A fig fell on my head. Now – wouldn’t that be the most wonderful opening to a world changing novel. The thing is that in the garden at lunch time a fig fell off the fruit tree and bounced off my head. I ate it and it was delicious (first I took a photo). You have no idea how exotic it seems to me to have figs, grapes and lizards all around me. I feel like I should apply to be Snow White, but I’m afraid the dog ate my CV. It must seem that I am a trappy old trollop caught in a fecundity fire storm. If you were born with a concrete, tarmac and red bus shovel in your gob, all this rural paradise stuff is like – well – paradise. On the way to Intermarché, I detoured along a track that runs alongside La Charente. Bushes were heavy with blackberries and I must have eaten half a kilo. Swallows swooped and turned as they harvested their vital crop of insects to sustain their migration back south. The church tower chatters, clicks and whistles with mobs of starlings as they begin to cluster in that kind of sinister black cloak of Hitchcock un-realised fear. (Starlings are big on my poetry radar – check out my poem “Winter Starling” here.) The year has ratcheted its way up the roller coaster of time and now its pauses just long enough for your sense of joy and sorrow to mix into that stuff we call the human soul.
Along the river banks this afternoon were many guys with long rods. They sat resignedly watching the flow of water, I guess hoping for a fish – or maybe not. The fishing here seems to need merely long poles with none of those reel things that you can wind in and out and generally fiddle with. I was taken with the number of “fish wives” who had been taken out to the bank. There were knitters, readers and merely gazers. If they’d been English and if they had had Kindles in France, I would have stopped and told them how to get their pan sizzling just in case the old man didn’t catch anything.(Knockout! – by me).
Going back to the falling fig – it is said that maybe no apple actually fell on Isaac Newton’s head. Just imagine if a would be beautician from Tulse Hill Comprehensive had discovered gravity. Would the scientific world have taken any notice? Good job it was a clever old guy who knew some maths eh? Otherwise we might be floating about trying to write novels with the pen stuck to the ceiling. Might have helped the old boob droop I suppose. It’s daft I know but I’m feeling frivolous. At least if I’d have discovered it I would have hired lawyers to snatch the patent.
At Intermarché I bought a pain parisien (brief tremble of pleasure as the word PARIS brushes across my follicles). A lot of visiteurs to France think that the only bread to get is the baguette. Actually, le pain is bigger and often better. It’s a kinda supersize Mc loaf. It was hot, crusty on the outside, soft and yeasty on the inside. I rode home on my bike nibbling at it. I often see even really old French folk sampling their bread on the way home with a simple child like joy. I love this place and my little time here on this Earth. I am so lucky.
Emma thinx: Love is free – provided you’re prepared to pay any price.