Friday, 25 May 2007

Un Peu Loufoque and the disgruntled husband

Chief Patissier is at present ,not a happy man, what with being woken yesterday by the dogs and then having to be taken to the biscuiterie by Henri in the governess cart when he had planned to drive himself in the motorcar. he has been unpleasantly disagreeable to all and sundry all day and most unfair to boot.

I appreciate fully that he would have preferred to travel by motorcar however, this was utterly impossible since Loic was frozen to the spot in the front of the doors to the garage as a result of Madame Grognonne accidentally letting off a volley of shots whilst cleaning her gun after breakfast. A perfectly understandable incident which could have occurred in any well run household where the one legged one armed gardener suffers from shell shock. It would seem though as in all things he has decided it is entirely my fault that such things are allowed to happen and that in normally regulated establishments they would not!

He is, I fear, becoming a trifle unsupportive of my forays into the artist world and blames my painting for his bad temper. He even went so far as to suggest over diner last night that I might consider needlepoint as a pastime being as it is , he insists, more appropriate and less disruptive to the general running of the household. I found this attestation most unfair since it was he who had insisted I take it up in the first place having decided that chairman of the public health committee for the commune (with special responsibilities for fosse septique ) was not a suitable diversion for a lady such as myself.

I pointed out that, despite my being an artist for only a very short time, I was well underway to completing my first portfolio of portraits of domestic staff going abut their duties and he rejoined that perhaps I might like to contemplate taking my brushes elsewhere to capture servants in oils, so that at least our own household would remain undisturbed and he might get his routine back to some order. I felt this to be a rather uncalled for and unkind remark and therefore retired early to bed with a headache.

I am certain his bad humour can in reality be no way laid wholly at my door, and is partly due to Antoine who has, since their return from Paris , spent not an inconsiderable length of time with the new young curé in the village which the Chief patissier finds tremendously aggravating as he has never been a great supporter of the church.

I dare declare I find it impossible for me to even attempt to understand the machinations of a husbands psyche as it would seem to be so deep and fathomless as to appear positively murky at times. I imagine all of his sex are the same in that matter except of course those of the serving classes, which goes without saying.

As Pentecost and the anniversary of our marriage is fast approaching I would suggest a vaccances by way of marking the occasion in some way but feel it may be unwise to suggest the idea since it may be seen as rather an erroneous expense at present. I am hopeful that he may honour the event in some small way by perhaps a gift of some sort, I am of the opinion that a ring or a necklace would be most appropriate. In anticipation of the event I have ordered him an exquisite silver cigarette case engraved with the image of two doves entwined with a single rose between their beaks and the words “Sempir fidelis” inscribed on a ribbon beneath their feet. I intend as well to paint a portrait of him as a captain of Industry with which I am certain he will be so impressed it wil undoubtedly change his present attitude towards my art .

The picture is of a young woman sewing and was painted by an American Artist in 1916 , a gentleman called Gari Melchers, a strange name I concede but then aren’t all colonial names? I am certain in his present mood Chief Patissier is of the opinion that this is how I should gainfully fill my time. One supposes that I should be grateful that he allows me to venture out of the house at all he is so excruciatingly bourgeoisie at times. Goodness only knows what he would do if he ever discovered I had taken the children camping in a Bedouin tent in the woods, I would very possibly find my self committed to an asylum with our dear friend the king of Spain!


The Country Craft Angel said...

I usually find diamonds are appropriate on these occasions UPL!!

That is a beautiful painting. It has to be one of my favourites so far.

warm wishes

PS-thank you so much for your kind comments. UPL, I could NEVER be offended by you-I think you are so utterly charming and compassionate. I smiled at Toady's comments for I thought it was ME who always said "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger..." I have used those words such a lot and it has always been MY philosophy, so I know EXACTLY what you refer to.

You are a dear and I thank you again for your support.

Cait O'Connor said...

I also love this beautiful painting. I must look Gari Melchers up. Thank you for showing me all these new-to- me painters.

Men? When God made men She was only joking.


Fennie said...

Take it from Fennie, you are a model of valour and discretion. Your tactics are entirely correct -though I assume you have ascertained that Chief Patissier (as well as Madame Grognonne and the kitchen generally )actually smokes?

Nevertheless, needlepoint is not to be recommended for those older than about 12 and Fennie's advice is that you should stick to the oils though to avoid heaving easels and canvas about, have you thought of sketchbooks? I feel sure that a woman of your talent could so easily capture the happy scene of Mde G on fire and being stamped on by Henri in a few brief lines. A suitable signature could render the piece something that in later years could be worth any number of silver cigarrette cases.

ChrisH said...

I'm really enjoying reading about Loic.

Woozle1967 said...

I adore your blog - you never fail to make me smile! On the subject of anniversary gifts - (congratulations by the way!) if diamonds are not forthcoming, something that smells nice and comes in a gorgeous glass bottle could be a welcomed gift - depends on the number of years though!xx

sally's chateau said...

Enough Absinthe and I guess the gorgeous and long suffering CP could be persuaded into an artistic pose for our edification !

Inthemud said...

Diamonds do indeed seem most appropriate. How can he be so disgruntled when he was the encourager in the first place!

UPL this is just absolutely classic , you must get these stories published!

Suffolkmum said...

Intrigued by Antoine and the Cure! (can't find the accent on my keyboard, sorry). I think maybe a little vacances at a certain chateau owned by a very refined English woman in the south-west might be in order. Loved the painting.

muddyboots said...

find something expensive, wrap it up and exclaim on the the aniversay 'oh but you are just too kind'.

Milkmaid said...

I also love the paintingm i'm a bit worried UPL about you being commited to an asslym

Frances said...

I do hope that you will be feeling better soon, and that you do not often suffer from such headaches.
Do your children show any interest in learning how to paint?
Best wishes.

Pondside said...

I have to say that I think needlework may be just the thing. It is so portable!....and I understand that there are holidays just for women who do needlework - a needlework cruise and a needlework retreat! Of course that doesn't mean that you should stop painting. mais non!

CAMILLA said...

Thank you for showing the beautiful painting Un Peau, will look to see more about this artist.
Do hope that you will be feeling better soon.

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

I love the way you weave all the threads together and keep reminding us of older threads thus keeping them all going - very clever and very well written.