The overnight rain having somewhat abated, I set off to do yesterday’s walk in reverse. Apart from offering variety, this provides a downhill return to the house. As the sun was making an effort the saturated stone pavement sparkled and the friendly roadsweeper was doing has best with the windblown debris. Sigoules was emerging from the storm so there were more people on the street. The rain had not quite given up, therefore raindrops glistened on the greenery and kept ‘falling on my head’, especially when the trees received a gust of wind. My M & S linen suit just about survived the trip but by the time I got back the sun had conceded defeat.
After my blog came lunch at Le Bar. I asked David who had dreamed up the title? He said he had. It had been a toss up between the one chosen and ‘The Parralel Bars’ as in gymnastics. We found we shared the pleasure of play on words. It gets better and better. I was tempted to finish this sentence with ‘innit?’ but thought better of it. Forswearing it completely was beyond me. (Couldn’t help myself, Jackie.)
Vegetable soup; then melon with delicious garlic sausage and a slice of salami which could cure my dislike of that meat where the fat is visible; a succulent melt-in-the-mouth pork casserole containing mushrooms and olives producing a delightful piquancy to follow. In serving me this Frederick said he knew I liked chips every day, but today it was rice. Would I like chips? I said I was happy with rice. What about ‘a piece of two’? I said rice was fine. I got ‘a piece of two’ delivered with a smile. One small glass of red wine sufficed. Yesterday, as I was paying the bill, David asked me if I were satisfied. To me it had sounded like ‘that summer’ and I produced my ‘English, don’t quite understand’ expression. We cleared that up today. I’d also introduced him to our cockney phrase ‘what’s the damage?’. He countered with the French version: ‘what’s the pain?’.
It being rather too damp to sit in the garden, I remained inside this afternoon. A lizard came in to visit me, realised its mistake, and scarpered. By early evening the weather seemed to have cleared up a bit so I decided to take Le Carre down to the fishing lake and sit for a while. As I closed the door the heavens opened and stair rods descended. After ten minutes this ceased and the sun enlivened the streams filling the gutters. Weighing up the odds I decided to stay put. By sunset there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.
I finished ‘The Honourable Schoolboy’ this evening. This long novel was hailed in the 70s as Le Carre’s finest and the best spy story of his age. It is indeed an excellent book provided you can get through the first half. Despite our being, through the medium of cinema, familiar with the work of George Smiley I found section 1, effectively an introduction to the machinations of espionage, a little difficult to follow. After the action begins in the second part I could not put it down. Le Carre’s prose is flowing, elegant, and detailed and he has a flawless grasp of his chosen milieu.