Wednesday, 2 March 2011

124. Guilty as charged

2nd March 2011. My French failed me this morning.. By that I mean my ability to instantly understand what someone has said to me and then to come out with the right (grammatically as well as socially) reply wasn't up to speed.

Here's what happened.. I was walking with the dog in town when a woman d'un certain age passed close by going in the opposite direction and she said to me, "Les chiens sont pour les sentimentaux.." (Dogs are for sentimental people) and then she was gone.

It took me a couple of seconds to a. realise that she'd been talking to me and b. understand exactly what she'd said. I then spent the next ten minutes mulling over what I could/should/should not have said in English, let alone French. Curious thing to say though - was it a spur-of-the-moment thing or had she just been waiting for the right moment to come out with it? I mentioned it to Madame and she described her exactly to me - apparently she's well-known around town for being two or three prawns short of a paella. In the end, it was just as well I said nothing.

There are several people around town who are "down on their luck" - another way of saying their life choices were bad - and they sit on the ground outside places like the Post Office, the cathedral after the Sunday morning service or Monoprix and they all seem to have large dogs. There's normally an influx of them when there are public holidays or when it's the tourist season. Some are quite aggressive, some have little signs made up with their life stories, some demand you return their "Bonjour" - I do give to charities but I think the first thing they need to do is to stand up. And when I see them smoking then I'm afraid my sympathy is in short supply. There are jobs out there - but they won't find one sat on their backsides. I've very little sympathy - as in none at all - with young people sat on their backsides begging as well.  

Sad scene at the bottom of the avenue this morning - a large skip was parked outside a house where an old gentleman had lived. He always looked like he had a haircut every two years - whether he needed one or not. A few months ago I realised we hadn't seen him for a while and this morning his house was being cleared. I saw his old furniture thick with the dust of years being thrown unceremoniously into the skip by 3 blokes in those white overalls that police wear at crime scenes.

But - back to the lady's comment - yes, I probably am sentimental as far as the dog is concerned. Why have one if you're not?

Now here's a 13 year old I could listen to all day:

Gypsy jazz guitarist Dorado Schmitt (in the centre above) is no mean violinist himself.. here he is with an unnamed piece:

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