Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bastille day +1

I’m a mess. It was all france, all day today. It hit me hard from both the good and bad end. They both make me feel like crying. It would be easy to do, I just don’t have the time.

It started early today. It was five twenty five when something within me said time to wake. That simple action avoided the harsh wake up ring of the alarm five minutes later and consequently I was feeling good. I’m off to the vine for the morning, we’re cutting back the grape bunches, leaving less grappe per souche lets the remaining bunches achieve a more detailed and concentrated maturity. Think about it as culling the herd for fitter animals. It’s all about controlling the flow of energy. In this case it’s sap.

It’s a slower process than any other action during the year. It gives a longer look at each souche. It’s another pass, another time, and the vines are at their peak growth rate. We need to dig in through the leaves to see whats going on with the grapes. Then as usual it’s snip snip snip and on to the next. It’s how you make good wine. Start with a more manipulated (changed by artful means so as to serve one’s purpose) grape. There is a certain amount of art, perhaps even skill in it, but mostly it’s a lot of work. In any case it’s back and forth we go.

There is a lot of action inside the vines besides the raisins. They make nice cover for birds, small mammal, insects and other fun stuff. Yesterday I saw two fledglings in their well hidden nest. The parent swooped at me as I lifted my head. This morning I found the jaw bone of a wild boar with one giant, gleaming white tooth intact. It fit right in my pocket. As we were finishing up I got stung three times when I came across a wasp nest. I figured it was the price of the sanglier tooth. The vine is beautiful at six o’clock. Then the sun comes over the rise of the mountain and by noon it starts becoming unbearable. But it ends there.

We quit for the day.

Never the less the day goes on. Its french french french and that means paperwork, forms and bureau's. Today after lunch (mmm it’s market day, zucchini puree and horse meat, goat cheese and fresh melon for desert) and a nap, with a sweet wakeup call, I’m off to the local offices.

Today it’s the social service bureau and then the lawyer. My allocations have been suspended and my divorce runs on. First stop the MSA, mutual societe agricole, you see, I am a peasant now. Conveniently located in town I usually walk, but due to the wakeup call I am running late so I hop in the car and head there. There are two woman assigned to this office, one knows nothing and is a condescending bitch, the other is nice though she is also frequently stumped with the most basic of questions. I saw her walking out as I walked in.

I got the bitch.

I ask what happened to my monthly stipend, and why it never arrived in my thinning bank account. She punches in my number in her computer and looks at the screen for a long moment. She doesn’t know why, but can confirm that it wasn’t sent. It could be a lot of reasons, she tells me, then stares at me. I ask her - what can I do, she says she doesn’t know, because she doesn’t know why it was stopped. We go on like that for several minutes and then she says she will call the main office. She dials and waits about 10 seconds and says no one is answering. “It’s kind of late for them to pick up the phone”. I ask what time they close. She says “five o’clock”. The clock on the wall says 4:18. I, probably mistakingly, pointed this out.

She goes on a diatribe about how busy they are and that I will need to call for myself tomorrow (when her bureau is closed), she explains it’s summer and I can’t expect people to be available when their office is getting ready to close for the day. I see where we are going and say nothing but look at her skeptically. She writes down the number and says to try tomorrow earlier in the day. I get up and go out of the office and then into the lobby and out the door, she follows almost directly behind me. She locks the door on the way out. Her office closes at 4:30, exactly. I go to my car. It doesn’t start.

I left the car and walked home to get my papers for the lawyer. I walk over to his office quickly and arrive just in time, but in a sweat. His office is cool. He lets me wait for a half hour, while he talks on the phone, to enjoy it. We shuffle words and papers back and forth, he seems earnest and forthright but that may only be his job. I will have to wait another ten months at least to know. In the meantime my old wife will stay in the house with the kids and all the rest, rent free and still angry. Me, when I get a chance I will cry at the fortune bestowed upon me. Right now however I need to get to the kitchen, the ten pounds of just over the edge peaches and nectarines I recuperated at the end of the market today need to be cooked down and put up before I go to bed. Just so I can do it all again tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. bad luck and bad day with french administration what can we suppose the french admi makes a very bad job too
    that's the way my friend be patient for being a good simili "français"