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Diary from Limousin Part 23Monday
Gemini 21 May-20 June Only when it is much too late, Gemin, will you grasp the significance of today’s insignificant events
5.10 Not entirely sure why one has cats. Gizmo has taken to vomiting regularly each morning. And then smiling as though one is supposed to clap. Advise a change of rodent diet, find a new owner etc.
5.17 Open Fatal Throttling Near Limoges.doc. Am confident title alone will cause thriller to jump off bookstands into hands of panting public.
Melamine still wittering re Henri, is delving into his file. Parents died suddenly in car crash. Brake failure, possible tampering therewith, but no concrete evidence as to perp. Questioned young Henri at the time.
Poor man. Loses his family, and then gets put through the grinder. Huge inheritance clearly no compensation for his personal tragedy.
Listen to this, Melamine breathes breathlessly. (Eh? - Ed.)
Listen, it says here...’Henri de Villeneuve was shifty and evasive in interview. Investigating officer believes eyes set far too close together, looks typical oddball. Believes subject has psychopathic tendencies. Admitted pulling wings off flies when young.’
Honestly. Ap. takes Melamine to task. What use flies to anyone? He was doing society a favour. Anyway, who says he looks like an oddball?
Er, the investigating officer, boss. A Capitaine Clouseau.
10 a.m. Check emails. WunderTrans have sent translation for estimate. Open attachment. 20,000 words of quality control nonsense. Snort. Have already resolved to avoid quality for rest of life. Think of reasonable sum. Multiply by 3. Send estimate.
10.25 Take quick trip to infant botanic gardens. Have to park on road, car park full of TV vans. At least offending corpse has removed itself. Site swarming with earnest young scientists in beards and sandals giving interviews. Hmm. Think we should issue press release ourselves, do not think destructive storms, discarded bodies the kind of publicity we need.
7 p.m. Martine not at gym. Pump Yveline, Françoise for news.
“Says…she…feels…constantly…bloated,” Françoise gasps as we do reluctant warm-up run. “merde…I think…she’s…just…a…bit…depressed...you know, about the...mon dieu, diet...She’s…under…the…doctor…right now…”
Good God. Village becoming veritable sex playground, but have no puff left to comment thereon. Besides, Gym Ms. Arlette watching class troublemakers like hawk. But something in furthest reaches of temporarily-atrophied-superbrain sounding l/admin/story/story/18024/ittle alarm bells. Will drop round to see Martine in the morning.
Gemini 21 May-20 June The moon squares Pluto this morning. Watch out for emotional manipulation, don't let others push your buttons
8 a.m. Even the English radio has an item on the storms. Worried about their Booze from Bergerac obviously. Fortunately, our own little weather contretemps got just 3.5 seconds of undesirable publicity on TF1. Main news being a banned rave party in some heavily-EU-subsidized farmer’s field somewhere in back of beyond.
Let the ravers rave is my motto. “Poor infants have nowhere to have their head-banging festivals.”
“You wouldn’t say that if they were raving in the field opposite at 3 a.m.,” the Imam mumbles through his muesli.
“They’re not going to come here, this is Limousin, remember?”
9.30 Visit pale, wan Martine. Doctor due shortly, she sobs. Give her tea and sympathy, plump pillows (although never sure of reason therefor), look around for magazine not devoted to body weight matters. Research interrupted by same nosy adolescent doctor I was forced to see few weeks ago. Enquires re my new low-fat lifestyle. Lie creatively, is one of my major talents.
10 a.m. Let cholesterolführer out, dash upstairs for verdict. Martine staring fixedly at ceiling. I fear the worst.
“I’m five and a half months pregnant,” she wails.
Not 100% sure whether congrats or commiserations in order. “Uh-huh. More tea, perhaps?” Suffer 20 minutes emotional bloodletting before Martine gives up, exhausted. Rashly promise to have heart-to-heart talk with Jerome.
11 a.m. John dancing at front door. Recognise steps, have participated in many war dances down the years. “WunderTrans say you accepted another merdy-merdy quality thingy,” he splutters. “….you’re mad, Mad.”
Do not engage in battle for once, still in shock over zooming Limousin birth rate, new agony aunt status.
Gemini 21 May-20 June An excellent day for Geminis embroiled in legal matters, but make the most of it
Get all dolled up in non-denim gear for ridiculous Huntin' etc Association hearing at Palais de Justice in Limoges. Promise Ayatollah ace colleague will be back soon to resume appalling quality control doc. Drive off, praying for month-long hearing, empty courtroom bench for surreptitious kips.
Spend 30 mins driving around said metropolis in ever-increasing circles seeking parking space.
12.30 Hurray! Excessively boring debate enlivened by excellent result. Judge has awarded us €5,000 damages, given nasty hunters good telling off re interfering with local government, business initiatives, defenceless women etc. French justice toujours alive and well. Our lawyer even offers me job. Reject same with trademark modesty. Talk to reporters, give triumphant TV interviews with Bernie, mayor.
7p.m.Have suffered hours of tedious sermons re dereliction of duty etc. Point out importance of this latest victory for Limousin Liberation Front. LLF can now take world by storm. Flower Show site cleared of interfering palaeontologists, pathologists, jealous hunters etc.
Gemini 21 May-20 June An intriguing contact will serve you well in the future when life will be less rosy
Check Loto results. Not that one is desperate to give up all work, lie on li-lo in own pool, give cook, gardener, chauffeur and husband orders while extracting fluff from navel etc. Just cannot understand why the lottery people keep picking the wrong numbers.
10 a.m. Interesting call from frightfully posh de-Something, chairperson of residents association in frightfully exclusive Limoges suburb. Know area well, a megabucks paradise with large green surrounded by elegantly-arranged piles of cut stone and slate.
“Those howwid thocialiths on the counthil want to desthwoy our quarter…”
Eventually discern dithgusting councillorth planning to build a rethycling fathility thlap bang in the middle of their gween.
“…it will devasthate our enwiwonment…” Not to mention devalue their palaces. Point out politely is not my fault, one is very busy keeping France running etc. Besides, we have our own planning problems
“Eggthackly! Ith your thavoire-faire we’re interethed in.”
Have ear bent, arm comprehensively twisted, agree to visit chairperthon and colleagueth on Sunday afternoon.
Dash off to Pascal, have knee inspected amid much lip-pursing, breath intakes, tutting. Should have been a plumber. “I wouldn’t advise any more interference from that surgeon.” Not really sure whether I feel reassured.
Gemini 21 May-20 June You feel the need to overdramatize relationships. Channel your energy into creative projects instead
5 a.m. Ooooooh. One is nearing climax. Of novel, I mean.
Apolline reviews all evidence (have to do this, otherwise dim readers will have forgotten story). Chews lip. Sends Melamine out for gâteaux. Flicks through papers nervously. Still have to grill Police Chief, Juge d'Instruction, both members of iron-pumping club.
Eats 3 gâteaux. Feels slightly (love) sick, does not (want to) believe nasty stories about Henri. Still, work must take priority. Shakes herself, rolls shoulders, kicks Melamine. Let’s go, kid.
Police Chief denies murdering anyone, but admits would love to practice on his wife. Apolline grits teeth, shows him photos of Henri de Villeneuve, Martin Martin. Ye-es. That Henri bloke, I've seen him at the keep-slightly-fit club. Aggressive bastard, offered to rearrange my face once if I didn't let him use my Dior after-shave.
And Martin? Claims he's never seen him before.
Juge d'Instruction similarly unhelpful. Recognized photo of Police Chief, claimed he'd seen the shifty bastard hangin' around the Palais de Justice, will run his name through criminal records.
Gemini 21 May-20 June Mercury sextiles Saturn today. Make serious plans to improve your lifestyle
Decline to join Françoise and Bernadette in conference with insurance adjuster. Not necessary to go everywhere in 3s, as if one was a London bus. Not sure my country sisters understood analogy, but am too tired to explain.
Indulge in spot of therapeutic list-making. Translate Show website. Soon. Clean bathroom, vacuum salon, harvest bumper crop of weeds. Soonish. Find v. important VAT receipt, last seen under Gizmo’s right paw on dining table. Funny how vital papers always seem to demonstrate their vitality by spontaneously moving from where you left them to where you can't find them
Clean Out Fridge. Will start immediately. No time like present.
Hmm. Maybe just remove oldest leftovers. Ugh Perhaps leave till tomorrow, growth within reasonable bounds. Mostly still living inside bowls.
Gemini 21 May-20 June Your social life is fantastic today, firm up contacts made earlier. One will provide salvation later
Goodness. Sun shining tropically in Limousin. Peel off layers, get hot, bothered searching for summer gear in bedroom warehouse. Reject snazzy Death to the Bourgeoisie T-shirt in favour of sober number by Cardin.
Prepare lunch. Hmm. Think will inflict tinned spinach on unreasonable boss. Dodge lizard traffic on way to cellar. Push the door hard. Some nameless dimwit has carelessly discarded something therebehind. Find large, dazed toad squatting nervously on earth floor.
2 p.m. Go to see Frightfully Posh Residents’ Association chairperthon.
Find Monsieur de Lionne waiting on pavement. Looks remarkably like our toad-doorstop. Bald, wrinkled, lips width of Seine, dressed in green tweed suit. Probably has webbed feet, but do not like to ask him to remove brogues to verify same. He pumps my hand for hours, dragging it around the circle of female wrinklies who have popped up from nowhere.
Tea is taken in the de L's morning room, even though it is mid afternoon. Sit on the edge of immaculate Louis XIV chaise sipping hated beverage, trying not to make pig of self on rather scrummy cakes.
“Pwoblem is, the gween duthn't belong to the Wesident's Athothiation, but to the Thity,” Mr de Lionne laments to a chorus of tuts from the adoring groupies. “And the Thity won't let uth buy it, even though we offered them a million.”
Gawd. Apparently he means euros, not cents. Wonder whether he's looking for an adoptive daughter. Think men, like chocolate, are so much more palatable when rich.
View site, make all the right noises re green and pleasant land, unsuitability for nasty ecological processes etc. Give them phone numbers of StÃ©phan at France 3, journalists at Le Point and L'Express, wish them luck before escaping.
Drive past Show site on way home. Car park almost empty, just a few cars and a couple of beat-up flower-power vans.
Corpses, storms and hunter-gatherers permitting, we can resume preparations next week for world’s greatest flower show. The seas have been parted, the road straightened. Plain sailing from now on.