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The Vendée Blog

The Monkey & The Organ Grinder

Posted on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 10:28 pm
Category: My Drivel

It’s sometimes a little crushing to have your place in the pecking order thrown into sharp contrast.

I ran into Jacques the builder at the dump this morning.

He was offloading a small consignment of defunct and profoundly ancient power tools; I was dumping the remains of the kitchen I had spent the previous two days demolishing. We’re joining two gites to make a single large property, so only one kitchen will be needed in the future. The former kitchen will become part of a rather natty family suite comprising two bedrooms and a bathroom.

Jacques is the main contractor on the job, so I was a little perturbed to see him looking at the trailer full of rubble, smashed wood and general detritus with a sense of bewilderment.

“We’re starting already? It’s November? Merde!

“Julia was planning to call you today to discuss a few things – we can do that now, if you like.”

Jacques looked me up and down. I was smothered in dust and bleeding lavishly from a laceration caused by a broken tile.

“Hmm. No. Perhaps it would be better if I spoke to Julia. Make sure we get things right, huh? Could you just tell her that I’ll be back in the office after 1pm? You will remember that?”

Yes Jacques, I will. I can also chew gum and walk around simultaneously.

5 Responses to “The Monkey & The Organ Grinder”

  1. Gorilla Bananas
    November 8th, 2012 09:59

    Haha, it looks like you’ve lowered your status by doing a job he would have paid some cross-eyed hulk 50 euros to do. He must thing you’re a pussy-whipped serf.

  2. dolores doolittle
    November 8th, 2012 16:11

    You hadn’t left the tea-cosy on your head again had you Jon?

  3. Perpetua
    November 9th, 2012 16:43

    But at least you have a time when he’ll be available to talk to Julia, Jon. In my experience of French builders, that’s a result! :-)

  4. Evan
    November 9th, 2012 23:26

    Hi Jon,

    Just remember that he may recognise the power tools; give the paint a good scraping and add a ‘Vente’ sticker and I bet there is some life left in them.

    Not that I am a tight arse or anything …


    PS. Even though he clears things with Julia, be prepared to take the blame if it goes wrong; I am sure the male role in life is the same in France as it is the world over (but don’t tell Julia or Jo I said that :wink: )

  5. dolores doolittle
    December 20th, 2012 22:38

    We’re nearly there, so a

    I doubt you’ll have spare moments this festive tide, but whenever you do, your next blog is Eagerly anticipated!


Jon Doust

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