Friday, July 20, 2012

The Manitou, the sheltering toad and Hugo.

Angus returns from the airport. The Manitou is still parked in the courtyard. There is no sign of the young man . Late in the afternoon he returns with his boss and a small grey van. '' This is my boss " he says introducing me to an older man in grey sweat shirt, grey shorts, grey socks and dark grey sandals. The epitome of grey. After an hour precariously perched on the Manitous extendable arm , the gutters are repaired. New sections safely welded in place.  ' I''ll drop the bill off tomorrow ' says the boss displaying a hitherto hidden sense of urgency .
Boy is it hot. Baked by the sun the plane trees are losing their bark. The lawn covered in large sheets of crinkly parchment. Another week of this heat and they'll have shed it all. Much of it manages to fall , annoyingly, into the swimming pool.
The pepper patch a home to a family of toads seeking shelter from the unforgiving sun . I think of shooing them on but leave them in peace. These must be adventurous toads. Most of the others sit on the bank of the village pond dozing in the heat. They don't even bother hopping into the water when the old farmer wanders by. Judging by their numbers and the noise they make 2012 is a bumper year for toads.

Out early. Hugo, the malevolent Maltese, and Brunhilda, the German billionaires dog are patrolling the village. Hugo ignores me. Brunhilda pauses briefly as if to say ' didn't you once know a small white polar bear ?' . They wander off past the war memorial, heads down, important things to be done . The pressure of life  in a two dog village.
This is the route the Tour de France will take later today as it swings it's way through Tarn-et-Garonne. Mile after mile after mile of sunflowers. All eyes here on Bradley Wiggins. Excitement comes, briefly, to France Profonde.


  1. I see Fifty (or Five) Shades of Grey has reached your little village!

  2. Sitting here under Aberdeen skies which match the guttering boss's outfit, I'm finding it hard to empathise with the problem of having to spend time fishing bark fragments out of the swimming pool on account of the too hot weather. Sorry Angus!

  3. YEAH, the Manitou has saved the day and the gutters have finally been repaired...I'm doing the happy dance for you...although I'd better wait until the bill arrives....(chuckles).
    Amazing that Hugo and Brunhilda are allowed out to roam the village streets as they please, they may be mistaken for that safe?

  4. That is quite a toad! Amazing view in your video of sunflowers. I liked your "didn't you used to know a small white polar bear?" question from Brunhilde. I am sure the dogs remember Wilf well. Do two wealthy dogs constitute a "pack" in your little village?

  5. We are sharing your heat! We have been having humidex advisories for the last 2 weeks. It can certainly stop anytime. Perhaps you should have taken the Manitou for a spin around the village? What fun that would have been! Ah, we too knew a small white polar bear. And miss him dearly!

    Enjoy the day! Keep away from those toads (says she who has a horrid fear of all hopping creatures) :)

  6. Delight abounds...the gutters are fixed! Rah for you. The year of the Toads...sounds like a poem or song in the making! ;-) It's a dog's life...ah to be free to roam and find delectable morsels around outdoor cafes or smell and roll in fields along the way. Here...they would be picked up and hauled in!! yes...we DO very much miss the small white polar bear...I LOVE the clip of the "mile after mile" of sunflowers....Beautiful. Change that scenario to corn stalks....mile after mile....and you will undoubtedly be here in Iowa... ;-)

  7. I think you should definitely leave the toad where he is. The fertilizer will be good for the plants ;-)


  8. Hope you don't mind me writing the following. It has been two months since polar bear crossed the bridge. I miss him and can't wait till there are two more living at your home. Then you will be sharing them with us. I bet that is what the dog was saying this morning when they saw you. :)

  9. wow. i will never take my little packet
    of sunflower seeds for granted again!
    i miss wilfee.
    i hope the maniac that killed oliver
    won't come barrelling through again.
    cool hugs,
    tammy j

  10. That made me feel so sad, "didn't you used to know a small white polar bear!" Sweet and SAD.

    Brunhilda cannot really be the name of that dog!

  11. Yes, we all miss Wilf.
    Mind those large toads. They secrete a nasty irritant. During our monsoon season, they come out from hibernation and dogs run afoul of them. Horrible irritating substance. Ours also have hallucinogenic properties. And the toads can hold on like anything with their nails. Other than that they eat huge amounts of garden insects. Very beneficial.

  12. so when are two white polar bears going to join the village pack??.....miss wilfee and our daily chat a lot...xx

  13. Definitely leave the toads! I think they're good luck or something. Good to see that the dogs are still running the village! :)

  14. I remember my train journeys, pre Ryanair, from Toulouse to Rodez. Miles of sunflowers. Like thousands of happy faces. Lovely. It's wonderful to see the dogs able to roam free. They are able do the same in our tiny Hameau and occasionally pop in for a hair tousle and a treat, but I do worry for them so. Impressive toad, he looks very comfortable in his little refuge by the peppers! I too miss, irreplaceable, Wilfie-Pon, but hope for the arrival of two baby polar bears in the future!
    Teena & Merlin