The extremely cool neighbours are back from their holidays. Evidently actually saying thank you to someone for feeding your pet and watering your plants for three weeks is not quite the done thing here in France. Instead he just collected the keys and confirmed the cat was not lying stiffened at the end of the wheely bin while she simply fingered the slightly dry eucalyptus with a disdainful expression.

I wonder who long it will be before their utterly charming 7 year old daughter Nadine assumes the French hauteur. It will be a shame for she genuinely is a little charmer. She occasionally strolls in for a chat which, other then ordering my baguette, is the only French language conversation I am compelled to have. Not only does she teach me the occasional word but yesterday she taught me how to make wine!

The house I am borrowing has a thick canopy of grape vines. I don’t care that they are only half ripe, free home grown grapes are too romantic to resist so I insist on eating them anyway. However Nadine was very bemused that I should be consuming produce before it properly ripens in September. With utter seriousness she proceeded to tell me not only how to make the wine but also how when bottled one was to leave it rest for four years! Admittedly because of my crap French I can’t vouch for the accuracy of her recipe, she could have been adding grated dog for all I know. However I defy you to find any Irish seven year old who could even bluff or hazard a guess. Jamie Oliver would have wet himself!

Anyway I was far more interested to learn that ultra chic and snooty Maman apparently drinks “beaucoup beaucoup du vin”. Ah, out of the mouth of babes!

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