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

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Whiling away les heures

SJdlB 2. Younger daughter (Occasional Speeder), gradually taking over as main car driver in France, asks us all for a destination. I say, "A place with fast-flowing water", hence Bédarieux, a small town, divided by just such a river. Street market offers special French onions for perfect tomato salad. Typical Languedoc day out.

Two days later we choose Montpellier, a big town, perhaps a city. The traffic, the ethnic variety, the choice of restaurants and the swanky shops add up to a non-holiday experience - a course of amphetamines. We all seem delighted by our adventurousness.

Montpellier students are demonstrating against the deportation of an engaging young chap called something like Erűgű. Posters abound, notably a cod list of the deportee's crimes which include "Knowing how to speak French" and "Having dots over letters in his name." This was a very French demo with well-rehearsed clapping during the protest songs and a picnic spread out on the square's flagstones with Tupperware salad, paté, sliced melon and baguettes.

Zach’s lustrous eyelashes and elfin face prove irresistible to the urban French. Immaculate ladies in their fifties and sixties turn to watch him walk past wearing his Arsenal baseball cap. A waitress supplies an extra lemonade spiked with grenadine free of charge. The sweet shop man says he is "very sexy". He rides the carousel in the Place de la Comédie and, perhaps in recognition of youth’s transience, opts for a horse on the darker upper deck, alone and remote.

Left to himself he plays soccer games on his dad's Iphone and announces the score audibly. I mention this to show normalcy is permitted and he is not stuffed all day long with intellectual protein.

Zach progresses in the pool too: diving towards his dad, doing backstroke between dad and mum