Diary From Limousin Part 4

By Madeleine Dickson

Monday
Gemini. 21 May-21 June Make the most of today – there are clouds on the horizon

Marie-Thérèse 's last day. She wants to be chef today. I would too if I was my guest. Have very long chopin liszt for Carrefour but have booked us a massage first.

Flirt outrageously with gorgeous front-of-house Adonis. More hope than expectation. Hunk smiles. Has full piano keyboard behind lips. Realise while undressing have forgotten to shave legs. Forest of young saplings from knee to toe. Lie down and dream of lithe handsome Adonis pouring oil on troubled skin. Must tell him to avoid spotty knee. Dream interrupted by husky voice asking Madame's wishes. Five o'clock shadow on chin, even though is only 9.30 a.m. Small copse growing from nose. Hands any first division goalkeeper would be proud of. “I'm Véronique,” she smiles. Notice piece of lettuce between upper fangs. 

Float out into street one hour later. Feel like a million euros. Have booked further kneading with Vile Véronique.

Midday. Unload oysters, champagne, guinea fowl.  Marie-Thérèse in charge. My only duties to direct her to saucepan cupboard and open bubbly. John deputed to open oysters. Is apparently not like falling off log. Suggest electric drill. Silently conduct merde cantata until last mollusc naked.

Wonderful meal, even oysters.  Smother raw globs with chef’s sauce to help beasts down throat. Offer guest permanent job. John disloyally seconds proposal.

Tuesday
Gemini. 21 May-21 June You will find yourself unaccountably disturbed today. Catch up on some paperwork, and try to push dark thoughts away.

See Marie-Thérèse off at airport. Lots of hugs, kisses, tears and assurances that I am Hostess with Mostest. Am convinced, but too modest to say so.

Spot nasty next-door neighbour in village talking to nice mayor. Poke my tongue out just as mayor turns to wave at me. Oh dear. Cannot understand why perfect gentleman mayor communing with perfect scumbag neighbour. Cannot understand what said scumbag doing visiting his weekend house on Tuesday. Am troubled ace hostess.

Workload easing as France Inc. heads for the ski slopes. Still, have papers to complete for court of appeal. Find ex-white forms under cat. Annual plea to be sworn translators.  Forms size of billboards. Submit two copies each applicant. One copy each supplied. Will need photocopier size of football field. State grandmuzzer's name. Reason for application. Can charge double if successful. Hmm. See the REAL Europe with Rail EuropePerhaps not wise to tell truth.

Notice Gizmo has signed last page already. Log on to Google in search of cat-pawprint-on-very-important-form-removal-handy-tips. Advises try with spelling paw print. Okay, okay. Sorry no pages with such a stupid title. Huh

Midday. Eat leftovers. Resolve to go on diet, stop smoking, drinking etc. Put feet up as am exhausted by resolutions. Finish multilingual chocolates from son Patric. Read box. Powered milk 37%. Hmm. Must be from turbo-charged cows.

3.p.m. Translate CV for law student. 35, millions of diplomas. Expertise, knowledge etc unlimited. Seeking internships. Preferably in Australia, California or S. Africa. Find atlas.  Notice said locations some distance from Limousin steppes. Decide is very smart young man. Will never need job if continues training to age of 50. Can then apply for early retirement. Wish I’d thought of said wheeze.

Am interrupted by call from local health authority. Sweet lady with list of documents to supply for insurance renewal. Wants to fix rdv. ASAP. Svp. Think at speed of light. Know Friday afternoon bunking-off time in official circles. Suggest Friday afternoon. No go. She has urgent meeting. Settle on Friday morning.

Urgent meeting with boss.  In-depth discussion re strength of tea in cups. Boss alleges tea so weak he could spear shark through 40 fathoms of same. Resignation as tealady refused. Perhaps can take early retirement instead.

Wednesday
Gemini. 21 May-21 June Personal relationships might be strained today. Grit your teeth and ride out the storm

9. a.m. Have resolved to be plus française in outlook. Am on strike. Leave copy of French Labour Code in loo. Hide John’s current lavatory tome in cat basket untouched by feline paws.

Make quick getaway to physiotherapy appointment. Pascal pleased disfiguring spots less huge. Further dose of smallpox before manipulation. Plugs me into wall socket and leaves me to recharge.  

Pascal very good gentle manipulator. Kneedless to say. Blushes furiously when touches Madame, but soon gets used to stubble.

10.30 Shop at Intermarché. Have to dodge geriatrics trolley-racing. Old men a nuisance too.  

Have been provided with long boring list from Ayatollah Dickson. Mouthwash. Hmm. Possibly self-treatment for expletive problem. Any vegetable, except broccoli. Fussy sod. No frozen stuff as freezer ice approaching front gate. Bordeaux, 2 botts. R/mops. Aw, how sweet. J. has at long last taken wifely plight to heart. Feel warm glow of affection. Make for fruit/veg section. Bump into friend from village. Get update on mayor’s plans for big save-our-village-services campaign, demos etc. Assure her of my support at barricades, rock-throwing at police etc. She will keep me posted.

11.30. Must get skates on. Rush through emporium, hurling insults at speeding centenarians. Have lost list, but can remember contents. Beautiful fresh broccoli today.  Buy case of rather nice Burgundy, special offer. J. will be pleased. Not for me as have forsaken alcohol. Notice extra-special-four-pack offer on tinned chestnuts. Practically giving them away. Whiz round to cold section. Know he mentioned frozen food. Put on scarf, gloves, bonnet.

Fill trolley. Remember dear husband going to share cleaning duties. Grab last word in mops before check-out. Has lots of clever swivel ‘n tilt features. Wonders of modern technology.

7. p.m. Has been strangely silent house today. John very quiet since lunchtime. Monosyllabic even. Keeps mentioning rollmops. Maybe sickening for something. Tell him about scumbag neighbour I witnessed trying to corrupt nice mayor. J. scandalised. Scumbag is foul word apparently. Tells me to wash mouth out. Turn out contents of bathroom cabinet, but cannot find any mouthwash. Perhaps he was being figurative.

Thursday
Gemini. 21 May-21 June Day of mixed fortunes but try to savour the positive aspects. Avoid conflict

11.15 Have final post-op appointment with adolescent knee surgeon. Audience of third-year students. Doe-eyed girls, about thirteen and a half. Explains knee history to adoring children. Notice Frankenstein Jr. omits mention of his attempted limb dislocation at last appointment. Demonstrates new knee mobility to groupies. Tries to push knee past patient’s ear. Advises daily cycling in privacy of bedroom. And no more smallpox treatment.

12.00 Decide some retail therapy called for. Buy handsome new sweater at Carrefour. Litre bottle of v. cheap whiskey. Have read somewhere about soothing effects when applied locally.

1.30    J’s spirits seem restored. Enters into social dialogue again. Even eats left-over
broccoli. Says I am not needed today. Can take afternoon off. Dust, polish, wash floors. Tidy warehouse of tinned chestnuts. Whatever you like, dear. Have slight attack of hysteria. Point out do not actually enjoy said activities, and have bought ungrateful spouse requested high-tech swivel/tilt doodah for self-cleaning purposes etc.  

7.30 Snowing again. Am phoned by daughters. Hannah is going skiing in Vosges. Issue Panicked Parent warning re breaking limbs, swallowing avalanches etc. Zara leaving for 4 days in Pyrenees. Repeat warning. Am concerned re daughters’ desire to fall off tall mountains wearing only short planks and Michelin suits.

8.00 Cycle 50. kms round bedroom.

8.30 Apply v. cheap whiskey to throat. J. engrossed in Reader’s Digest. Tells me average sneeze speed is 160km per hour. Sneezing due to dirt in nose. Perhaps his idea of peace treaty.

Friday
Gemini. 21 May-21 June The clouds are slowly beginning to clear

9 a.m. Blizzard blowing. See sweet lady at local health board. Hand over wad of requested documents.  Mme Poulet turns over each page slowly. Purses lips, clucks. Draws in sharp breath at p. 33. Sneezes. Offer her tissue. Tell her average speed of sneezes and cause thereof. Notice French do not seem to be as interested in acquiring knowledge as other Europeans. Am given another list of essential documents.

Am professionally rehabilitated. Start racehorse sale contract. Dreadfully drafted by head lad. 4 purchasers buying leg each. €50K per leg. No wonder cheval so expensive at meat counter.

8.00 Cycle 52.5. kms. Increased heart rate, leg pain etc. Could do with change of scenery. Calculate have toured bed, chest of drawers, rug, clothes-strewn-on-floor, fluff, cat etc 5378 times. Maybe change name to L. Armstrong.


Saturday
Gemini. 21 May-21 June Current planet configurations make you restless. Direct your energies towards some satisfying clearing-up.

Hurray! Second weekend off this year. Not quite habit yet. But snowing again. No walking. Leaf through TV magazine. No rugby. No football. Family in four corners of French hexagon.

John bravely battles 15 metres through 2cms snow to front gate. Collects post and sorts. Spectate said intrepid spousal activities. Have nothing better to do. Have mentally cleaned house. Translated translations. Goodbyed guest.

Make lunch. Scrutinize post while low cuisine cooks. Forest-load of advertising. Several hopeful mail shots wrapped in plastic, personally addressed. J. thinks I forward same to daughters. Sort plastic, paper into recycling bags. J. apparently unaware daughters not interested in Limousin estate agents’ puff. Lives in another world. Screw up puff stuff and chuck.

Have long slow lunch. Break wine moratorium as am hyperinactivity sufferer. J. says if fine tomorrow we can take walk. And deliver misdirected post to next door neighbour. Something about property catalogue for Monsieur Scumbag. Oh.

Sunday
Gemini. 21 May-21 June Exercise will curb your impatience and give you fresh impetus

J. says walk good for knee. Am reluctant, but excuses account empty. Turn right, but am dragged in opposite direction by left-handed husband. Pass Château de Scumbag. Scuttle past as do not wish to be tricked into admitting theft/wilful damage of mail.  

Walk all round village lake. Discover rolling valley behind. Log cabins. As in Canada. Perhaps have walked further than I thought. Poke around nearest hut as am v. nosy person. Rolling valley would make great golf course. Hmm. Can see Tiger Woods stroking his balls into hole.

Whinge and Gizmo shivering on windowsill. Or maybe laughing at cat joke. Open window, let them in. Explete expletives as virtually cleaned floor turns dirtier beige.

7.15    Cycle 71.3 kms. Sing cycling duet with Bob Dylan   I Ain't Gonna Work For Maggie's
Pa No More either.

But will definitely seek owner of Limousin Loggers’ Lodgings. And find out when ole Tiger will be free.

Bonne semaine
© Madeleine Dickson

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