Bonjour, ca va? Tres bon!
As you may have guessed from my speak a la Francais, I have been brushing up on a certain foreign lingo. No more, can it be said, that I speak Pigeon French. More that of a Lesser Throated Warbler, I reckon, with Magpie undertones. Just you wait until Fevrier; you may well note a slight tone of Kestrel in my new language acquisition!
I do feel that France is starting to course through my veins somewhat. Bruce is harbouring a bag of Onions and I ate some garlic the other day. I also ate some lentils for dinner on Friday night. WORLD’S MOST AMAZINGLY UNFORESEEN ERROR NUMERO UN….. In the yet to be published Neat Eats and Sheet Eats, a book I’m thinking of writing, there is a paragraph that states; ‘Whilst living in a ‘voitre-maison’ in a car park in downtown Meribel (there is no real uptown Meribel, no Billy Joel song ever made it into the top 40 here), it is advised that all foods consumed be of the variety that, no matter the quantity eaten, will never result in grief stricken faces at 4 am whilst groping one’s bowel area and wishing for the comfort of a Maccy D’s 3 buildings to the left, scag heads included’. There is a list in this imaginary handbook of mine that includes foods such as ‘Apples, Rice, Pasta, Tomatoes, Mars Bars, Nutella, Pic ‘n Mix, Salt and Vinegar Walkers (though NEVER salt and lineker), Mint Choc Chip Cornetto’s and Sherbet dib dabs’. Nowhere in this book, either hidden on the inside cover, or masquerading as another food type are the words Curried Lentils (I was about to write Dahl, but me mate Dave once made a stupendous one and my bowel movements remained as regular as the ten o’clock news…… at ten!) Even typing those words have bought about a nervous, cold sweat. I’d decided to come over all Madhir Jaffrey, fake Dahl, Bombay Potatoes, RICE, the works. And cooking this feast on a single camping stove was no mean feat, as it took upwards of about 7 hours to perfect, due to the fact that half the time was spent waiting for our batch of iced water to boil. Maybe I should have realised by the amount of time taken to cook (Dante’s Seven levels of Hell, the film Seven, the other film Seven Bride’s for Seven Brothers?) that that number is synonymous with evil. I won’t spare you the details accept to say that I dragged Steve to a bar at about 1 am just so I could be near that God of Porcelain, Armitage Shanks and his wonderful open demeanour.
I now know Fear. I don’t, thankfully, know what its like to squat in the early hours, over virgin white snow, in a car park in Centre-Ville, in minus temperatures, in a snow storm, between the Citroens and Renaults and produce a different type of Blog. I broke the rules and for that I am terribly sorry. Brings about a whole new meaning of Squatters Rights tho!! Tonight, with bowels of steel restored, its Boiled Muscle Tagine, with Raw Egg and Oyster compote, served on a bed of l’escargot snot, a delicacy in these ‘ere parts.
On a different food subject, myself and the self-proclaimed Steven Ne’er-do-well Taylor (I always thought his excellence warranted a middle name) decided Bruce was in need of a li’l stock take and the result was a trip to that Fortnum and Mason’s number one arch rival……… LIDL!! (Oh, how my life has regressed in these last few weeks.) I’m reduced once again to the stakes of a pikey, who revels in the fact that a litre of ‘Fruit Juice’ costing 69 cents can make your urine fluorescent yellow. Looks great in the snow tho and The Price is Right (unfortunately, it’s the one fronted by Joe Pasqualy, not the debonair and immaculately groomed Mr Crowther).
I have no idea what day it is most of the time, a feeling that many of you readers, the thousands of you, may be unable to comprehend, but when you’re a bum, days have no real significance, which really is quite liberating. Nothing really changes. The pool is open everyday, sometimes it snows, sometimes its sunny, and the chorus of bottom burps in Bruce remains at a steady pace. I guess I can only explain it as it being like Sundays without Songs of Praise, as I think that’s the only true marker of what day of the week it was when I was l’enfant. Who cares if its Friday night, its 9 o’clock to bed as usual before a Touch of Frost sets in, followed by the incessant dripping from the ceiling above my boudoir that denotes a slight raise of temperature (more bottom burps?) and thus, me under cover for the evening. Ice water dripping in ones eye at 3:26 am isn’t the slightest bit amusing (well, not to one half of this comedy duo anyhoo). Neither is trying to urinate into a milk bottle at 4:30 without trying to create the sequel to ‘On Golden Pond’ in your penthouse sweet. I am truly becoming a gutter snipe!
However, all this time has resulted in me getting re-acquainted with my literary self (as if you couldn’t tell) and polishing off 4 books in a li’l under 4 weeks. The Comedians by Graham Green (5 stars), A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami (5 stars), When the Wind Sings, another Murakami (5 stars) and What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver (74 bazillion stars). I’m devouring more books than….a……massive….book-eating……Dinosaur-Marmoset cross. I’ve also learnt to play Fere Jacque and Oh me Darlin’, Clementine on the mouth harp and am well on my way to When The Saints Go Over There too. Steve is putting in for a transfer request shortly, I feel.
I have also taken up swimming as a leisure activity. The other day I managed to swim 2 whole lengths without stopping, a first since I got my 10 metre badge at school (that was for 2 widths, but hey), although in fairness, I did put my foot on the bottom of the pool, an oversight my teacher was happy to let slip. The world loves a trier, after all. As the pool is the single warmest place in my New World Order, I’m spending a lot of my time there, although the pool attendants cant quite seem to understand why I spend most of my time sunning myself on the poolside loungers, book in one hand, Mojito in the other. Clearly they’ve never tried swimming 3 lengths in one go!
Just time to mention that the other evening, I and my cohort were entering a place called The Pub (you really do have the right impression in your minds as to what it was like) when a comment was made from one tri-brain-celled remedial to his 3 footed friend ‘Oi look, its John Wayne’. I can only ascertain that this was made in reference to my rather than Steve’s choice of attire, although only my horse took offence (he’d always thought of himself more of a Mr Ed type). Maybe I could’ve understood if the Neanderthal said ‘Oi look, its Stallone in Over The Top’ but it got me to thinking, “Why is it always those English who need help dressing in the mornings that frequently frequent crap, foreign, English styled, themed and run bars abroad”? Answers on a postcard to Bruce, Meribel Car Park Grande, Francais. If any get here, I’ll eat my Stetson.
Now get back to work, lunch breaks over!! (unless you wanna check some photo’s of our story so far)