Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Etymology and the Galloping Gourmet


Tuesday 4 August 2015
Cool and showery in night, cloudy in day
24 degrees

OH has been looking very tired and actually passed out on the sofa last night during the denouement of the Agatha Christie we had been watching.  Denouement is a lovely word, a noue is a knot and therefore de-noue-ment is literally unknotting.  Staying in England, and living in an English world, there are some words in English which you can use without ever realising their French bases or meanings.  Take incorrigible, for example.  Corriger is to correct so someone who is in-corrig-ible is someone who is incapable of being corrected. Perhaps someone like Keith Floyd, whom OH loves to watch.  Who left just 7500 in his will, having lost the rest to four wives, disastrous investments, heavy drinking and, according to his last wife, eccentric behaviour.  His cooking was nothing to write home about, being very basic and usually carried out on an outside table somewhere interesting and/or exotic and filmed by a poor unfortunate called Clive.  He had character and charisma in abundance, more than Rick Stein (who I happen to love) will ever have.  But Rick is still going strong and it has only taken him through two wives.  My first memory of a TV cook was Graham Kerr, the Galloping Gourmet.  He used to arrive on stage, glass of wine in hand, and leap over a chair

This is him in action


At the end of each show, he would invite a member of the audience up to taste his dish.... great stuff and he is still going strong too (largely by changing the way he cooks....)

Anyway, how did I get onto the subject of celebrity cooks?  Suffice to say that when ten am came around and OH was still comatose, I dug him out of bed and we went down to the rental unit and I sat on a worktop so he could screw it (and hopefully not my derrière) in place and then I offloaded piles of old books and over large shirts at the fripperie, went to see the plumber to ask why the water was turned off at the big unit, (has he tried opening it at the valve asked the plumber's lady) and buy work inspiring patisserie for OH.

Back home to get paperwork off to notary for new sale and nudge along deal struck just before going away.

In the afternoon go and see a 1970's property.  The person who shows me the house is not the owner, it transpires, and doesn't want to give me the mandate.  It has a flat roof which is not good.  People from the UK assume flat rooves mean trouble and will leak.  Also, you cant stand back in the garden and have a look at them, or go inside and crawl about in the loft and look at them from the underside.  It is light and spacious and because it is hunkered down on the land and single level, you cant actually see the road at all, but just an uninterrupted view of the mountains.  I quite like it.  What I don't like as much is the rank boy smell of the young men staying in it.  They were both asleep when we arrived (3.15 pm) with all the doors and windows bolted shut.  We were all very surprised to see one another when the key holders managed to get in and started opening the shutters.

I took photos and told them I really needed the mandate and that the price was too high.  Left and went to see a lady who had bought with me, decided to resell and after I hadn't done very many visits, given the exclusive contract to my old agency.  Her father opened the door, a wriggling bichon frisé in the crook of his arm.  She had just signed a compromis.  It was the third and he really hoped this one wasn't going to fall through.  Left my card and told him that my clients didn't need loans, in general, and the ones that did need loans, obtained them.

Drove past the house which the NZ ladies are buying in just two weeks and the garden is a terrible mess.  Rang their notary and asked her to tell the other notary that if the owners didn't clean it up, to withhold a retention of 1000 euros.  That should motivate them to get something done.

Organise Thursday's visits.  Speak to two good new clients.  Speak to man of Spanish/English couple who visited with us last week and he was extremely taciturn and said he would contact me by email.  Thanks a bunch, mate.  Great to know you don't want to waste your valuable breath, speaking to me.  OH commented that they hadn't paid for the coffee.  Never a good sign.  People who don't pay for the coffee, don't buy.  Like people in camper vans.  Just based on eleven years experience.

Finish up last night's seafood risotto and it is even more delicious the second day.  Try and walk dog and we are accompanied by next door's dog.  Ours keeps snapping at him to say sod off and stop jumping on me.  I take big stick and show it to him and he gets the hint and just follows us and wags his tail.