~Walking the approach to Bogard, on Wednesday late afternoon.
There is a poem in these poplar woods, but I haven't found it yet. The gaunt old hamadryads are guarding it jealously. Or I'm just not very good at looking for it.
That was the day when I perceived that something was wrong with the zoom and shutter button of the camera; the zoom was slithering about like a car on ice, and the shutter sometimes wasn't shutting. Damage occasioned, I realised, the day before, when I had to throw a wet and muddy Molly over my shoulder to prevent her from getting into a fight with a neighbourhood German Shepherd dog five times her size. She was not impressed and struggled and kicked, insisting that she be allowed down to give the young whippersnapper a good hiding and/or, probably and, die in the attempt, showering the camera round my neck with water and mud.
I was annoyed. The camera is still under guarantee, but the German shepherd should be kept under better control, its owner is an unprepossessing halfwit with whom any kind of rational exchange seems to be impossible, and I would have to make a journey into St Brieuc with the camera and probably be without it for however long it took to service.
I set about looking for the paperwork for it anyway. Bureau drawers, kitchen pinboard, dear little clip in the shape of a wading bird in the kitchen, shelves by the washing machine, bedside locker drawer, shelving units in my room, ancient cardboard wallet in plastic box upstairs with receipts from twelve years ago when Jean-Paul the mason knocked the holes in our back wall, plus the one from the last emptying of the septic tank - oops, was it really that long ago? - under the telly, behind the bookshelves... everywhere a piece of paper could be, and I found every bit of paperwork for everything we have ever paid for except that one. I started to cast baleful and accusing glances at He-who-insists-on-throwing-things-out, especially empty cardboard boxes that things came in, while I wring my hands and say 'But if it goes wrong we'll need the box to send it back...'. He maintained and I knew that he would not just have thrown out the camera box with paperwork in it, to say nothing of instruction manuals on disc and paper, spare cables etc, but in desperate times people are sometimes accused of crimes they haven't committed.
Anyway, I finally found the whole box complete with guarantee, receipts, manuals, cables neatly stowed in the shelving in my room. Yes, I had already looked there.
But just by way of an experiment, I left the camera in a warm dry place with one of those silica gel packets on top of the zoom-shutter button, and by the following morning, it was functioning completely normally again. I thought of burying it in rice, as I've heard that works, but I don't think I had enough rice avalaible, and I don't suppose green split peas would be the same. So, do what they tell you and don't eat the silica gel, you never know when you may need it.
I ended up cancelling work on Friday, it's really much too early in the season to be having to do this. I spent some of the morning watching with interest and a gratifying sense of self-justification while other people tried to get their cars around the corner as their wheels spun merrily. Charmless bulb grower gave up after one attempt, little Remy in his rubber-band-powered, sans-permis, not-so-smart car gave it four tries and finally made it. The post girl did it OK in her yellow van, but they're made of sterner stuff. On Saturday morning I ran out to meet her at the fence.
I can't believe I did this. And I thought I had flat feet. The yoga must be working. Ten minutes later these footprints had disappeared.
Tom has just googled himself, for some reason this commonplace act of narcissism is one he has not thought of before. Our name is not really very common, I have a namesake on-line in the US, another in Australia, that's all. He found someone who apparently shared both his first and middle names as well as his surname, listed as a company director (which he never was) in Gloucestershire, where we used to live. There was a postcode, which he looked up, and it was for the road we used to live on, about sixteen years ago. Sinister ideas of a supernatural kind about shadow lives and doppelgangers, and rather less supernatural but equally sinister ones about identity theft and false identities, are now causing us some unease.