Work could not continue yesterday because Benoit had a raging toothache with one side of his face like that of a chipmunk. Saufiene came to tell me this, and stayed chatting for a couple of hours after he tracked me down in Le Code Bar. Having recently read a history of Carthage, and knowing that Saufiene’s home in Tunis is very close to that city with such ancient origins, I opened a conversation on the subject. This very intelligent young man then revealed a considerable knowledge of world history. We spoke ‘of many things’, excluding, unlike Lewis Carroll’s Walrus, ‘cabbages and kings’.
Having taken antibiotics, Benoit was recovered today, and work continued apace, before I returned home to Minstead by the usual route. Sandrine drove me to Bergerac airport, and Jackie collected me from Southampton.
As is sometimes the way, a toddler stole the show on the plane trip from Bergerac. He had come to France to visit his Grandpa who, having a hearing aid, had the option of turning off the vociferous tantrums emanating from this little chap who can’t have learned to walk too long ago. These were unleashed when he insisted on pushing, unaided, his Mum’s large wheeled bag. Across the carpark. Through the airport lounge. And onto the plane. I am not sure how he got through customs security, but I’d like to have seen anyone attempt to search him.
The plane itself was probably less than half full. The child enjoyed himself wandering up and down the aisles with complete freedom.
Back home in Minstead, as has become traditional, Jackie and I celebrated our reunion with a curry. Off we went to Ringwood where we enjoyed Chicken Shaslick; Lamb Hatkora, etc., and Kingfisher beer. Before the meal we diverted to look at a large Victorian house at a very low price. Only when we arrived did we see a notice announcing that it was for sale by private tender. This we understand to mean a virtual auction, which means it will probably go to a builder who will work on it and eventually sell it for much more. Even if we did have money available, we would have no chance.
The little boy mentioned above can have been no more that six months older than I was when picture number 27 of the ‘through the ages series’ was taken by my grandfather as one of those mentioned on 13th August. How different his life will be.