Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Monday, 21 June 2010

Zach's entente cordiale

LANGUEDOC AND ZACH – Part one. Now four, he follows a morning routine at the Holiday Home (his label) that is immutable. While Big Grandad shaves he discards his PJs, puts on his new tee-shirt, pants, shorts, hat and flip-flops. Together they then set out for the Windmill (“It’s not a real windmill”) Shop, otherwise the boulangerie. There, in a clear voice, he orders Cinq croissants, s’il vous plait. plus a varying number of pain au chocolat. On the last day he’d been programmed to say, Au revoir, à l’année prochaine but stumbled over the words. As Big Grandad prompted him, a French woman customer in her fifties almost wept in sympathy at his struggles and applauded emotionally when they were over.

LANGUEDOC AND ZACH – Part two. Walking round St Jean de la Blaquière with Zach opens up unheard-of social possibilities. Smartly dressed women in their thirties, who would normally avert their eyes from such a ramshackle self-evidently English Englishman, greet the pair of us with roguish vivacity. One scorching morning an old man in a heavily knitted sweater, barely capable of locomotion, asked me if Zach was my grandson and we chatted aimiably. As we parted he groaned after me with profound feeling: “Look after him well, your grandson.”

LANGUEDOC ASLEEP. Don’t do dreams – they usually please the dreamer more than the audience. But this may amuse Plutarch given his knowledge of my interests. I’d been given a column in a gardening magazine but was at odds with the editor. I favoured literary allusion whereas he wanted more on aphids and systemic weed killers. I’d been struck in particular by the familiar but still beautiful:

Did you not see my lady,
Go down the garden singing…?

and it seemed my further employment was in jeopardy. And then, gentle reader, I awoke.