More tidying up this morning included righting slipping Granny. Flo’s portrait of Jackie, made some years ago, when our granddaughter was still quite small, needed a little Blu-tack. This process reminded me that the picture had been created on the back of a noodle bar paper placemat whilst awaiting a meal. I believe Pablo Picasso became quite popular among other waiters for dashing off some of his priceless doodles in a similar manner………. Well, you never know.
I went mountaineering this morning in search of a mobile phone signal. I walked up to Monbos and back, but had almost reached the church before I received a viable connection. The aptly named Sigoules Heights development appearing in the middle distance wasn’t high enough, it seems. I even spoke to Jackie for 21 minutes, and only stopped when a shower struck. Someone had kindly left open a shed door to provide me with shelter. I have passed this derelict building in the middle of nowhere several times in the past five years. Once it contained bedding; another time a motorbike; today just a pile of rubbish. And briefly, me.
As I blew on my French onion soup that was the Le Code Bar lunch starter today, I pondered on the human breath. I was using it to cool my soup. In colder weather I could have applied it to my hands to warm them. Apart from its main object of keeping us alive we can blow up balloons with it; rekindle fires or extinguish matches with it; whistle with it; and carry out many other activities that you will be able to think of.
The soup was followed by enough battered squid rings to have provided lifebelts for the Titanic. As if this weren’t enough, my breath was taken away by the stranded whale on a pebbled beach that filled the platter that followed. This was in reality thick chunks of superbly cooked gammon smothered in a piquant pepper sauce resting in a sublime bed of succulent beans. There was a selection of desserts. Recognising that Max was in a challenging mood, and unwilling to be defeated, I chose profiteroles. The chef marvelled at the speed of my consumption. I was, of course, stoking up for the day. And I didn’t eat all the bread.
Back at the house work continued. In particular, the piping as well as the joints under the bath has been renewed. This was omitted by the plumber who attended me after the burst pipes of 2008. For the last hour I had a fascinating conversation with Saufiene; Benoit who is from the deep South; and Sandra who has quite a bit of English, Basque, Spanish, and Russian to go with her native French. My greatest contribution to this was managing to explain to Benoit the joke in the marvellous rude card depending on a French waiter’s English pronunciation which Tess had sent me. The discussion was aided and abetted by Amsterdam, a 7% Dutch beer. Benoit, a man who uses his hands and body to communicate, waxed lyrical about his favourite game, rugby. I was in with a chance with this. Not much.