Then I saw it! The evidence of another world – of other beings beyond our experience. There on the road between Saintes and St Savinien the signs were unmistakeable. A brown paper bag, several wrappers for fries and a couple of Big Mac boxes. At last the French have caught up. Hot hatch boy racers with boom box sound systems had already arrived as a kind of robot advance guard. Graffiti scribbling foot soldiers had already tagged the whole of the Paris metro with coded maps and tags. Now, they feel strong enough to attack the hinterland and throw their trash from cars to show us their might. Possibly the evidence was planted by holidaying foreigners – yes – that must be the answer! In any event my general impression of my part of France is that it is immaculate by most international standards. To me, the sight of such poor conduct was quite shocking and unexpected. In my old stamping grounds of South London, whole tribes and generations of rats and pigeons are sustained by discarded fast food and its containers. Charente Maritime, even in urban concentrations is not littered in any way. I think it all comes down to my old theory of social etiquette. If others don’t do it – YOU don’t do it. There is still a sense of continuity between what the oldies did and what YOU do. At my curry soirée I encountered a most interesting Anglophile who had spent time in England. She acknowledged the contributions of the Brits to the world and to the notion of democracy. Then she said “But – the democracy and freedom you have created has destroyed you – you are choking in a liberty of everything – and in the end an infinite everything is a nothing because it has no shape. ” Now, I know it’s rare – but I wish I’d said that. The view from a distance is often the best.
Let me return to the matter of recycled waste. Normal household waste is collected regularly from communal bins and the service is fantastic. A community elder assured me that recyclable waste is collected every 15 days at night. Now, having debated this matter many times with neighbours – some of whom believe that there is no pattern other than the winged shrug of the gods, a few nights ago I left the windows open on Re-cyclemas Eve. I felt like a kid. Perhaps I would see the truth of the sac. I awoke at 2 am. A truck pulled up. A young lady in a baseball cap with pony tail jumped off and scooped the pile. Look – if you’re reading this don’t tell the children. Let them keep their dreams for just a little longer.
Cooking moules marinières tonight. In Carrefour they have scoured the globe to find the finest wines of the European community and blended them into a most fabulous “Spécial Fruits de Mer” for about a quid (£1 sterling or $1.60 cents). My advice: If you are buying trash wine for a low low price, mixed (blended) plonk is often the best because they bung some sweet in with the sour. Garlic, onion, wine and sea food – I want to live for ever.
Emma thinx: An infinity of everything shapes nothing.