Thierry’s car broke down on the way home last night, so the men were driven here today by someone else. They arrived full of apologies only half an hour late. I forgot the coffee. Geoffrey, like his stepfather, asked for it.
Thierry’s late father was a great reader and academic. The son saved all the books, both in French and in English. He has waited for someone who would appreciate them to turn up. They are coming my way. Both the builders were highly amused when I took them upstairs to see a card that Jacqueline sent me some time ago, captioned ”HEAVEN”.
On this much milder day, as I set off to walk the La Briaude loop, a hallowed silence was maintained by a dense crowd thronging the streets around the packed church. Hundreds of people were there in mourning for the next occupant of the cemetery.
The regular tramp of my feet along the lanes provided a rhythmic backing to the tuneful twittering of smaller birds; the raucus crowing of distant rooks; and the more melodious tones of a solitary cuckoo. Streams flowed more sedately, and there was evidence of recent ploughing. The profusion of wild flowers mentioned on 5th were now looking truly in season. Beetles crawled across the tarmac.
On my return, a concerned Saufiene told me that the electrical wiring was unsafe, yet would be corrected by Thierry. It had been completely encased in wood, some very flimsy, which is apparently subject to humidity.
The three men joined me me for lunch at Le Code Bar. A table had to be set up for us in the snooker room upstairs. The meal consisted of a vegetable and spaghetti soup; a perfect pot au feu salad; succulent steak and superb chips; and apple tart. My companions were extremely impressed, although they had no room for sweet. I told them there was to be no falling asleep in the afternoon. The conversation, almost all in French, which is tiring for me, was great fun, although I had to point out to the others that when they became excited, they spoke far too fast for my comprehension. Saufiene was an efficient translator when necessary.
Application of the mastic gun makes the sound of a squeaking mouse. The word I used for this was unknown to all three men. I felt rather chuffed when my dictionary confirmed it. And, Jackie will be pleased to learn, it wasn’t archaic.