I am available and looking for work. I mention this in case you’ve come snooping from the Department for Work and Pensions. Which is unlikely. Assuming I don’t find any work, which is likely (in today’s economic climate), I am off to France four weeks from today, approximately. A generator has been purchased. And a selection of old gardening tools from eBay. Also, my French is coming on à pas de géant. I am corresponding with French people on MyLanguageExchange.com. I am learning lists of French words and watching lots of French films.
I knew a man in Italy who said that he learned Italian by watching a dubbed version of The Terminator over and over. Although I cannot approve his choice of film (not because it’s a bad film particularly, but because it’s a dubbed American film, as opposed to an Italian film), I think it’s a good method. Therefore, in between films which are new to me such as Cyrano de Bergerac, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and Preparez Vos Mouchoirs, I watch and watch and rewatch bits of Amelie. Which I love. I would give my all of my beautiful hair to have made that film.
I wonder if Audrey Tautou ever makes it out Nantiat way. Maybe she summers there. She was born after all a mere three hours away. Maybe one crisp, pre-swelter morning in an otherwise deserted lake we will swim into one another and that will be that. The rest, as they say, etc.
Speaking of impossible dreams, I also plan to write a novel while I’m out there, or at least to rewrite the novel I wrote in my first year in Italy, eleven years ago, and change it in the process from something long and dark and predominantly joyless into something short and funny and utterly festive. Then it will be published quickly, enjoyed widely, awarded liberally and adapted into an enormously successful film starring Audrey Tautou.
I’m joking of course. All of that is perfectly possible.
À cœur vaillant rien d’impossible.
This photograph was the French shack – la cahute – when we went to check it out a couple of weeks ago.
Specifically, it was at the end of the first day of digging up trees. Previously, those trees that you see in the background were also in most of the foreground. My job when I return is to turn the background and the other couple of acres you can’t see into lawn, flowerbed, vegetable patch and idyllic arbour.
If you can guess what’s in my mouth, I’ll give you a thousand pounds when the boat comes in.