to eat half exquisite tart, due to sudden dislike of apple-shaped fruit by progeny.
7 p.m. Last but one gym gyrations before hols. Prevail upon Arlette to do Tai Chi for stress management. After all, Gazelles unlikely to make it to Olympic gym squad. Not this time around anyway.
Am in my element, except think may have some minor motor disorder that makes keep me walloping Babette in face. Assure her is nothing personal, give her my hanky (only lightly used) to stem the bleeding after almost-perfect Flying Dove Spreads Its Wings.
Gemini 21 May- 21 June The moon moves into Capricorn in your 8th house, making you feel more responsible for business affairs
Bernadette calls, very excited, internet cabin bookings have begun to roll in. “So far, 42 cabin weeks have been booked. And for every 35 cabin weeks, we need a cleaner for a week. We have to recruit!” Sit down with her and do some calculations. “Wow. We already have enough dough for 2 workers for the whole season!” Dance jig together on ex-lawn. Feel immensely proud. And sweaty. Arrange to advertise summer jobs in local paper this week.
“I think we should equip the cabins with tea towels, you know,” Bernie says thoughtfully as we sip cold drinks. “It’s not the sort of thing you think of taking on holiday. People will forget, I’m sure.”
Hmm. Think I know a tea-towel supplier. Assure her I’ll deal with it.
Gemini 21 May- 21 June The moon squares Mars today. Business contacts will be fruitful – remember a bird in the hand is worth two in the tree
9:55 Hurray! Have finished last-ever annual accounts translation!
10 a.m. Ali the Itinerant Salesman arrives. Cut off his have-I-got-something-for-you-missus spiel in mid-flow. Make him happiest Ali this side of Mecca, offer to buy his whole tea-towel caboodle. Poor Ali pale with shock, sit him down, give him tot of rum. Pick out 50 specimens from his suitcase, repack foul plastic tablecloths, revolting kitchen clock decorated with sick-looking birds. Decide had better negotiate price, otherwise Show budget will take unbudgeted nosedive. Apparently requires rum refill to make Ali’s tongue work.
10.20 Write check. “You’ve made me a very happy man, missus,” he says appreciatively, smacking his lips just as J. walks in to the room.
10.50 Given up trying to persuade Ayatollah that what he heard did not mean what his filthy mind thought, one is not about to join Ali’s harem. Actually, think I could do worse. No, perhaps not.
Accepted Ali’s parting gift with remarkable grace. Wonder which tree I can hang seriously-ill-bird clock from. Will surely scare living daylights out of any crow, albatross, condor etc.
11 am Have reluctantly agreed to babysit for Huguette while she visits hairdresser. Triplets now burly 4-month old clones, rolling naked on floor blankets, enjoying some undiapered freedom. Inspect said strange creatures, stop young Charlie from trying to pick one up with fishing rod armed with hook big enough for whale.
Lock door, don't really want Huguette coming back to find the family dog snacking on little Paul, Pascal and Pierre.
Left baby pees in perfect arc onto Middle's leg. Middle, whose thought processes are perfectly transparent, pees even bigger arc, splashing onto Right’s face. I just knew the pissing contests would start sometime soon.
Find it's so much easier to wash clothes than babies. “Suppose we could pop them in the machine...pre-wash, short spin...”
Not sure Camille convinced it was only a joke. Hand babies to her and Charlie for drying as I rinse them under kitchen tap. I just know she’s going to tell on me.
“No pinching, Charlie! One day your brothers will be your slaves.”
Explain the principle of sibling line management. Charlie looks awed, stops trying to dismember Paul, Pascal or Pierre.
“Where do babies come from?” Camille asks, sucking her thumb.
Charlie rolls his eyes. “From the hospital, stupid.”
Camille ignores ghastly frère. “Why don’t old people have children?”
“People like you, or Grandma...”
“Because they’d put them down somewhere, and then forget where,”
Charlie states with irritating accuracy.
Gemini 21 May- 21 June The moon moves into Aquarius in your 9th house. Communications with a family member may be strained, leading to you holding things back
9 a.m. Inform J. one will be unavailable for rock-breaking activities until after the Great Limousin Flower Show, now only 9 days away. Can tell from steam-venting, bullet-spitting that Mad Mullah not wholly pleased.
Am just on my way to show site duties when phone rings again.
“How're you today, madame? We're in your area for one week only...”
“Well, I'm so glad you asked because no one seems to care about me these days...I have so many problems...gammy knee...don't get enough sleep...my boss makes me work 12 hours a day....both my husband and cat are having kittens...” Slam phone down.
“What?” J. says, turning to look at Gizmo, slumbering peacefully on dining room table. “Oh..I get it, one of your jokes. Hahaha...very funny....”
Show stallholders their pitches with Bernie and the mayor. Check final list of exhibitors. Have light moan to Bernard re inclusion of several doubtful/tacky participants, like Troll World, Shoot-The-Baby-Win-A-Teddy stalls. Still, probably no worse than Grizzelle's Madame Destiny tent, destined, I fear, to cause us some grief.
Site now a hive of industry, wander proudly with colleagues. Stop briefly at permanent hothouse, funded by the Region's promised grant and now almost complete. Have earmarked same for overwintering my cuttings. Pavilions are also going up for all the major banks and utility companies, industrial giants and minnows, all of whom are paying megabucks for the privilege.
Come to halt at podium. Hmm. Doesn't look quite big enough to hold mayor, celebrities, dignitaries etc. Say nothing, as subject still slightly sore point with colleagues.
Call in to see Martine on way home. Delighted she is now fully resigned to her fate, is almost cheerful. Has even commissioned some baby clothes from Grizzelle Enterprises.
Gemini 21 May- 21 June Mercury goes retrograde in your 3rd house and the sun conjuncts Saturn. Look more to leisure activities than to flippancy
“Bonjour madame, this is Jeremie from Phones R Us...we're in your area for a very short period...once-only unrepeatable offer on cellphones for rural dwellers....great opportunity for personal freedom....”
“Jeremie, darleeng...listen...”. Lower voice to whisper. “I’m under home incarceration....they don’t let me go out...could you get some whiskey to me? Tonight? Hello? Hello? Are you still there? Jeremie?”
Hannah has located ironing implement, insists on smoothing parental clothing for Paris trip, J’s silk shirt, my polka-dot Bermudas etc. Think ironing incomprehensible activity, total waste of time and effort. All you need to do is put the clothes under a pile of folded sheets for a week, and Hey Pressing! they’re done.
6 p.m. Fall into Paris train. Sleep like a baby for 3 hours.
Gemini 21 May- 21 June The moon opposes Venus this evening. Career matters consume you, but watch out for wavelength difficulties
6 pm Surely some mistake here. Seen more rain in last 24 hours than in last 24 weeks. Perhaps Parisian gods jealous of Limousin's main asset.
11 pm Great birthday party. Great bubbly, great nosh. Meet very personable young man. Enquire re his post-school plans. “I'm a publisher,” he tuts. Ah.
Hmm. Suddenly recall Grizzelle's crystal ball prediction. "...big city....a celebration...you’ll meet someone....give your career a boost...I .can see a contract...." Have sudden profound affection for dear old fraudster.
“Translations, eh?” Try to stop young René from talking dirty, steer him back to serious subjects.
“Yes...well, we're always on the lookout for marketable manuscripts....”
Exchange cards, point out current occupation merely temporary, have highly marketable manuscripts.
“Well, I’m sure I could send you a contract next week...”
3 am Float into bed. Evening a complete blank. Save for every last word of conversation with René. Clearly not all men idiots. Delightful youngster, remarkably perspicacious. Can recognise marketable manuscript just by conversing with author thereof.
Gemini 21 May- 21 June The moon squares Plato. Family matters will loom large today. Keep your cool
7 pm Unpack. Complete mystery to me why men cannot cope with such simple tasks. Leave dirty washing in corner of bedroom, will deal with same tomorrow. Go downstairs for long cold drink, pass Gizmo on her way up, ignore howling, know damned well she has been fed, watered.
Give awesome news re Paris publisher to impressed offspring, pour more drinks, toast new career.
Bernie wants to see me as soon as poss. Hannah says. Pop next door, go through hugging routine, listen to over-excited colleague. “Even more cabin bookings...and Johnny Halliday has sent us a good luck message on video...says we can use at the Show...” Aw, ain’t that sweet.
9.45 pm Am wrecked, head sackwards. Switch on bedroom light. Spousal sage-green silk shirt seems to be moving in corner. Investigate same warily. Gizmo looks up, smiles, purrs ecstatically. Owner looks down, gulps.
Ex-sage-green ex-shirt now feline nest. Kindergarten activities in full swing, kids pushing, shoving, sucking noisily. Silk shirt now ginger, tortoiseshell, tabby (various permutations), and black.
© Madeleine Dickson