Last night Lydie arrived on time to collect Bill and me and return us to Sigoules.  She and I had our usual debate about what she should be paid.  She always charges less than appears on the clock and I always give her a little more, which is still less than other companies charge.  This figure has not changed in five years.  Recoiling in mock horror when I said there was to be no argument about it, she exclaimed, a twinkle in her eye, that I was ‘so masterful’.

Keen to finish, against the odds, today, the builders, who normally arrive at 9 a.m., let themselves in with the key I had given them yesterday, well before 8, catching me in bed with ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ and a cafetiere.  I thanked them for having taken my dead washing machine and old ironing board to the dump yesterday.

A fragment of ‘La complainte’ (The lament) which I read this morning was the next Rutebeuf poem in Sofiene’s book.

Although much warmer today, rain looked likely when I set off to walk the loop that turns off the Thenac road at the wooden signpost beside it.  I therefore wore an unbuttoned raincoat.  Referring to the long-running (1971 – 2003) and oft-repeated formulaic American detective series starring Peter Falk, ‘ah! Columbo!’ cried Thierry.

Adopting the role, I turned around as I opened the front door, raised my hand, and said ‘just one more thing…..’.  Picking up the theme, ‘my wife…..’ replied a smiling Thierry.  For those who are not familiar with this TV production, these were two of the eponymous character’s stock phrases used when he was about to ask an apparently innocent, yet incisive, question, or make a deceptively perceptive observation.  It must be nigh on forty years since I last saw an episode.

Sigoules outskirts

No doubt waiting for the sun’s rays to filter through the blinds that were the surrounding trees, the wild flowers mentioned in previous recent posts still dipped their heads in slumber, not yet having stirred and stretched their petals.  They hadn’t been roused by intruders.  It didn’t rain, yet I was pretty moist on my return, after which I made a start on tidying up the garden.

Lunch at Le Code Bar consisted of my favourite, onion soup; coarse pate, avocado, melon and gherkins; and the tenderest thick slices of roast pork with mixed pasta.  The biscuit based soft chocolate mousse that followed lay in its usual pool of creme anglaise which was piped with threads of light and dark brown sauce producing an artistic kaleidoscopic effect when disturbed.


  1. Not sure whether you will get this, but thought you might be interested to know that Columbo lived in a small village in SW France very near where my niece lives! We were always on the look-out for him when we went to the lovely pool (public and open-air) that was in the village where he had a house. He died recently but I loved those “And one more thing….” Love Ali x

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