Thursday, June 19, 2008


My friend Sylvie is coming round this afternoon. I used to go to her house for French lessons but I stopped because it was becoming too expensive. She didn't charge for the lessons but I would arrive at 11.00 am and by 11.30 am she'd cracked open a bottle of white and after a couple of glasses I'd have to get a taxi home!

I got up early to do the housework because Sylvie is the French equivalent of Kim and Aggie. She came round for dinner once and I accidentally walked in on her in the bathroom (I thought she was outside having a smoke and our bathroom door is notoriously hard to lock. You have to insert an old key, the end of which BB sawed off, into a tiny hole in the handle) to find her inspecting under the lavatory seat to make sure it was up to her high standards. I'm a complete salope in comparison - although nowhere near as big a salope as BB (see May 1 post).

I'd just started hoovering when Jurgen, our Dutch friend, arrived. He went out with a famous (much older) Hollywood actress in his youth who whisked him away from the drug dens of Amsterdam to a penthouse in New York and then discarded him six months later. He still talks about it - much to the annoyance of his fiery Italian wife. At school no-one wanted him on their football team because he would go off picking wild flowers when he was supposed to be in goals. He's a vegetarian and non-drinker - the only one I've met since we moved here - and lives in an eco house with a pizza oven in the sitting-room. Anyway, he arrived to give me a bottle of his elderflower syrup - which is very tasty - and a pile of Time magazines - which smell of incense - and I spent over an hour chatting with him and drinking coffee.

Just after he left, Poire arrived with some lettuce and spinach plants he'd thinned out, for my garden. By this time it was after 10.00 am so we had to have a coup de blanc.

When Sylvie arrived in the afternoon she came bearing jars of fruit and wild mushrooms she'd picked and bottled - so I won a lot on the home produce front today.

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