Friday, November 13, 2015

Armistice 2015

11 November 2015


13 degrees

Normandie poppies

Early awake with mist hanging like lavender veil over the lawns.  6.30 am.  Again. 

Yesterday received a call from the French agent to say that her client (bolt in the neck woman) had made an offer of 48k on our little flat.  20% below asking price and way too low.  Didn't really like the look of her in any event.

OH was very keen on restocking orchard so we went around the various garden centres and nurseries.  Bought a Reine des Reinettes which is meant to be a good pollinator and also an apricot tree.  I was not keen on spending on trees which we literally will not see come to fruition.  Weren't we selling up within the next year?  He said you never know and I was very unhappy because as long as we are here, he will want me to carry on being an estate agent.  I can't carry on putting on my motley - I just can't.  It is threadbare.

Today, down town at 10.45 and drank a coffee.  Bar was heaving with locals.  They never even stopped to draw breath at 11 am but carried on jabbering about inconsequential things; the price of things, who has done what, banalities.  So disrespectful.  The clients arrived just after 11 and I showed them the Tin Tin house.  They were from Argentina and thought, being cash buyers, that if they found a house they like in France, they could buy immediately.  Ha!  They have so much to learn.  They didn't seem taken with the house.

Then to the cenotaph where 150 or so somberly dressed locals were gathered.  The adjoint was giving a speech.  Pompiers sapeurs were standing at ease, their hands folded behind their backs, skin brown from the summer, gold wedding bands dully gleaming.  The members of the society of Anciens Combatants

The last post sounded and the flags were held low.  Brightly coloured chrysanthemums frothed around the foot of the grey war memorial with its cockerel topper.  Another person stepped forward.  The flags were raised to the vertical.  He read out the names of all the local men who had fallen in the First World War.  After each name, 'mort pour la France' from the lips of the present Darrigrands and Dartiguepeyrous, the Betouigts and Begbeiders, the Lancelots and Lasserres.  The sound reverberated around the Place and hung on the still dank air.  A band played the Marseillese and then a selection of gay tunes.  Small children jigged and fidgeted.  

The adjoint then declared that we would drink a verre d'amité and everyone cleared off with some alacrity to the Mairie.  I stopped at the crystal shop and was drawn to a piece of orange calcite which promotes joie de vivre.  I could certainly do with it.  I feel as miserable as sin.  To paraphrase Blackadder, 'I am as miserable as as a sinner in Sin City on Sin Special day out'.  'Wear it next to your heart' said the lady, so I tucked it into my bra.

To the Mairie and admired the collection of paintings on exhibition.  Some very good and some you wondered how people had the audacity to put them on public display.  A friend appeared at my elbow and took me up to the Function Room where a long table was set out with lots of wine, a couple of bottles of Coca Cola and many plates of violently coloured nibbles.  The children were making short work of them.  My friend told me of the problems she had been having with an old lady.  My friend had been helping her out as had another British couple.  The helpers had been falling out and some very acrimonious texts had been passing back and forth.  I really don't know why she bothers.  It was very funny in any event.  Her last communication with the old lady is when she had rung her up and been told to F off.  She is a venomous toad and currently in the UK, hacking off her children.

Got home to find OH had gone fishing.  Prepared tuna and potatoes dauphinoises and spoke to potentially good buyers arriving next Tuesday.  Walked dog.  Birds silent and no wind at all.  Weak rays of sunshine and smell of leaf mould.