Settling down for last night’s group meal had been quite an exercise. Don and I were to meet the others at Le Code Bar, when I would help them distribute leaflets advertising the weekend’s festivities in Eymet. As Mike advanced from the square, a plant in each hand, Don realised who he was. Janet, Jennifer, and Maggie were scattered around the village which they were decorating with Eymet fliers. Leaving Don to his Stella, Mike and I finished the job. Now I know why people needing to get rid of leaflets ignore signs which say ‘Stop Pub’ (No junk mail). Sorry, Sigoules neighbours.
That proved to be the easy part of the proceedings. Now six, we had a choice. We could either participate in the rustic festivities of the ‘square meal’ (see 27th. July post); or eat in the comparative ease and seclusion of Le Code Bar Restaurant. David was eager to prepare us a table, and to learn how many we would be. I kept taking soundings and checking numbers. This was rather difficult to establish as I knew Judith and Roger were possibly, though not definitely, joining us. It seemed impossible to secure a concensus from the original six. All we could agree on was that we would have a drink at the bar. First I would tell David that we might be six and we might be eight, and we would most likely, but not definitely, be eating in the restaurant, so he could prepare a table. Then I would have to inform him that we would be eating in the square. I don’t know what this was doing to his head, but it wasn’t doing mine much good. We’d just about confirmed the latter decision when I was delighted to see Judith and Roger arrive. Now we were eight. What the debating committee had failed to notice was that the square had become jam-packed.
Our friends from Razac ventured into the melee in an attempt to find eight places near enough together at the public tables. Impossible. I therefore decided to fetch my circular garden table. There were misgivings all round, but I assured everyone that I had done it before, for a deaf family who had been unable to find a place. Off I went to collect it. Staggering back up to the bar, table in hand, I met Mike. He had been delegated to inform me that we were now ten and would be eating in the restaurant. Back I tracked and returned the table to the garden. Janet was emerging with a couple of chairs. Having been likewise notified, back she tracked. David was preparing a table for ten. Sorted. Not quite. The last couple were eating in the square. Back to eight.
As we were finally settling down, Roger told me that there were two valves controlling the water supply to the washing machine (see 30th. July post). One in the machine, and one in the connection at the wall. He had omitted to mention that he had, quite sensibly, turned off the supply at the wall, thinking that this was preferable to creating another flood. He maintains it was daft of me not to realise it. Hopefully he is realising I’m not exactly practical about these things. We returned to the house, dragged out the machines, and he crouched down and released the valve. The sound of water flowing into Kim’s machine was music to my ears.
A most pleasant meal ensued. My fears about how we would manage the reckoning were unfounded. We just divided the total into eight, which produced a simple round figure. While the rest of us paid in cash (mine from that which Maggie had provided me with on 30th. July), Mike settled the account with his card. The final hiccup occured when he realised he might have made a profit. I said that was no problem because he could go home, check his sums, and, if he was in profit feel guilty about it.
Lydie drove Don and me to Eymet at midday today. We had a wander around this thirteenth century town, a pint of draft Guinness in the pub that caters for the English, and lunch in an Italian reastaurant. I had osso buco, which I had never tried before, and which was very tasty and more spicy than I’d expected; Don had putenesca which he also enjoyed. We then dozed on the bench outside the church until Lydie came to collect us. Seeing us in situ, she regretted not having her camera with her. I had forgotten mine.
As she drove across the river Dropt out of Eymet Lydie pointed out the grand chateau which was now for sale. I said it had been an old people’s home, which she confirmed. She added that the residents had all been decanted to the new homes in Sigoules. This prompted me to recount the tale of the three elderly occupants I had seen crossing that road a couple of years ago. I had been seated on a bench overlooking the river. Two women and a man came into view, slowly filing across the road. They were about halfway across when they suddenly became frozen like statues. One of the women had let out a splendid fart. In unison, still stationery, their three heads swivelled silently in my direction, horrified expressions on their faces. ‘I didn’t hear anything’, I called. For some reason they, all three, found this hilarious. The gentleman bringing up the rear was helpless with laughter, just as Lydie was now. All he could do was intermittently point at me. Lydie was doubled up. I feared the old folk would never get it together to leave the middle of the road, as I now feared for Lydie’s steering. Fortunately, then and now, sanity eventually prevailed.