I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
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Monday, 17 June 2013

All falls come to an end

FRANCE: LA CHUTE, et. seq. When I paid for lunch the following day the patronne was behind the till and she asked solicitously about my injuries even though she hadn't been in evidence at the time.

As I have explained my main aim on holiday in France is to turn every event, however minor, into a conversational opportunity. I said it was my fault (though the step was virtually invisible) and the main damage was to the little finger on my right hand. "But then," I said, "the little finger..." She finished off my sentence: "... isn't much use for anything."

Delighted she'd picked up my wavelength, I then went a step too far. "I was probably drunk. A cause de toi." The second sentence uttered without thinking means "Because of you." but where it strays is that it employs a derivative of the second-person singular tu. Even those who do not speak French will know that there are innumerable solecisms associated with the misuse of this word. Was I being over-familiar? Was I treating her as a child? Or as a villain?

But her eyes sparkled and she laughed aloud. The French, in my experience, are incapable of laughing politely and so all seemed well. We will lunch there again this week hoping for blanquette de veau however unseasonal.

NOVEL Although the Compaq netbook has been unsuitable for nettish work, it fulfilled its word processor function admirably. I have written over 3000 words of Hand Signals and am now involved in writerly rather than computeresque problems. I need to show a man practising "goodness for her own sake" on the hero Jessica (name will probably be changed). It is extraordinarily difficult. She is presently too fragile a structure.

Pic. Aniane's main drag. Alas the restaurant is beyond the left curve

5 comments:

Joe Hyam said...

I remember your reluctance to tutoyer, and inhibition from which you have it seems brilliantly recovered. Congratulations.

Lucy said...

She probably thinks you've got a big crush on her now. She sounds like a good sport anyway

But where would we anglophones be without the old tutoyer/vouvoyer conundrum to worry about? We do not keep the cows together! Or do we...?

Tom said...

I hope everything is well with you and your family.

Ellena said...

Now that I tutoie tout le monde they have started to vousvoyer me.

Roderick Robinson said...

Joe: Reluctance to tutoyer. This requires elaboration. It was not through modesty because I am never modest in France. Rather that if you have a dubious accent (as I have) the second-person plural (eg, vous avez) gives you more sounds to get across your meaning than the singular (tu as).

Lucy: You've made the point in one: reach out (linguistically) and you find more good sports. And you're right too about the philosophical aspects of this interminable subject. Discussing it over a pastis (a drink we've resurrected for this holiday) in a boulevard café and you can imagine - for a split second and quite erroneously - that you're getting to the heart of being French

Tom: In one of the James Bond books (I don't read Proust all the time) the villain wants to cause Bond pain but not to disable him. After some heavy-handed discussion he suggests one of his henchmen break Bond's little finger on the grounds that it is possibly the least necessary bony structure on his body. This the henchman does. In a sense I was using the patronne to help re-create this scene. Strange how different the theory seems when compared with the practice. Thus, answering your question, VR is doing the best she can wih a now nine-fingered hubbie.

Ellena: Well, you can't pretend you weren't warned.