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Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Bonjour...A day in the Life...from France & an amusing "Ello, Ello" Story

Good Morning 
Arundel Eccentrics

Or today I should say,
" Bonjour"

A little while ago, I thought it would be a great idea to start a
"Day in the Life"

At first, it seemed, it would be wonderful 
to get them all written on the same day.
Maybe, all by women, and on, 
say, International Women's day.

Then, I decided, the logistics were
 far too much to cope with at this moment in time. LOL

I've got friends scattered far and wide,
like many people,
 living in some
pretty interesting places.

The world gets smaller, hey? or two people did write, and here is the very first.
A very dear long term friend, who used to live in Arundel,
has lived in France for many years.

I adore France....These were all taking in Sees in Northern France

which is not where my friend Jan lives.........

In fact she didnt take the photos, I did..................

I just thought they would get you in the French frame of mind, for her day.............LOL

Monday  10 a.m. or so, I am barely awake, struggling with the after effects of too much wine and gingerly picking my way around the remnants of yesterday’s family lunch for 20.  Pascal, my French other half, is one of 10 children, so family meals do tend to be humongous affairs and yesterday’s lunch, like most, stretched out over a number of hours and we eventually said ’goodbye’ to the stragglers at 3 a.m.  Luckily, Pascal’s sister, Francoise, has a partner, Eric, who is a chef and they had descended upon us from Paris and stayed the weekend.  Before lunch yesterday, Eric kicked me out of the kitchen and I was only too happy to obey.

Now, looking my usual utterly-gorgeous-hung-over self,  I hear a forceful knock at the front door.  Smiling sheepishly, I open the door and blearily take in the portly figure of our Assistant Mayor, Monique.  She has most definitely come on a mission and full of self importance, asks me if I’d be interested in receiving an invitation to a TOOPAIRWAGH party.  I’m game for anything but what in heck is toopairawagh?  My look of incomprehension did not go unnoticed and Monique with slight irritation pronounced ’tu sais Jane, TOOPAIRWAGH, as if that would clarify everything.  One point here, the French are incapable of getting their head around the fact that my name is Jan, so I am always Jane.  Light finally dawned and I said that I would love to receive an invitation.  Monique explained that her daughter-in-law, unable to find a job, had decided that toopairwagh might be the answer.

I decided that some fresh air might be good for me and went for my usual morning run around the village.  An old couple, Monsieur and Madame Maunier, had developed the habit of coming out onto their front terrace, waiting to wave to me as I would run by their house.  Sadly, Monsieur Maunier had died and Moumoun, as I now know her, is alone and I try to visit her at least once a week, so I pop in to see her.  Moumoun grew up in Montmartre and she and Monsieur Maunier lived there until he retired.  They would visit his parents in this same village house that they eventually came to live in and they would travel all the way from Paris by tandem.  Moumoun is very proud of antique grandfather clock in her living room.  She and her husband bought it in a larger village near here many years ago, took it to pieces and transported it back to Paris on their tandem.

Back home, Francoise and Eric finally put in an appearance.  A late lunch with them and then a walk up the hill and across the fields to the next village, Francoise complaining all the way.  We round of the day by going to Odile’s bar ’l’Auberge’ at Bussy Rabutin.  A teeny packed bar in winter, which spills outside in the summer, often with music and dancing in the street.  Lots of 2 sides, 3 sides or 4 sides kissing on arrival of course, then loud animated philosophical discussions and arguments (as only the French know how) whilst being plied with wine, pastis and beer.  Some English friends turn up, a huge relief for me.  I wind down sleepily watching a glorious sunset at the sun disappears gradually behind the rolling hills.       

Do people still do Tupperware? 
Mon Dieu I haven't been to one of those in many years.

Thanks so much Jan.
OH! I cant wait to get back across that channel.

Talking of France.........
Did I ever tell you this story?

Nass  had to go on a trip to  Toulouse
 with a very eccentric
 antique dealer he does work for.

So, they were in the van almost 3 days together.
Nass said by the end they were almost killing each other, 
but he was taken to some wonderful, wonderful antique places, 
such as the beautiful chateau stuffed full of antiques, 
that were way, way, out of our league.
Interesting to see though.

By the time they got back on the ferry though, 
Nass was relieved to be on his way home.

Neither of them speak much French and Nass said by the end 
he couldn't seem to help himself speak English
 but with an 
appalling "Ello, Ello" accent,
as though, subconsciously,
 he thought the French
 would understand him any better.

At the bar, Nass being a smoker, 
went to get some cigarettes, 
 cheaper on the boat, 
at the bar.
More expensive in duty free. really have to read all speech
 in an appalling, 
exaggerated, French accent.

Nass:   " Bonjour Monsieur, pleeeze can I av  5 packs 
of 20 Benson and edges"

 Grumpy Barman: " Oh non monsieur you are only 
allowed one packet per personne.

Nass: thinks for a minute.
" Oh well monsieur, wot eef you do not recognaz me?"

The grumpy barman, paused for a second before the euro dropped.
" Oh monsieur Ah see wot you are saying"

five minutes later Nass appeared at another side of the small bar.
" Bonjeur Monsieur"

The not so grumpy barman.
" Oh monsieur , 
Ah do not believe we ave met. 
Ah hope you are aving a good trip.    
ow can I elp you?"

Nass: "Twenty Benson and Edges pleeze monsieur."

The now Chuckling barman
"Certainly sir"

" Pardon Monsieur, 20 Benson and Edges"

The laughing Barman  with an over exaggeration jump in the air.
" Alors, pardon monsieur, ah did not see you there"

This apparently continued throughout the entire trip, Nass popping up all over the bar and with the barman laughing eeez little French socks off by the end.

My have to love him.
He manages to make friends where ever he goes. 

Have a great day

now...on with the work...and that old decoupage

Au Bientot!
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