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silent sunday

September 21, 2008

I wake up to silence. I eat my pain au chocolat and drink my coffee to silence. And I spend a couple of hours reading the Sunday newspapers on-line. In silence.

By mid-afternoon - and I never thought I would say this - I am starting to miss the sound of my Portuguese neighbours firing up the barbecue on the pavement outside, laughing, chatting and popping open cans of beer.

As I walk Biff around the sleepy village in the late afternoon sunshine, I listen for the tell-tale signs of music, loud macho voices and laughter. Rien. All is quiet in the square. Luis and Piedro, I tell myself, must have left the village for good - to the relief, no doubt, of all my French neighbours.

But early evening, the smell of barbecued fish drifts in through an open window. And then I hear a very familiar, loud and deep laugh - a laugh I would recognise anywhere. I look out of the window and see the familiar sight of Luis, bent over a barbecue, his big calloused hands tending to what look like delicate pancakes.

Ten minutes later, he puts down his barbecue tongs and follows me to my car as I bundle Biff inside to go and visit friends.

'Are you going out?' he asks.

'Yes. How is your new flat?'

'Tres agreable.'

'Have you moved far?'

'Just across the square,' he says with a grin.

'Then what are you doing back here so soon?' I ask.

He replies, in his heavily accented French, something about fishing.

'You're going fishing?' I repeat, looking incredulous. 'On a Sunday evening?'

'No, no! 'That's far too quiet for me.' He points to the barbecue and I eventually work out that he is cooking a special fish that he has brought back from Portugal for his friends (the four Portuguese men who have moved in to take his and Piedro's place.)

'What time will you be back?' he asks as I drive off.

'Je ne sais pas' I reply.

But as I drive past fields of wilting sunflowers, I am forced to admit that I am strangely pleased that they have only moved across the square.

comments (7)

1. Posted by Markyj on September 22, 2008 12:28 PM

Mmmm, Luis and his 'big calloused hands'! Reading between the lines....sounds to me like the whiff of a Mills'n'Boon style romance in the offing....Or could it be that said romance has already flowered and I'm behind the curve...ooh la la...an Indian Summer indeed...enjoy, enjoy, enjoy...

2. Posted by ford 43 on September 22, 2008 12:42 PM

Yes, I too was struck by the image of large, callused hands tending to delicate pancakes!

3. Posted by Eagle_Wings on September 22, 2008 1:13 PM

Romance certainly in the air :-) Must be something to do with an Indian Summer indeed, at home and abroad.

4. Posted by mimi pompom on September 22, 2008 2:08 PM

Mills & Boon??! I was thinking more along the lines of Mellors the gamekeeper and Constance Chatterley - my all time favourite literary duo!



5. Posted by rockfrog on September 22, 2008 2:23 PM

Is that an admission of guilt then?

6. Posted by pierre l on September 22, 2008 11:10 PM

I will not get involved in this guessing game. But I will say that we have been blessed with several great posts recently - long may it continue.

7. Posted by dephaine on September 24, 2008 7:38 AM

This gamekeepers theme is in your blood. Having read your blog, Was'nt an ex boyfriend a country loving person from gamekeeping stock?
I have alway thought a of a gamekeepering hands as being slim and well looked after, and that the 'big calloused hands' were more of a poacher.

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