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It’s been cold here. Cold and wet now for as long as we can remember. The only sunshine we seem to have had has been reflected from my homepage via our Moroccan friends, or so it seems. I was chatting to Nelly, the lovely wife of our local boulanger in the village about it this morning, and she was asking if it’s affected bookings. I think it has this year, coming on top of a wet summer. People just don’t seem to have the enthusiasm yet for thinking about their summer holidays. We had a call from a company specialising in isolation a few days ago. Not as in making people feel lonely, no; ‘isolation’ is French for ‘insulation’. The nice lady asked quite a few questions “How old is your house?”, “Do you have double glazing?”, “What is the roof construction?”, “How do you heat the house?” All of these were answered, and then after the last one, the answer to which is “wood”, she asked how many steres of wood we used per year. Now, a stere is a metre cubed of wood. A cord is roughly 3 metres cubed of wood. We’ve used SIX cords this year! When faced with this outrageous example of wasteful Anglais, burning through French wood at the rate of an Amazonian bulldozer on speed, she exclaimed “Oh, la la!” This wasn’t the first time I’d heard this, as I’ve been a fan of ‘Allo, ‘Allo’ for years. It was just funny in the context that it was a real live French lady saying it on the telephone to me. There was a touch of the surreal about it. Anyway, she decided that we needed a visit from one of their salesmen to best advise us how to insulate (isolate) our maison! I’ll let you know how we get on.

Just coming back to the weather thing – we had a cracking few days last week, and one of the comments left in our visitors book was “…if the weather was like this all the time, we’d never go anywhere else!” How nice is that? It’s comments like that from people that we look forward to seeing again that make this worthwhile. Another case happened not 15 minutes ago. I’d happened to mention in passing to one of our caravan storing guests here, that I’d like to make Liam’s room my music room one day. As it stands, it’s in perpetual readiness for the Prodigal One to use as his French Retreat when he gets bored of living the highlife in Manchester, so it’s not going to happen anytime soon. But, as a first rung on the ladder, I received a parcel just now. I don’t get parcels. Well, I do. I got one from my mum once. She sent some custard powder from the UK. It would have been in one of those cardboard ‘tins’, but that was alot of postage, so my mum repackaged the contents of Mr Bird’s finest yellow powder into a small plastic food bag, along with some of Mr Jacob’s finest Orange flavour ‘Club’ biscuits. Needless to say that upon opening the package at this end after the rough passage it’d had from Angleterre, it exploded on my kitchen table! I looked as if I’d been pollenated!

Anyway, because I’d mentioned my ‘yen’ to hang my guitars on the wall here, a very lovely man called Paul has just sent me two of those very professional guitar hooks that you see in guitar shops the world over! Paul, if you’re reading this, you are a saint among men, and I thank you for brightening my day! Look forward to seeing you again soon.

You see, the sun may not always shine here in our part of France, but there are people we know who make our lives a much, much brighter place by their kindness.

Until the next time, au revoir.

TBC

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

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