I hope that you and yours are well.
We have had yet more rain here. Saturated fields, soggy chickens and rivers running down the roads. My ducks are having a ball. Spring is on the way though. The snowdrops are flowering, daffodils are sprouting and Nan’s tree is smothered with buds that are about to burst into blossom. It’s named for Mark’s (my other half) Grandma Flo. She was a feisty old girl with pure white hair. When she passed away she left Mark £100 in her will and he spent it on a magnolia tree with pure white flowers.
Another sign that spring is on the way is that Monsieur and Madame Vache (French for cow) are out and about. No it’s not their real name, I made it up since in the 17 years that I have had a home here, I have never seen either of them without a cow being present! We have never chatted with them, other than to say hello. You couldn’t really call it a conversation. We say bonjour, they nod back. It’s not personal, they are known in the village for not being big on talking.
In the winter they keep their herd in a giant barn but, as soon as it’s warm enough, out they go. Then, at least twice a day Mr and Mrs Vache escort their cows between fields on either side of the narrow road that leads between two hills into our village. It’s the only time we ever see gridlock in these parts, and even then there are usually no more than two cars on either side of the cow train. Not a word passes between the old couple, dressed in matching farm overalls and rubber boots, as in perfect unison, they open the gates to the fields and steer the slow moving creatures from one side to another.
Then they close the gates, nod to the waiting cars and silently depart, back to their farmhouse, leaving the cows to peep over the hedge at the traffic jam clearing.
Me, I love a good chinwag (British slang for a chat in case you haven’t heard that expression and have visions of me literally wagging my chin!). In fact I’m even thinking of starting a podcast. I’d love to feature some of the people I meet but maybe not Mr and Mrs Vache, you won’t be able to hear them nodding!
Wishing you a very bon weekend
Wishing you a bon weekend and bisous from the soggy middle of nowhere, rural northern France
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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