Gemini 21 May- 21 June Imprudent purchases will haunt you this week. Do not despair, work and (re)creation provide stability in these temporarily troubled times
5.35 Am rudely awoken by uncouth Intermarché alarm clock. Is like v. bad soprano with gut infection. Maybe can get refund of €1.99. Have kept packaging after all, even if slightly ripped.
5.36 Make coffee. Feed Gizmo. Leave Whinge on windowsill looking especially stupid with gift hanging from jaw. Do not need dead rodent this morning. Am already sharing house with live mouse and virtual worm.
Feel depressed. Make orange green tea to cure said condition. Will pee all day, but at least proves kidneys working. Remove Gizmo from my cornflakes.
6.30 Am disgusting. Have smoked 7 fags, written 3 lines. Will be dead by lunchtime at this rate. Dead and undiscovered.
Must pull oneself together. Is Denise’s fault. Keep thinking about her consorting with d’Arcy Jr., Scumbag clone. But perhaps fils nothing like foul felinephobe father. Bound to adore cats, children, his mother. And Denise of course.
7.30 Have completed whole page! Okay, have maybe been a tad creative with spacing, 2-line paragraphs etc. Have not yet resolved intro of Henri the Financial Wizard into life of Capt. Apolline Faubourg while she solves murders. Or how she solves murders. Still, have 209 pp. to sort out latter problem.
7.40 Check emails. Still no word from 100% Virus Protection Inc. re resident worm. Will give them 24 hrs before threatening suit for trillions.
10 a.m. Bernadette calls with my copy of Great Limousin Flower Show project. “Can’t stop long, I’m going to spring clean the cottage.”
Praise v. artistic trees, flowers, log cabins etc, separating passages. “Terrific, Bernadette. Even a blind man could read this with ease.” Gives me v. odd look. Must be v. disturbed lady after 30 years of putting up with Sleazeball.
Gemini 21 May- 21 June Adding to your knowledge and experience is a constant in your life, Gemini. Savour it.
8 a.m. “Amazing. Did you know that France has one of the highest birth rates in the developed world?” Ignore Reader’s Digest press attaché. Am suffering from sleep- and holiday-deprivation. Anyway, is not amazing at all. French only work part-time, obviously spending most of week bonking. Suddenly realise was real purpose of 35 hr. week. Cunning plan to produce millions of pension-providers, bed-pan emptiers etc.
11 a.m. Welcome Ali the Itinerant Salesman, at least he is a constant in my life. J. muttering re constant costly pest. Will speak to him later re Christian attitude to those less fortunate than self.
Mention lack of dusters. Ali delighted, has special super-bumper pack. Am doubtful re necessity for 24 dusters, especially as only v. occasional activity. Still, can bequeath excess to children. Firmly resist Ali patter re tasteful plastic tablecloths, drying up cloths etc. Enquire re health of family, babies, wives.
11.30 Have slight ululating fit re con-man relieving us of €24 for scraps of yellow cloth hardly big enough to blow nose in. Yell at J. to wipe smile off face.
6 p.m. Finish inter-company-share-dealing contract for financial agency. Is v. clever tax scam. Hope our figures fairy as creative. Do not wish to contribute to national bonking program.
9 p.m. Watch Lyon v. PSV Eindhoven. Refereed by that funny Mr Collina, looks like slim Kojak. Am v. annoyed he lets dirty Dutch get away with murder.
J. wakes from snoring session, asks me to turn down the volume. Yours, he says. Cheeky sod.
Gemini 21 May- 21 June You’re more assertive in pursuing your goals, but avoid contretemps. You may renew contact with an old friend this evening.
5.35 Fingers fairly flying over keyboard. Capt. Apolline sends two minions to bring in boyfriend of murderee no.1, give him 3rd degree.
5.55 Make coffee while they fetch suspect. Ignore screaming cats, is snowing again. Floor dirty enough. Neighbours bound to be up anyway. Is Spring after all.
6.15 Apolline apoplectic. Minionmobile broken down on motorway. Has caused long traffic jam. Ap. telephones suspect. Asks him politely to come to Commissariat for friendly chat, advises him to use minor roads.
9.15 Martine phones. “We have 2 hours to present the plan to the council.”
“Huh? What now? I have to wash my hair, buy a new alarm clock.”
“No dope, tomorrow. 8 pm. And dress up.”
“Dress up?” But she’s gone. Hmm. Not sure if this means ball gown or unstained jeans. Expect Martine has sequined shell suit.
10 a.m. Visit Maison de Time, emporium heaving.
Explain alarming problem to charming assistant. Notice she wears name badge upside-down, like nurses wear watches. Maybe poor girl a bit forgetful. Emilie puts complete range on counter. Surprised they keep them in locked cabinet. Alarm clocks surely not prime target for armed robbers.
“…Für Elise tune…very discreet, Madame…”
“…and this is the police siren model….”
10.15 Am beginning to get headache. Thank God crowds thinning, shop less stuffy.
“…last word in snooze control…”
10.20 Maison de Time almost empty. Morning rush over. Other assistants huddling in corner near door marked ‘Manager’.
“…latest version of Beethoven’s 5th….”
10.25 Manic manager v. rude to Emilie re alleged loss of clientele. Am outraged. Point out is sign of poor management skills to blame downtrodden staff for own shortcomings etc.
10.26 Will never darken door of Maison de Time again. Horrid boss told me to buy or leave. Cheapest clock €29.50. Tell him to stuff said expensive trash. Advise Emilie to sue for harassment.
Midnight. Set Intermarché alarm clock, place same in sock to reduce din. Just drifting off when hear rustling, squeak.
00.45 Have searched bedroom for intruder. Am certain is same insulation-munching creature heard in salon few weeks ago, left to raise kids and grandkids by useless cats.
Gemini 21 May- 21 June An important day in the development of long-term plans, but don’t neglect your personal needs
7.30 Have had awful night. Got to sleep only after rodent revellers stopped revelling. Did not hear alarm. Must get away from zoo, ring Zara.
“Just for the weekend, Z. One is infested with mice. And I have a worm…..”
“…no, no good asking the pharmacist. Not that sort of worm…”
Negotiations complete, deal struck, daughters will give parents asylum.
J reluctant, but point out Toulouse full of boring old churches for him to visit. Not to mention gardens, galleries etc. dinners, lunches, endless café in cafés. In the southern sun. Imagine.
9.15 Phone Denise, remind her she is Gazelle, we need show of force at council meeting tonight.
“I’m going wiz Pol to uh gig, to see Zuh Pierced Navels. Zay do anuzzer Fraynch tour.” Probably because no other country will let zem in.
8.45 p.m. Am late for meeting, due to confusion re dressing up. Squeeze between Grim Grizzelle and Babbling Babette in council chamber. Martine wearing pink parachute, obviously tailor-made. Has been to hairdresser too. Not sure clementine really her colour.
Françoise on hind legs, recalling urgent reasons for village salvation. Study opposing ten-man team. Mayor smiles wearily, nods. Enjoying last few days of freedom. Huguette and triplets due out on Monday. Geriatric councillor next to mayor whistling in sleep. Probably cousin of Grizzelle.
Françoise turns page, outlines project. “….potential tourist impact 20,000+ per annum…Limousin Flower Show perfect event for underpopulated region, and -”
“On the other hand,” Rip Van Winkle snaps awake. “…euh…on the other hand….” Chamber holding breath, silently urging him on. Rip looks confused.
“On the other hand….”
“…you have different fingers…?” Babette suggests unhelpfully. Gawd. Can always rely on said Gazelle in awkward situation. Rip’s chin returns to chest.
Françoise glares, continues. “…and lack of help from region very regrettable.”
Quite. Fault of Scumbag-d’Arcy, under-something in planning, notable by absence. Clearly unkeen to admit lack of application and effort to village problem. Probably applying self at this very moment to Floozy Suzy while his wife busy rescuing Limousin from certain death. Bernadette sitting next to Françoise. Really must get her to visit colour consultant. Khaki trouser suit more suited to battlefield.
“…and of course, strong chance the plan would increase village population.” Notice Mayor sitting up, listening carefully. More residents, bigger mayoral salary. If you can’t pursuade ’em, bribe ’em. Wink back at Nicolas, token under-50 councillor, sometime-Denise-chaser. Think he would make wonderful husband. Pity she is allergic to farmers.
9.30 Françoise winding-up v. polished presentation. Has me totally convinced, feel very confident.
Grizzelle wakened by tinkle of glasses, corks popping. “Argh…Martha…how are you?” Have realised names not her strong point, I answered to Lulu last time. “Have a bit of a headache actually, Grizzelle.” Brought on by close proximity to one-woman mothball warehouse.
“…argh…Melanie…eat a toad every morning, nothing worse will happen for the rest of the day…”
Gemini 21 May- 21 June After lunch, the moon squares Mars. Arguments over beliefs may force you into retreating from others
Hurray! Am going on hols. Okay, only 2 days, but better than nothing. Pack rucksack. Leaves elbows free for punishing rude fellow-travellers. Just enough space for present, 22 brand-new dusters. Daughters will be pleased. Have to remind J. to pack clean underwear, otherwise might become persona non grata, be extradited from Midi-Pyrenées. His memory not what it used to be. Give key to Jane, tell her where cat fodder located.
1.30 Board train, look for reserved seats. Trip over foot stuck into aisle. Glare at foor-owner. Ignores me totally, must be Parisian. Have been all over carriage, cannot find seats 131, 132. Start again. Huh, typical. Seats occupied by Parisian foot-merchant & Missus. Ask them v. politely to remove butts from said reserved seats. Refuse snootily, allege seats theirs.
Realise is not done to scream in public, but time for calm and rational discussion now over. Decide must resort to gentle persuasion. Stand on Parisian foot, press down hard. Has immediate effect.
1.45 “In future…” J. says coldly after stowing bags in rack above seats 731, 732, “…bring your glasses. Your eyesight’s not what it used to be.”
9 p.m. Lovely evening with Z. and 3 other doctors. Dinner copiously awash with southern wines. Conversation mostly re pulling cirrhosis patients back from brink of death.
Gemini 21 May- 21 June Enjoy the company of family members if possible. Devote some hard-won time to your own pleasure
Abandon J. to church-crawling. Visit street market, resist kitten-hawkers, puppy-sellers. Buy trinkets do not need. Meet up with Hannah at modern art museum. Not sure whether to stand on head to view exhibits. Have lunch in sun, announce imminent move to Toulouse.
Not sure why daughters exchanging worried glances.
Visit botanical gardens. Realise my own Versailles sadly lacking in essential plants. Will return tomorrow.
Gemini 21 May- 21 June A positive day for enriching your experience. However, common or garden, it will stand you in good stead later
6 p.m. Cats both speaking at once on windowsill, do not understand a word. Have to get re-attuned to Limousin accent.
Open front door, trip over corpse. Let in cats, congratulate them, even though mouse-murder their raison d’être after all.
Pot up stolen cuttings, seedlings from Toulouse botanic gardens. Obviously cannot write crime novel without some first-hand experience.
© Madeleine Dickson