Jamie – 23 August 2011
The French are very good at many things, as our previous postings have highlighted. But no one is perfect, French included. They do fall short in one particular area: dogs. Each morning I amble up our maze of cobblestone laneways to the nearest boulangerie for our daily ration of baguettes and croissants. It is only about 50 metres but in that short distance I have to navigate around no less than 84 dog bombs. Some of them are quite large which surprises as no one seems to own a dog larger than a grapefruit.
It appears that, even in this quite magnificent little French village, the “pick up after you dog” rule has not arrived. So far so good – our perfect French country house with its perfect French coir carpet has not been soiled, and neither has our lovely new car. But I fear it is only a matter of time, as while Bec and I may be vigilant we have three young children for whom checking the bottoms of shoes ranks just below doing their teeth on the “what I want to do” scale.
The last day has been very peaceful. It is hot during the day – mid thirties – so we wandered down to the village pool for a cooling dip. We also tried about seventeen different flavours of icecream and sorbet. You have your classic flavours – vanilla, chocolate, lemon, etc. But being in the country there are lots of exotic flavours which we are really enjoying– lavender, elderflower, rose, melon and wild mint.
We also enquired about babysitting which lead to a woman arriving at our house to interview us, inspect the house, and meet the children. She wrote about four pages of notes and promised to be back in touch about sitter availability. Very interesting. I hate to think what you have to do to get your children into a good school over here. We especially liked some of her turn of phrases, such as “when there is war between boys is it ok to send one to bedroom”. Of course! we exclaimed. Turns out she too has two boys, 6 and 8. Lots of knowing smiles and nods ensued. Let’s hope we pass as Bec and I are very keen for a meal out that goes for longer than twenty minutes and where all of the food survives the plate to mouth journey.
By the way – the other night at the snail festival – not all our children were as initially taken with the menu as Foster ….
… but he came around …