Posts Tagged ‘Mauricette’

A Ghost In The Machine!

Bernard’s arms are healing – slowly. Yesterday, we called off there after visiting the déchetterie to get rid of a trailer load of rubbish. Bernard was busy placing seed potatoes in holes created by his wife Mauricette with a short pick axe affair! The way he was grumbling at Mauricette we thought he was lucky to escape a mis-timed blow with said blunt(ish) instrument. Luckily, we caught them at the end of the row, and they retired to the cool of the kitchen with us. Our daughter’s outgrown some nearly new clothes and we know that Mauricette’s sister has two teenaged daughters. So – waste not, want not as they say (but in French) around here….

I have a problem. We recently decided that our large family gite, Héron, needed the kitchen upgrading to reflect its family gite status. Previously, there’d been a kitchen of sorts in there, but very, very basic with mis-matched cupboards etc. So, we stood one day looking at this fairly large room with a view to simply re-arranging what was already there. As is usual with us, it turned into a full-scale revamp. New electrics, new kitchen, new tiles, new sink. New dishwasher and new washing machine…Which brings me to the problem. Guests had already used the dishwasher and it works great. No-one so far had used the washing machine. So, one fine and very sunny day, Syb decided to have all four washing machines here going at once! She duly loaded them all, including the new one and then came to help me cleaning the pool. After a while, I decided to get out and fetch us a cold beer! I was asked to check on the washing machine in Héron, and hang the washing out to dry. I always do as I’m told, so I went to check.

When I came back out to see Syb, I must have looked visibly shocked, because Syb asked me what was wrong! “This may sound like a stupid question” I said, “but when you loaded the washing machine, was the door facing outwards?”

You know those looks that women give you that need no words of explanation to suggest that you’re simply a stupid man who should never have left your mother? I got one of those. “Come and have a look”, I said….

When Syb turned the corner into the kitchen, she physically jumped, as I’d done when the scene met my eyes. Now it was my turn to offer a look that said “See? I’m not so stupid after all, am I?”

The washing machine somehow had walked out of position, nestled as it was quite tightly between the cupboard and the dishwasher. It had marched forthrightly in a forward manner, turned around by 180 degrees, and promptly marched back in again, the door now facing to the side, away from view. We were both speechless, and began immediately to look for the practical joker. After a fruitless search for our joking poltergeist, we decided that the thing must have done it all by itself. I then spent the best part of two hours leveling, testing, leveling and testing the machine until I was convinced that the thing indeed suffered a form of epilepsy, and needed an expert, or a hammer. Large, please. Washing machine for the destruction of.

Which brings us back to Bernard. Well, more specifically, his son Pascal – the plombier! Pascal returns from his vacances tomorrow, and will duly be despatched au Chant d’Oiseau to exorcise our washing machine.

Bernard meanwhile, has had three pins removed from each wrist, and is slowly (much to the apparent annoyance of his wife) recovering. Hunting, fishing and shooting are poor old Bernard’s passions in life and the prognosis for a full recovery in order to hold a rifle again, let alone shoot one is not good. So, in return for the clothes, we were offered pastis, and a dozen eggs. Both accepted gracefully, and we chatted for a while about this and that. I say ‘chatted’, what I mean to say is that we had a stilted discussion with my level of French getting in the way of any meaningful conversation, but we usually understand enough to be able to have a ‘chat’ of sorts, but Mauricette just seems unable to accept the fact that my comprehension skills are a couple of warp speeds behind where she personally sits as the driver of an incredibly fast tongue. Still, I must be getting better as she seems to be becoming less of a challenge to me. Or it could just be the pastis.

Until the next time, au revoir.


All content © Le Chant d’Oiseau, 2006-2008

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