I hope you and yours are well.
Here it is spider season and those of you in Australia and other parts of the world will probably laugh at us here in the north of France, shrieking (me that is) at tiny spiders (at least compared to some) that aren’t even poisonous and run away if they see us. The harvest is finished here and the fields are being turned, ready for winter, so I assume they are all running for the hills to avoid the onslaught of tractor action. Plus, it’s apparently spider mating season according to my neighbour Jean-Claude.
‘Do you think spiders have thoughts?’ he said the other day as we sat in my kitchen chatting over a glass of wine and Tigger-the-cat-who-will-always-be-a-kitten, went scooting across the room having spotted a small-bodied, long-legged spider running for cover.
‘I’m sure they must, how else could they weave webs? I’m not sure about cats though’ I said as Tigger fell off the windowsill in a failed attempt to catch the elusive arachnid which had squeezed into a corner out of reach.
‘That cat’ said Jean-Claude ‘has une araignée au plafond’ which literally translates as ‘a spider on the ceiling’, but means ‘she’s got a screw loose’, and he laughed out loud at his own joke. I thought about telling Jean Claude that in English we might say she has ‘a bat in the belfry’ but seeing as most belfries round here actually do have bats, I decided against it.
‘Anyway, it’s a good thing to see that spider, it’s lucky’ Jean-Claude nodding in a way that indicated he knew what he was talking about.
Apparently in France, seeing a spider in the morning is a sign of grief, at noon it means joy and in the evening it means hope. Since it was after noon and not quite evening, and we were drinking a cheap but very nice Pinot Noir, Jean-Claude decided it must mean joy and I couldn’t disagree.
Wherever you are, whatever you have planned, I wish you much joy and a very bon weekend,
Bisous from my little pigsty in a sometimes rather kooky little village in the middle of nowhere, rural northern France
Photo: Pont Neuf, Paris, which despite it’s name, New Bridge, is the oldest in the city!
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Janine Marsh is Author of My Good Life in France: In Pursuit of the Rural Dream – ebook, print & audio, on Amazon everywhere & all good bookshops online, and My Four Seasons in France: A Year of the Good Life
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