« sterling | Main | column »


January 2, 2011

Biff and I set off to visit friends taking a cross-country route that I'm hoping will prove to be a short-cut. (Rather than maps or GPS I prefer to rely on 'intuitive driving', which means I roughly guess the direction we should be going and follow the road until a sign proves me wrong!)

There are signs by the roadside saying 'attention - chasse!' while the sight of men pacing around in pseudo-military garb, makes it obvious that there is a big hunt going on.

Realising we are lost - you probably won't be surprised to hear that 'intuitive driving' has a high failure rate - I pull over in a clearing where a group of hunters are waiting with their dogs.

It's never a good idea to interrupt this macho pursuit, surtout if your car reveals that you are anglaise; but as I wind down the window to ask directions, one of the hunters reluctantly approaches to assist.

As he gives me directions, Biff - alerted by the sound of the hunting horns and dogs barking nearby - climbs out from his usual position behind the driver's seat, and jumps onto my knee to look out of the window.

The hunter jumps back startled, while his dog eyes Biff with complete disdain. The other chasseurs also look over at us with appalled expressions. The reason? Biff is wearing a little red t-shirt emblazoned with the words 'Eat, Sleep, Play Football.'

'C'est un chien anglais?' asks the hunter, as if implying that no self-respecting French dog would ever be seen wearing a red veste.

'No,' I reply. 'He's a French dog - from a rescue in the Dordogne.'

I'm tempted to add that he is wearing a veste for medical reasons actually - to stop him scratching an insect bite - and that just because he is wearing a red t-shirt does not make him a sissy.

Instead, I drive off imagining the laughter that we've left in our wake and thinking that if only Biff had been wearing his little Barbour-style jacket - in hunting green with cute little side pockets for his snacks - the hunters might have taken him more seriously.

comments (4)

1. Posted by markyj on January 5, 2011 12:39 AM

Ah but, surely you chuckled knowing that beneath Biff's 'sissy t-shirt' beats the heart of a true hunter with an aplomb that is more 007 than any French hunting chien! The name's Biff - always shaken, never stirred. Lol

2. Posted by Ange on January 5, 2011 11:30 AM

Its a good job he wasnt wearing reindeer horns with bells on! You would have had a hard job explaining that one!

3. Posted by Sharon North on January 5, 2011 12:14 PM

Better than than the luminous jacket my dog Mortimer was given for Christmas - looks like a cowboy builder! Fortunately he has good taste and runs a mile when he sees it.

Love the new column in Living France by the way.

4. Posted by Angela on January 6, 2011 6:20 PM

Bless him!! - and you!!

post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)