samedi 26 avril 2014

Bar Wars - Part One

Bar Wars - part 1
If you buy a holiday home, or move here permanently like we did you need to prepare yourself for the phenomena of constant summer visitors.....some a pleasure to welcome, others can be hard work! We have some space in the house, but we also put up a decorated teepee and a large Inuit tent in the orchard which is frequented at night by wild boars......but that's another story.....and we don't tell the visitors! It is exhausting talking to visitors all day. I insist on everyone here having siestas, and pack visitors off to their rooms, campervans or teepees to take an afternoon nap or at least be quiet, it is the only way I can recharge my batteries for the next round of cooking or going out. To wake us from our daytime slumbers today, another expat in our village, an 86 year old english lady, full of character, arrived with her little dog, to have my husband cut her dew claws that had once again grown right round digging in her pads, poor thing. Dave is the only person who can cut them, she even screams the place down for the vet! So cups of english tea and biscuits were served while the Dog Whisperer did his work! The sun was over the solar panels on the roof when he finished so the tea cups were replaced by glasses and it was time for a quick gin and tonic before dinner....... We decided to eat a steak up at the bar in the next village, so off we went at 7:30 pm, our neighbour, the cow farmer, was in there very drunk with two friends, one a giant of a handsome man from Brittany in northern France who made our neighbour look like a stick insect next to him, who was also so drunk he could barely stand, and a very short young guy about half the age of his drinking companions. The blonde giant immediately lurched over to Woody and me and started trying to talk in english, asking if we were "women of character!" "What character?" We asked, "Good or bad?". We humoured him a little as he was so very drunk. Disappointingly it turned out the bar was not serving food tonight, the owner, who we know very well was trying to get rid of my inebriated neighour and his two friends. So we sat outside, drank our drinks and left to go up to the next village, to the only other bar/cafe for miles around. At least the brazilian gypsy bar owner had some beautiful food, pork in a mustard sauce with rice, it was lovely. No sooner had the food arrived than the three drunks arrived!! It shocked me to find they had driven the 5 km up there!! Anyway, the bar owner refused to serve them, put glasses of water in front of them, and my neighbour ordered a pot of tea!! And showed it to everyone!! There was another couple with a year old baby in there and the 10 year old son of the owner watching a film on the computer. The drunk breton guy just suddenly started abusing the owner with long strings of insults in French, english and Portuguese, punctuated by the slang words for prostitute and slut in all three languages. Then he picked up a bottle of beer, shook it up and threw it all over everyone? My neighbour, who could not even stand, was apologising for his friend and trying to push his very tall friend out the door. The owner was phoning the police when the abusive guy walked/fell out the door, then we heard a van revving up and eventually driving off at high speed.......then, shock, horror, my neighbour and his small friend came back in, this meant that the extremely drunk guy had driven off in the van!! Apparently to drive 60 km to the village where he lived?? Leaving My neighbour and his nearly sober friend without a lift home. We offered but they refused. So that was Another Quiet Day in the Corbieres!! But it was not over yet....... When we got home we turned off the outside lights, locked all the doors and had strawberries and cream and Irish coffees, worried that my neighbour would turn up for a nightcap. His cows were everywhere around my garden, eyeing up the long grass and my baby lettuces on our side of the pathetic non electrified electric fencing. Four or five massive, grey Gascon cows with cow bells and very big horns were looking expectantly over the thin wire at us. We parked the Land Rover on the tiny bridge over the dry stream bed that was our only defence from the invasion of these beautiful ladies in search of a lush green meal. Just to finish off an absolutely crazy evening, we were suddenly aware that the clanging of the cow bells had hot louder and we shone the torch outside to see that the herd of hungry cows had all burst through my neighbour's flimsy wire fences and were lined up on our bridge behind the Land Rover, looking over the blue bailing twine I had rigged up as a defence when they all escaped yesterday?? Whatever next?? It was pointless trying to ring the neighbour who we presumed was still drunk in the bar in the next village, he was not going to rush down here to control his cows, he couldn't even control his own legs! And so to bed........LOL Tomorrow we thought we'd go to a bar a little further down the mountain for a meal. This bar is run by a threesome of one guy and two women who share a bed, a real 'menage a trois'. Another woman who frequents this bar looks like the french footballer Eric I expect there will be a tale to tell tomorrow as well. Then Friday, back to the original cafe where we are booked in for a meal, and finally Saturday we have an invite to a barbecue......but by Saturday, according to the rumours we should have snow!! Never a dull moment here.

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