FRANCE: SUMMING UP The last day and it's been a mixed bag. Chronic maladies have deflected me from several pastimes. And this time France has existed more as a theory than anything real and touchable. Not surprising. The villa isolates us as does the car and our Britishness.
Too often I have met the French - glancingly - over restaurant meals. There's a repetitive quality about these encounters however desperately I try to break up the rituals. Shopping too: last night I bought six bottles of fizz at a serious cave here in Aniane; attempting to make something (socially, linguistically) out of nothing I ended up insulting the two men working there.
I am pleased at having written 5000 words of the novel but that has little to do with France.
One big plus has been the way my daughter and her husband have cossetted us by taking over much of the drudgery that makes the villa work. Zach, too, has charmed us by his astonishing intellectual progress. Gosh, that sounds perilously like fond grandparent talk. Ugh.
Come on RR, you maudlin old waster. Let's have less of you and more of sturdy if inarticulate Barrett Bonden.
Why not? Driving home yesterday I saw a parked car at the side of the road and a man standing some 5 m away. At some distance I recognised what that car/man relationship meant. Reminded myself that a couple of hours before, at Le Point Sublime (see previous post), I'd experienced a distinctly un-sublime urge and had answered it in the same way. Was glad to do so. Felt enfranchised by that car-driver and a million of his predecessors. Disgusting? Possibly, probably. But damnit, it wasn't British! One reason out of several I holiday in France.