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  • Day Three

    After a slightly restless night on the sofa (I read Lucky Luke – "La Diligence" in the middle of the night to put me back to sleep) I was awakened at 8 by the sound of Benoit commencing the slash’n’burn. Actually no burning is taking place.

    Bernard came over to chat to Benoit (I must try not to get their names mixed up) while he was at work chez moi and Benoit moved him hastily away, so that the only words I heard of their conversation were "Madame parle francais..."

    By lunchtime the garden was shaved and the wisteria and Russian Vine removed from the roof, whereupon I went into Lussac-les-Chateaux to withdraw some funds from the bank.

    Day Five

    What has become of Day Four I hear you ask? Well, yesterday I went to visit Chris, my facebook scrabble opponent and her husband Richard in their house the other side of Montmorillon. Their tiny hamlet is in the Brenne national park and they have an idyllic lifestyle, growing their own vegetables and keeping chickens, ducks and geese. I am jealous. I had tea and the guided tour. On my way home I passed a huge LeClerc at Montmorillon so I popped in for a lamp and some safety pins and ended up wandering around picking up random things and spending 80 euros. As one does. But the lamp was only 8 euros…

    Today is Sunday and everything is shut, however I have entered into further land negotiations and it is clearly going to be more complicated than I hoped. For a start, Bernard is convinced that the land is “constructible” while I am adamant that it is “non-constructible”. He has had it slashed and burned in the manner of mine (also by Benoit) in the hope of an impulsive offer from yours truly.

    We sat in the shade on a low wall and Jacques was there too, I felt like a character in a French film as we chatted and Bernard chewed his cigar and Jacques winked at me behind his back and from time to time cyclists stopped to ask us directions. It was all very jolly.
    I explained that I was not rich.

    I spent some time sunbathing and most of the afternoon putting books away… it’s still not finished. Then, when I was putting some boxes in the cellar antechamber I saw something move and realised I have bats in the cellar. Not keen.

    Day Six

    French life continues to confound me. The slightly scary Laurent reappeared, asked me if I had ever made love with a Frenchman (I said no, but I had with a Belge, which maybe amounted to the same thing. Probably should not have said this). He said he would see me on Wednesday, tweaked my nipple and departed reluctantly. I am going to get Jacques round on Wednesday, or not be here, if J not available. Not very nervous, but a bit alarmed. Is this normal French behaviour or is he a bit bonkers?
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