Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday 18 July (with 2 extra)

~  Sunday swimming is back on.  There are just enough well behaved people to make it feel like a sociable activity, but not enough to feel crowded, and the length swimming lane is respected, though I'm the only one using it. And the grass and the trees and the sky surround the pool, thanks to glass walls and a rural open location, and the moring sun flickers off the water against the tiles like small white flames.  Molly and I walk the railtrack on the way back, and come home for caramel ice cream.

~  ' I do like hearing the kids next door' says Tom. 

Marcel and Michel, the francophone Dutch-Thai métissés infants next door are squawking at about average levels, not quite the tantrums of about 10 minutes earlier, nor the rather infectious giggling of ten minutes later.  I am immediately suspicious; as far as I'm aware, Tom's subscription to the Friends of Herod has not been allowed to lapse, yet his tone sounds sincere. 

He continues 'because it reminds me that they're there and not here.'

~  I sit in the shade of the laurel hedge and write an e-mail, it's good to be able to do this without being cooped up indoors and tied to the computer desk.  Out of the open French doors ( and no, not all doors, or windows, here are French, exactly!) floats a Vaughan-Williams symphony.

~  You can hear them cutting the second field of barley in this hot dry spell.  I take Mol down the road, and find Gwen and the children, our former next-door neighbours, watching their dad working the combine.  They left over two years ago, but the house is still empty.  We've missed having them around, Tom included, Friends of Herod notwithstanding.  We chat for ages, and it feels quite like old times.  I ask what they'll do with the house.  Gwen says they don't really know, they could sell it, but Sebastian, the 10 year old, won't hear of it, he wants it for when he grows up.  He loves the house and has good memories of living here, she says.


The gateway to the Manoir de Vauclair,  the only listed heritage building in our commune.  Once part of a long ancient perimeter wall, only this arched entry way remains.  A 'pinhole' setting this one, of a number taken in response to a departmental competition for photos of these listed structures.  Not sure whether to submit any of them.  They stipulate no edited images, not sure what that means nowadays, and the pinhole might be ruled out.  But the lonely leftover gateway in the middle of fields and nowhere is an intriguing spot.   


HLiza said...

The tantrum and shriek in my house..sometimes I wish it's there and not here!

Catalyst said...

You may tell Tom that I love his rationale of the neighboring youngsters. Since my next door neighbor has half a dozen or more out in the yard at times, I shall make use of his philosophy (Tom's, that is.)

Zhoen said...

Can't seem to find anything about Friends of Herod, what are you referring to, please?

Sheila said...

I love the photo, whether it's allowed or not. Striking.

Lucy said...

Sorry, the Friends of Herod doesn't really exist, happily.

It is a quote from somewhere a long time ago - I can't remember where, maybe John Mortimer? - but membership implies a grumpy old man who has negative feelings towards small children, and is something I refer to when Tom is being curmudgeonly about such youngsters. Princeling's grandmother suggested there might be pseudo-Dickensian character called Enoch Hatebaby whom Tom could model himself on - this was after he had been cradling her very small grandson very affectionately in the maternity hospital and we'd been teasing him about his not really 'doing' babies.

So as you may gather his dislike of small infants is, in part, at least, a bit tongue in cheek. He was very fond of the kids next door the other way, and oddly saddened when they left. M and M are not really any trouble.

Perhaps one shouldn't blog private jokes.

Fire Bird said...

Friends of Herod made me chuckle...

Unknown said...

Despite having a weakness for Herod myself, I do find that at this time of year, the happy shouts of children, are pleasing to the ear. Only a few minutes ago, Heidi, who was ironing with the door open, made the same remark as Tom about the voices of children coming in with the sunshine.

Pam said...

I wonder what the lives of the men who built that arch were like.

Children one knows are always so much less tiresome than the children of strangers, in my experience. And one's own children are, of course, utterly charming.