Monday 17 July 2006

I don’t like Mondays.

Mostly, that’s a lie. Monday is a great day, time to gird the loins and really get on with stuff. So that’s what I did, having sorted through the post yesterday into piles of rubbish, filing and to do, I picked up the to do pile and worked through it.

I had half a dozen letters to post and a cheque to pay into the bank at the end, just before lunch. There’s no point in flying in the face of convention, so I popped my neat pile into my handbag and took a three hour break with my book under the pear tree.

And at about 3 o’clock in the baking heat I started the little white car and trundled down to the village. We know the baker is shut on a Monday but so were the bank and the Post Office. There was no chance of stamps. Not even a vending machine but the cash machine was still working so I had some. So my immediate tasks delayed by 24 hours I jumped back into the car intending to go to Le Molay Littry , check out the Point Vert and fill up with petrol at the SuperU.

The car chose this moment to exhibit its occasional failure mode; an inability to stay running when half warm. There is no solution I’m aware of except to allow it 15 minutes to come to its senses. So I sat, and after a while I tried the engine. Then I sat some more. And tried the engine some more. Then I locked the car and got out, just because I had to.

The bar was shut, well, it would be, the rest of the town was dead, where would there be any customers, but the Epi grocers was not. Some relief, I bought a can of Canada Dry from the fridge and a dried up old baguette more as an excuse to stay in the cool than because I wanted them. Madame agreed with me that it was hot, very hot.

I went back to the car and got in, threatening the breakers and all the usual charms to solve its problems. Hurrah, we started.

I felt a run would do the car and me good, so we went to Molay Littry but because a refusal often offends and the car park of the Point Vert was entirely empty I didn’t chance it but headed straight to the petrol station at the supermarket. “24h/24h” screamed the signs and my card was good. With joyous heart I pulled up the pump to read a handwritten notice – out of Sans Plomb 95. Reversing I joined the queue for the pay at the kiosk pump – 2 minutes later I was facing the same sign.

Home was calling. I didn’t bother with garage at the Embranchement, their service is casual at the best of times and I was melting in the heat. I stopped the car in the shade and as I walked across the courtyard a butterfly that was undeniably a White Admiral pranced to meet me, nearly landed on my chest and then glided away insolently. Naturally by the time I had found my camera it was no longer in a mood for posing.

I’m utterly defeated. Back to the pear tree with a cold drink.

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