Wednesday, August 8, 2012


The newsagent has installed a new display of toys by the front door of his shop. Garish pink dolls and luminescent purple teddy bears and rabbits. An alarming sight so early in the morning . A gaggle of enamoured toddlers and less enamoured mothers are standing , imobile, in front of it.  Although it's barely seven the things are already beginning to  fly off the shelves. Clever product placement.

Off to the cafe under the arcades for a coffee. I shake hands with the beer and absinthe crowd .The local paper reports on the village fete. The banner headline : " Une fete quelque peu perturbe par la pluie ". Could anything be further from the rained out truth ?   The story under the headline talks of the great day being graced by a soleil timide .  Perhaps the reporter spent his day inside with the old farmer and a bottle of armagnac .

Home to find Madame Bay ensconced at the end of the kitchen table, large bowl of steaming coffee in her hand. Its going to be north of 40 degrees today so Madame Bay is in her warm weather gear. Gandhiesque layer upon layer of white chiffon . 

Much excitement . It seems that open warfare has broken out between the established baker and the new competition in the small market town . The proprietrice of the established bakers, furious at losing so much custom to the new ( and better ) upstart, has daubed the slogan "  Go away . We don't want your bread here " ( a polite translation of the original )  across the competitions shop window. The mayor was called. Madame proprietrice hit him over the head with a broom . The gendarmes were called . They told her to wash off the offending slogan or go to gaol. She refused and was carried screaming into the back of their van .  Madame Bay relates the story with glee.

The balmy days of August in deepest France Profonde.

15 comments:

  1. Am I evil? Hilarious! Oh dear she has made a bit of a fool of herself. That's a fast and efficient way of alienating your clients. I can see a BBC sitcom in front of my eyes.
    x

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  2. Angus, your life seems like an action-packed movie....open warfare with evil bread shop villains is hilarious.
    I can't help but laugh. Hope the mayor has not suffered a concussion from that broom swipe.
    Newspaper reporters see things in a different light all the time, so it's no wonder that "the great day was graced by a soleil timide". Don't forget the sun was shining for him after that armagnac....teeheee.
    Would love to see the dear Madame Bay in her Ghandiesque outfit, although I CAN see it with your apt description.
    Thanks for my morning laugh.

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  3. Very funny post, thank you!

    :D

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  4. Goodness and there was I thinking life in deepest France was quiet and peaceful....are you sure it was a broom the lady hit the opposition with and not a french stick!

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  5. Well, there's the next banner
    headline for the local paper.
    Your description is priceless!

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  6. Personally I am more enamoured of the cake display. Is that from the upstart?

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  7. Baguettes and broomsticks!! What a hoot!

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  8. mon dieu!
    will these bread crimes never cease?
    it's tearing this village apart.
    but it's such fun to hear about by the
    pen of a master!
    happy day and hugs,
    tammy j

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  9. Definitely a scene from The Comedy Channel in France Profonde...oh my! Your writing plays it out before our eyes. I can almost "hear" the glee of Madame Bay...lol. I wonder how you keep your composure as she relates all this! :-p Have a good one!!

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  10. Well I'm glad the rain didn't perturb the event too much! :)

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  11. What excitement!!!

    Madame Bay would do better in cotton.....just sayin'.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

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  12. OH MY GOODNESS! Really, oh my goodness!

    I think it was Agatha Christie who when asked where she got her ideas said that all of life can be found in a small English village. Sounds like the same holds true in France.

    I just hope the proprietrice isn't sent to the tower, and uses some of that energy to whip up something fantastic in her bakery kitchen.

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  13. Well, all of those purple and pink characters probably will have a very diisconcerting effect on the absinthe crowd.
    I feel very sad for the baker. In this economy, any assault on ones income cam put a family in a tragic position. Everyone that has a good, steady, adequate income may not realize this. This is a woman fighting for the economic life of her family!

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  14. We have to wonder if the village won't soon be back down to one bakery. Was the bel dam released on bail? Is there someone to run the original bakery when she's not there? Funny, but also sad.

    Are there enough kids in the village to dispose of all those toss away toys the newsagent is now stocking? Mama has the same reaction to pet stores that put enticing treats about 12 inches off the floor, in the hopes client dogs will snap them up and pawrents will be forced to pay for unintended 'purchases.'

    Being that Angus is a canny Scot and global warming appears to be as real in France Profonde as it is here in the U.S., we have an idea for a new business for him: start an air conditioning business. If your summers are going to consistently include 100 degree days from now on, everyone will want AC. Is the electrical grid in France Profonde up to the strain?

    Jed & Abby

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