Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Prayers, kisses, and Carla goes missing

So in through the gateway strolled a lady and a man. Not English. Swiss. Staying at Claudine's Chambre d'hote and visiting parents in Prechac, our nearby village. Showed them around. 'Goodbye' time. Three kisses, left cheek, right cheek, left cheek (on face, not rear end!) from her. Not from him though. "Sore mouth" he said. 'Bad teeth' I thought.

So I said a prayer for him and his sore mouth amongst other thoughts I sent out later on that day for other people.

Today: Having an after-lunch snooze. Bools barks. "Lesterrrrr" is called by someone standing near by the bedroom caravan. "Oh ***********" says Lester, putting on his trousers. All of a state of untidiness which arises from afternoon snoozes (honestly, it was only a short nap), we sort of fell out of the caravan to be met by four people all standing in a line: the Swiss lady, the Swiss man, the Swiss lady' mum, and the Swiss lady's dad. Crikey, sometimes I feel that we ought to charge an admission fee!

And so we did the usual: "Tasse de thè Anglais?" (cup of English tea) is asked by Lester, and "Would you like to have a look round" from me. It's like giving people the grand tour and providing refreshments all in.

So we all sat in a cosy group outside in the courtyard: no room in the awning. All in French, with the odd English word thrown in by the Swiss man, conversation was endeavoured. It was slow. But we did bonhommie, because that is the sort of people we are.

It started raining. Rushed to get the washing off the line. Knicker and bra wash today. Had to put these items of frippery on the inside of my rotary clothes line to hide them away from male view, then surrounding them by all the rest of the washing. Didn't want the builders to get tangled up with bra straps as they walked to and fro with their wheel barrows of cement.

Heard footstepts behind me. Swiss man was straight into the centre of the washing. Waving his hands he asked a question. I think it was about what to do about the pegs. One hand was full of my underwear, the other full of pegs. I kept on grabbing the rest of my underwear before he could. It was bit of a race. To divert his attention I ask about his mouth, "Votre bouche, c'est OK maintenant". "Yes", he said. 'I said a prayer to help with your pain', I said, but in broken English/French and with suitable gestures. I just thought it was a nice thing to say. Washing now all off line. Underwear all tucked discreetly away from view.

It stopped raining. Drat. Back to conversation. Quite interesting now. Apparently Swiss lady's parents knew our house in days gone by. They gave us our address in Prechac, with instructions to "Come and visit." So more people we know in the area.

Sara appears in the gateway. "Carla's gone missing". I get up and go to her. Carla is the Vietnamese pot belly pig who is adorable. Likes her tummy scratched and will roll over obligingly if anyone looks like they might give her a tickle on her tum. Also is rampantly in need of a male boar, and frequently tries to get buckets, brooms, even donkeys, to do her a service. Bless.

This is not good news. It starts raining harder. Everyone gets up to leave. Three kisses, left, right, left from Swiss lady, so this must be the International format so do the same with Swiss lady's parents. Hear Lester apologising profusely to Swiss man. Apparently he had done the three kisses with Swiss lady's mum and nearly been decked by Swiss lady's dad. I say goodbye to Swiss man. Sara can talk French. He says to her that he doesn't like prayers, and makes a wrenching motion with his hands. I say I do. They all leave.

Off down to Sara's with Bools, thinking that perhaps he might be able to sniff Carla out. Been an hour or so since Sara popped in. Good news. Carla back. Bad news. She is collapsed in the middle of a small paddock. Oh dear. Go over and give her a pat. She gets up and crawls underneath some low hanging conifers. I crawl in after her. Sara crawls in beside me. Carla is twitching. Feels cold. Sara reverses out and go gets a blanket. Wrap blanket round Carla. Give her a bit of a hug. Reverse out after fifteen minutes or so.

Coffee in Sara's kitchen. Girl chat. Vet arrives. Sara and Vet crawl into confer thicket. Bums in air. 'Did my bum look like that?' I think to myself. No matter. Out they come. "Measles", Carla has measles apparently. In goes the vet again. Out comes Carla. Squealing. Thermometers can apparently get one moving if one is stuck up one's rear end. Vet comes out. Goes out to car. Carla now collapsed in a heap in the middle of the paddock again. Vet comes back with syringe.

Time to go. Last I saw of Carla was that she was heading back under the confers again to get out of the way of the syringe.

Things I have learnt today: That sometimes International faux pas can inadvertently happen, but never mind, just smile and carry on dishing out bonhommie. That it is a nice to help a friend out when her much loved animal is sick and she is so worried that she needs someone else to look after the animal for a bit while she goes to call the Vet. That, with relief, Lester has ordered front gates so that they can be locked while we are having afternoon snoozes or when we are all out of bonhommie.


And the third apex to the house is prepped.

And the floor to the halfbarn is cemented.

And now I am off to have a douche in the 'shower'. Am feeling all of a muck after crawling about under the conifers. But worth it to give a bit of a luvvy to a sick little piggy who went missing but is now found.

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