Tuesday, October 7


7th October
Today, instead of snoozing though interminable alarm calls, something possessed me to leap out of bed, and go straight off for an early morning walk (OK I dressed first). Mist rising off the rolling hills – very poetic. I stopped in with M and Mme Bert for coffee on my way back. M. Bert is the twinkly man who first showed me the Lovely House he has an impeccable potager, and is an archetypal French Paysan, bright blue trousers, dark wrinkly skin, always in a hat. Mme Bert is tiny and has bright blue eyes that she uses to gaze in admiration at her husband the expert shot, collector of mushrooms and gardener extraordinaire. She follows conversations mouthing along with the talker, which is disconcerting. She tells me to check my walnuts.

There are great numbers of crayfish in the lake, of various sorts but dominated by a very invasive species; the Signal Crayfish which they are keen to eradicate in France. I’m doing my bit for the cause – these days the crayfish are busy having sex at the edges of the lake. I put on a rubber glove, creep up behind them and put them in a bucket.

I accumulated masses of live crayfish, so I delivered a bowlful to Mme Bontette, the French lady tells me at length about the court bouillon she will make to cook them in and all the rest of her planned evening menu. I then took a bowlful to Mrs Strange from the bar, she has just been round to return the empty bowl. She told me that she couldn’t be bothered with them and just dumped them out (still live) in the stream at the bottom of her garden.

I went to check the walnuts, their skins are splitting, I picked a few and took them round to the Berts to see if they are ready enough. M. Bert tells me to take off the skins and leave them in the open for three days. My fingers are like prunes from wearing rubber gloves to catch crayfish so I do the walnut job bare-fingered. I now look as though I have a very heavy smoking habit.

For our supper I made a bowl of aioli, salad and steamed potatoes to eat with our crayfish.

The landlord phoned this evening to say that he’s coming by next weekend (he lives a four-hour drive away) and would like to see us. Having fallen in love with this place and anyway dreading the day when we will have to go, I am now convinced that he has decided to sell the property soon and is coming to ask us to leave. An hour after the call The Director is already tired of the sound of my gnashing teeth.


  1. Oh Lulu. I really love the vision of you as voyeur crayfish-stalker hunter gatherer.

    Fingers crossed for the lovely house. Maybe you could buy it! Just saying.

  2. Any excuse to dress up really Jaywalker

    Buying the LH is a cracking idea, I've just put The Director's kidneys on Ebay, I'll keep you posted.

  3. Marvellous. It'll only cost a couple of organs in these credit crunchy times.


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