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July 21, 2008

The maize in the fields is now as tall as me, and Biff and I have a new game - dodging the long-armed irrigators that early morning and evening, send giant arcs of water soaring across the green and blue horizon.

On one of our favourite walks the farmer has positioned the irrigator on the narrow grass track close to the edge of the tall green field. This means we have to judge the moment and then run by as quick as whippets in order to avoid a drenching, should the rotating pipe suddenly swing in our direction. Sometimes, we wait for a good few minutes watching the white water - often framed by a rainbow - soar across the blue horizon before being able to pass by.

Returning from a walk early on Saturday evening, I find my noisy neighbour hanging out of his window, bare-chested and smoking a cigarette.

'Ca va?' he says with a lazy smile.

'Ca va bien merci,' I reply, avoiding eye contact.

'When are we going to have that aperitif?' he asks.

'I'm very busy at the moment,' I reply. (This never sounds convincing in rural France.)

Ten minutes later, I am grilling a venison burger for Biff's dinner when the doorbell rings. It is my neighbour (now wearing a t-shirt). He wants to borrow some ketchup and tomato puree to make a bolognese sauce - or at least that's what I think he wants as he speaks with a very thick accent.

'Please don't forget to bring them back,' I say sternly, as I hand over an almost empty bottle of ancient ketchup and half a tube of tomato puree.

'Bien sur,' he says, with another languid smile. 'Bon appetit eh?'

comments (6)

1. Posted by pierre l on July 22, 2008 12:05 AM

Do you have a back door so you can arrive and leave unseen by your neighbour?

2. Posted by mimi pompom on July 22, 2008 12:37 AM

Unfortunately Pierre, I don't. The only other option is to invest in a very large ladder and scale the ten foot stone wall that backs on to the churchyard behind my house.

3. Posted by Jeannie on July 22, 2008 1:42 PM

My partner and children want to come and live with you...."a grilled venison burger"...for Biff's tea!! My lot are lucky if they get a couple of sausages chucked under the grill. So it's true...dogs live better than us! I'll send them over asap! x

4. Posted by Provincial Lady on July 22, 2008 9:08 PM

Why do French farmers insist on irrigating so many areas of road/lane/footpath? The worst is when you're driving along with the windows open, and suddenly you have a bucketload of water dumped in your lap... at least it's so hot you dry off quickly!

5. Posted by Markyj on July 23, 2008 9:36 PM

I love it all. That's what the country's all about. Those little things we take for granted in missing in the city. Simple solution is to hit the electric windows button when you see one coming. Lol.

Anyways, the Portuguese - aha - there's no smoke without fire, do I detect a sizzling, summer, shagfest in the air...can't wait to read more of this 'mysterious' neighbour... lol

6. Posted by Markyj on July 23, 2008 9:41 PM

Or, in short....for goodness sake, let him keep the bleeding ketchup, and try and get some of his sauce. Wish I had a bare-chested man hanging out his window smoking a fag and saying ca va to me...you lucky, lucky girl...oh the Bridget Jones of it all. Nothing sexier than a REAL man!

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