Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Altercations and mischief

Toot Toot. The post lady had arrived. Bools and Fleur launch themselves through the archway, I follow. A packet. Pour moi. "Merci" I say, surprised at its arrival. Hurriedly I head towards the kitchen and my scissors. Et quel surprise! Uno packeto from Val up in the Charente.

And join me for a little sniff as well. MMmmmmMMMmmmMMMmmm. Can you catch a waft?

In a recent conversation I had been having a bit of a moan about the lack of decent curry powder in France. You can only get a small pot here, and that is it. No range of various intensities of flavour, just the one pot. Which, quite frankly, hardly needs to be bothered with. Throwing the entire contents of the pot into the curry only gives forth a hint of curry and nothing more.

Anyway, a girly chat transpired. Et voila! Val, bless her, sent me a couple of packets of homemade curry powder she had from a stash she had made a while ago. It smells delish. I have enclosed the recipe for the powder over on my Foody-ing blog. (Blog title: Val's Curry Powder)

Up early this morning so had time for a long walk with the dogs. Fleur is staying here while Bruno is away. It wasn't intended that she did, but she did anyway. fleur is a hunter dog and was banned from our smallholding last year because she has a hunger to catch things which run fast. Last year we had loads of cats living here in the ruins of the house. With babies they got themselves begot. Fleur's passion is to chase. She chased the cats with their kittens. Then delivered the treasure to us with great pride. All mangled up they were. And we thought about the animals we would eventually have here, and the babies they would hopefully have.

So Fleur was banned. From everyone else's houses she was banned as well, after she ran amok amongst Christiane's chickens, was found swimming in another neighbours swimming pool and had to be fished out, did unto death one of Claudine's ducks, and could be heard at all hours of the day and night chasing after cats. We knew she was doing that because she has this peculiar high pitched yelp which sounds like she is in dire agony. The first time we heard her make that sound, Lester and me looked at each other in dismay, thinking that she had somehow done untold damage to herself. Not so. She was trying to do untold damage to something else.

But that was last year. This year she seems to have calmed down. So she is allowed back here. But is not allowed to make a hullabaloo underneath the tarpaulins. Cats, I think, sometimes shelter there. I don't mind the furniture and other stuff stored under the tarps having to be eventually dumped because it has become damaged, but I really have trouble with throwing stuff out which has been damaged by Fleur's feet as she scrabbles about on a cat hunt.

So off we went down the lane. Met dog down the lane. Had a satisfactory stare-down with him. All three of us. Shoulder to should, in a gang, eyeballing him. Well, he was eye-balling us as well! To break the impasse because time was getting on, I did a little growl. Not a loud one. Just a 'we are a pack and we won't have you attacking us' type growl. The leader had spoke! Because with that, Bools and Fleur did a thrusting dive at him, and off they all went, with dog down the lane's rear end almost hitting the floor as he galloped away with the other two barking joyously at his heels. It was quite, quite, satisfactory!

It might be that I sound a tad on the juvenile side in regards to dog down the lane. And I would agree. But I would also add that I am of an age when eccentricity is expected unless one is going to be thought of as a fuddy duddy elderly person. Since that won't do, I am practicing eccentricity whenever I can.

Busy in the kitchen. Heard snorts. A bit of stomping. Oh, Lester coming into the kitchen caravan for a cup of tea. Was a bit on the late side with his tea rations because I was catching up with the washing up I didn't do last night because I was Facebooking. So needed to do it before I could start cooking lunch. No room, you see, to cook lunch and have stacked dishes as well.

I heard Lester's voice from aways a bit. Sharp. His voice sounded sharp. I looked through the door. Obviously something had upset him.

Oh naughty Toto!

Grabbing his lead, Lester hauls him back through the gate. Toto says 'Nice visiting you' by leaving a nice pile of his rear end doings by the door to the bedroom caravan. We are going to have to remember that pile if we are not going fetch up with mucky feet as we head towards bed in the dark tonight!

Down to the woods Lester takes him. "There" he said, "That should make him stay put".

No, it didn't. Fifteen minutes or so later, and back in the awning Toto had come, having pulled up the stake that Lester had only minutes before hammered into the ground.

"Oh Lester" I called, "You had better come and get Toto".
"What do you mean!" Lester says irritation in his voice. He has a lot of coding to do. This is not a good day to be messing about. He sees Toto standing inside the awning. He looks at me, as if to say, 'Must you play with the horse, can't you leave him tied up'. But I don't know why Toto seems to like to visit with us in the courtyard. Obviously he had not finished with his previous visit because he had pulled his stake up to come and see us again.

By now the giggles are starting. Naughty giggles. Coming at times when it is best to keep a modicum of decorum. Snapping pictures also seems to fuel the giggles.

Lester takes Toto out onto the field. Hammers the stake in right down to ground level. I think his mood can be seen in the manly squaring of his shoulders as he returns back to his PC.

Ah bless. But the overall manly impression was spoilt by his shorts flapping about round his knees making look all of five years old.

So I made him a cup of tea, and gave him a hug and a piece of cake, and said "Well done for being a bon homme".

Lessons I have learnt today. That proper curry powder actually smells like curry powder: all spicey.
That sometimes animals get fed up with not having any company and need to visit and be made a fuss of.
That little doggies who chase the little kittens are not really dreadful creatures at all: they are just following their instinct. The same as cats do when they raid the nests of the little birds in the trees and eat the babies of the birds.


DUTA said...

There's never a dull moment on your farm. And I like the picture of you smelling the curry powder.

Vera said...

Ooh, Duta, that curry powder is of a gorgeous aroma that almost makes me want to keep the packet unopened for all time, just so I can catch a waft of the spiciness from time to time!