Saturday, June 2, 2012

The railway mans hat .

Summer has well and truly arrived . The mercury soaring past 100 for the third day in a row. All the small French villages we drive through on our way home lost in a dreamy , lavender scented,  lethargy . As we turn  along the lane towards the house the sound of Abba's " soo-per-troo-per" can be heard wafting , jauntily, across the village green . In our absence , Madame Bay , the saintly housekeeper, has been busy . The floors washed and polished . All the unused dog medicines taken to the vets and the old dog toys and bedding to the animal sanctuary . The rugs from the hallway aired in the sun . With everything in its correct place the house now looks , and smells, pristine . Somehow, without randomly scattered squeaky toys and water bowls , it's strangely characterless. 

The same cannot be said about Madame Bay. Today she is in her summer outfit. This consists of a  white turban held in place by a  large  ruby coloured brooch and  a seemingly endless length of white chiffon wrapped, toga like, around her Rubenesque figure . She greets us , passionately, feather duster in hand . '' M'Ongoose. I'm so glad you're safe ! The roads are so busy ! " . This is repeated a second time in case I didn't understand it the first time round .

In the little market town the annual plant sale is in full swing . By nine in the morning the place is already alive with green fingered bargain seekers . ' The font ' is approached by a man in a blue smock and railway mans hat. '' Are you keen on fuschias ? " . Angus heads off alone to the safety of the bar under the arcades.


  1. Even without the dog toys and bedding, there really is no place like home, especially when you have someone like Madame Bay to greet you on your return!

  2. Welcome home! Not the Wilf welcome your heart yearns for, but a welcome all the same.

    Please send some sunshine to London!

  3. Thank goodness for Madame Bay and her not-to-be matched couture! Though the signs of a dog-occupied home have been removed, the soulful spirit, I am sure, is still very much in residence.

  4. I just love the image of Theda Bara meets Cleopatra to the soundtrack of Abba, greeting you as you return home. How kind of her to take care of Wilf's things. Weeks after I lost Mica, the sight of an errant furry mouse could dissolve me into tears.

  5. Home again....home again...and ALL is well... Madame Bay is a JEWEL herself; a sparkley "brooch" of comfort in fashion on the old farmhouse...providing a pop of music, color, and cheer! :-) **(Bless her heart for taking "care" of Wilf's things. Always that one last chore to tackle when they go.) She is a treasure! ;-)
    Welcome home.

  6. looks like the little village is hopping!
    how beautiful and refreshing it must look
    after the overpriced shallow glitz of cannes.
    nice to go but so lovely to come back.
    welcome home!
    a special bear hug to you lad
    in memory of our favorite wee bear.
    tammy j

  7. Madame Bay is a keeper. :)

    Blessings and Love,
    Janelle, Maggie Mae and Max

  8. Rubenesque? Oh no! I had always pictured Madame Bay as a wisp of a woman. Much like a hummingbird, light but always in motion.

  9. Glad Madame Bay was there to welcome you home,with all her charm. I am sure it was hard for her to remove all of Wilf's things. I felt sad reading about it. I know you have them in your heart and have great pictures of the polar bears that you can look at. I am still looking at them.

    I wish you would share pictures of the colorful Madame Bay, your family and you. The way you write about them makes me want to see them.

    It has been hot here in Georgia,USA, but hasn't reached 100 yet.

    Since you are home, you want have to pay $20.00 for a cup of coffee at the cafe in your town,that is a goods thing.

  10. I am with JackDaddy... I too thought Madame Bay was a slender twig with bling and chiffon.... welcome home. You will never erase the memory of a much loved but absent old pal....

  11. I'm sure you kept something that was Wilf's!

  12. What difference between your summer village and the quiet one before. So many people ! Too much for Angus, i am pretty sure.
    As Barbara said, i hope Mme Bay didn't put away everything that was Wilf's. I think to him each day...
    Belle journée à vous deux ! Amitiés.

  13. I can't remember what pristine looks's been so long. We still have one of Jakey's baby teeth and a dime he swallowed that "reappeared" a few days later!

    Madame Bay is indeed a saint. A special saint...and we're all yearning to see her.

    Joan and the Barkalots.

  14. Wet and cold here this weekend, and the house isn't pristine. It smells of wet dogs.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

    1. Give me the smell of wet dog over pristine any day .

  15. Madame Bay does sound saintly... although I'm not sure that any previous saints have dressed quite so wildly!

  16. Wilf 's presence will become a part of the house and it's history. Do you unconsciously look food him?

    I'd be thrilled to have a fuschia.

  17. Welcome home!
    It must seem strange without Wilfie Pon doing his 'I'm an orphaned dog' dance to greet you. I am accused of being a bit of a cleaning freak, but I don't know what I would do if there were not a few paw prints here and there. The house would be very odd without at least one ball in every room.
    Madame Bay is truly saintly. Physical reminders of Wilf tidied away, but his memory soaked up by the walls.
    Teena and (a poorly) Merlin

  18. Beautiful village! And I would love to have an annual plant sale close enough (nothing fun happens like that in the suburbs, sadly) that I too could perhaps be interested in fuschias!

    Without the presence of animals in the house, I can only imagine how different it feels. They bring magick, fullness to a house, don't they?

    With love from your Canadian pals,
    Dianna along with Tor, Willow and Tucker

  19. Welcome home - kudos to Madame Bay for gently sharing the Boyz's belongings; the next Boyz will need their own. Next stop - USA? Is that what I remember?

  20. It's always nice to get away for a bit, but home is where the heart's good to be back I'm sure.
    Dear Madame Bay, what an angel to have around..I too have an image of a matronly lady with twinkly eyes and a no-nonsense gait about her (Sooper Trooper she surely is).
    Glad to know you have kept something of Wilf's.....
    I have been re-reading from the beginning of your blog and everyday I read something "new" as if I hadn't read it before...makes me smile...laugh...cry....wish I had thought of a blog when my six pooches were still around.
    Thanks for taking us with you to Cannes...enjoyed it...Welcome home!!
    Love from Virginia & Brownie

  21. Glad to see photos of your beautiful village again. The weather must be perfect. I see sweaters and long sleeves are still being worn.
    It takes time for those empty feelings to dissipate. I doubt if they ever do completely.

  22. I have also pictured Madame Bay as a very slender leaning towards thin woman. Perhaps that cook/lifestyle book that was all the rage in the USA a couple years ago is to blame, French Women Don't Get Fat. Think that is what it is called.

    That was a good idea, to take the unused meds back to the vet.

    I love the scent of lavender.

    Your home needs some squeaky toys and water bowls.

  23. It has been so long...missed the Family fellow's journey across the bridge. But may be now there's a chance I'll get to meet him and Digby sometime somewhere unlike in this life when meeting them (as much as I wanted to as I followed their journey through your words)was impossible.

    Those toys n rugs....have you kept any for yourself?

    Glad to find you here and glad that you will continue writing...and also that you are coming to India...DELHI..may be you can come and visit us at a not so pristine home?

    P.S.: Will make sure the house smells of wet dogs!!

  24. Glad to be back reading your delightful musings now that we seem to have conquered Internet installation here in another part of France Profonde. I have missed you, the Font, Madame Bay, and, most of all, Wilf. It was sad but heartwarming to read of Granny Font's memorial service. Thinking of you all as we prepare to head back to Ireland to finally collect our beloved Finney who has been waiting for us patiently in kennels during the move. As you say, the house is characterless without them.

  25. Angus you make me feel very Aberdonian. I saved Hamish's old medicines in case they came in useful for Bertie!
    Cheers, Gail.