Posted by: kathandroger | November 16, 2011

A Terribly troublesome trio.

Life at La Belardiere is usually calm and quiet. Not so yesterday.

Our neighbour, Francis, has had an official complaint about his thirty or so rusting cars which sit outside his house-directly opposite our house. Francis is in his mid fifties, and used to have a garage locally, but it went bust and since then he has done very little in the way of working for a living. He is not a refined man. Kath abhors him, especially when he has been drinking and smoking too much. That means every day. He is loud and rotund, and not a fine specimen of French maturity, but I must admit I have a sneaking liking for him. He likes animals and can’t kill a chicken and once got my old car going.

Anyway, yesterday, as most Tuesdays, he had a couple of chums over to help him clean up his yard, as ordered by the Mayor. Now these work parties are always preceded by a very liquid lunch, and usually begin late in the afternoon. Francis gives orders and his minions, Patrice with the thickest specs ever seen, and who always wears yellow fluorescent trousers, and Guy, who is 80 and arrives in his garden tractor and who I used to think was dumb. I made the error of showing myself in our courtyard, and was summoned by Francis to come and consult with him. He is very very unhappy at having been fined and having to clean up. He feels that it is les Anglais who have caused all the problems, and was keen on making his feelings felt. The others joined in, but Patrice didn’t really agree, and Guy, who used to work in our yard when it was a farm, only wanted to tell me all about the old times. I say I thought he couldn’t speak, but that was only because he always was silent and looked vague. When the linguistics have been loosened by alcohol the words come in unstoppable torrents. The problem was he was interrupting Francis’s diatribe and completely changing the subject all the time. The only time he stopped was when he turned round to empty his bladder over the rear of his tractor! Being jostled and haranged by three drunken Frenchmen is a new experience for me, but I couldn’t help seeing the funny side, especially as I didn’t understand lots of it. I’m still not sure about the outcome of the conference, but later in the evening we heard lots more shouting outside. We decided to keep quiet and ignored the fracas. Today Francis, all smiles and amicability, told me that Patrice had fallen over and broken his leg. He is in the hospital at Chatellerault!

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