Friday, 11 May 2007

Un Peu Loufoque in search of self


Please forgive me for being so unlike my merry self this morning. I have had somewhat of a distressing start to my day.

I realised on dressing this morning that something was missing and I realised with shock what it was I had mislaid! . I fear this news will shock your sensibilities. I pray you will forgive my telling you but I do feel we have become, almost, friends. I am finding it rather upsetting myself, but I am being strong and facing it bravely.
My dearest things, I have mislaid my "joie de vivre"; I am, and feeling thus, more than a trifle bored with my life. I have been overcome with ennui and am rightfully, as a result, feeling overcome with dejection.

Come come, I hear you say, this cannot be ! Not the ever optimistic and jolly Madame Loufoque so skilled and talented in all things ! So charming and courageous, how could such a one as she ever be bored ! And you are of course right to scold me thus! I am an excellent needlewoman, my mastery of the pianoforte is second to none, I sing in perfect pitch and can recite poetry in four languages (five if one counts Ancient Greek of course but I tend not to as it has a somewhat limited audience generally speaking in Brittany and I am therefore a tad rusty) .

My head cries out that to feel thus is merely uncharacteristic self indulgence on my part and not worthy of me , but nonetheless at present I feel my life unbearably drab. Alas, even the prospect of belly dancing lessons with Fatima does nothing to excite me.

Thus I have set myself the task of bolstering my flagging spirits and finding myself tout de suite a new occupation, hence, for a few happy moments this morning I took to the garden, intent on potting some seedling. But, alas, I almost instantly broke a finger nail and had to retire indoors for an emergency manicure. Sadly our tiny rural retreat is noticeably lacking in the area of manicurists so I was forced to fall back upon Madame Grognonne’s somewhat limited expertise. She did her best under my careful direction, but I fear it will be some time before I may be able to show my hands in public. I shall therefore be forced to wear gloves and hope earnestly that people think it a new fashion.

I considered briefly the taking up of a sport but it is so hard to find something that is invigorating whilst at the same time allows one to retain one's ladylike poise. I did consider joining with Madame Grognonne in her Kendo practise after petit déjeuner but hastily abandoned this idea as I recalled all too vividly her recent accident involving the lightning strikes.

There is of course the option of some type of social work amongst the under privileged. I would willingly have taken on the burden of visiting the poor and needy of the commune if they were not all so unpleasantly sick that I would fear for my own health. Added to which, having been forced to travel home from market yesterday on public transport I feel I have done quite enough fraternising with the peasants to stand me in good stead for some time. However, so that you are aware that even in this my blackest moment I do not shirk my Christian duties I have instructed Madame Grognonne to prepare several kilos of marrow bone jelly and have the children distribute it amongst the deserving of the parish in my name. It is, after all, the thought that counts in such matters and providing the children remember not to touch anything or breathe too deeply , then I am sure there is little chance of their catching anything fatal.

I thought perchance that a membership of some suitable recreational club might provide an appropriate distraction, thus this afternoon I consulted Claudine at the post office as to what she might suggest. I would have, of course, normally addressed the mayor on this matter , but sadly he has still not regained any form of coherent speech as yet.. Claudine suggested petanque, which I rejected on the grounds that it was far too masculine, then church flower arranging, but alas no, far too cold and damp and one might be morally obliged to attend mass en Famille which would be terribly tedious. Finally we were agreed there was but one option remaining in these trying circumstances: I must join a committee.

Since one is by tradition elected to a committee by invitation of the mayor and since as I have mentioned our mayor is sadly incapacitated and is likely to stay thus for some time, I was obliged to solicit the aid of our rural clerk, one Jean-Marie Cornichon, as to whether there were any vacant positions for which I might be considered adept .The fact that only one place was available on any of the many committees I think will provide you with a clear idea as to just how desperate we are here for activities to usefully occupy ourselves. Apparently, according to Monsieur Cornichon, the post became vacant some time ago since the last incumbent suffered a rather unpleasant accident and they have had , for some unexplained reason, a great deal of difficulty finding a replacement.

There were no vacancies on either the fete or twinning committees, the education board for the village school was totally up to complement, even the flower rota for the church has, it would appear, a lengthy waiting list had I been foolhardy enough to risk trying to join it. There was but one spot empty, one chair at the municipal table left as yet unfilled, and that on the public health committee for the commune, with special responsibilities for fosses septiques.

I was, as I am sure you may imagine, quite buoyed up by the prospect of committee work, although a trifle unclear as to what precisely “special responsibilities for fosses septiques” might involve. Whatever it was I was sure that I would be admirably equipped to acquit myself splendidly, regardless of whatever the challenges it threw at me. I strode homewards with a spring in my tread, quite rejuvenated at the prospect of the task. Madame Grognonne, however, with her usual aptitude in such matters, put quite a damper on my spirits by laughing in a most uncontrollable manner when I told her of my appointment as committee chair!
However I would not allow her petty jealousy of my happiness to impinge upon my gaiety and sent her to the cellar forthwith to bring up a bottle of Moet et Chandon and thence post haste to the village to buy fresh oysters and a lobster from the travelling fishmonger who sets up stall in the square on Thursdays . I am greatly looking forward to imparting the thrilling news to my dear husband the Chief Patissier over dinner and determined we shall celebrate in suitable style.

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The illustration is a painting by Osborne of a lady supposedly at her writing desk, although she would appear not to be doing anything productive whilst there. I imagine, like myself this morning, she may be feeling a trifle jaded with her life and obviously disinclined to do anything at all. She obviously is in need of a suitable committee. I fully intend to have Chief Patissier commission a portrait of myself as the Chairman of the public health committee for the commune with special responsibilities for fosses septiques to hang in my private salle above my writing desk. I am presently torn between wearing the pink tulle or my lilac chiffon for the sitting and undecided as to whether I should wear a Hat.




16 comments:

toady said...

Fosses - don't remind me - the cause of much worry, headscratching and expense. Let's hear it for mains drainage. Yeah.

Faith said...

Ha ha Toady, we also not on mains drainage, but rent this place and the estate pays for it.... swings and roundabouts eh?

Un Peu, have just read Grouse's blog - her friend Brenda's advice for le bleu's is to clear a cupboard and burn something! So have a feu de joie!

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Well Madam you had me worried there at first! Now I'm back to chortling at the very thought of the discussions on the committee! Could sound a bit like our Parish Council which can make the 'Vicar of Dibley' sound serious!

Elizabethd said...

Oh definitely wear the Hat, you would be so 'comme il faut'.
Sorry you have the blues today, its maybe the aftermath of the storm last night. Try chocolate for immediate recovery.

Suffolkmum said...

Sorry to hear you're feeling jaded, get Mme G to concoct something restorative. Hope your joie de vivre comes rushing back.

@themill said...

I doubt you will find your joie de vivre in the fosse septique!
So funny Madame. Bon apres midi

ChrisH said...

Irish Eyes had posted some interesting cures today. I was especially worried about the 'dog's lick' but there are alternatives one of which may be suitable for a jaded spirits.

sally's chateau said...

Oh my dear if only you were closer to Carcassonne, we could have taken some tea together and picked daintily at some wafer thin cucumber sandwiches, in the shade of course to protect our delicate complexions !

lixtroll said...

Perhaps it's just a 'Lady's Day' and you'll feel better tomorrow!

Pondside said...

Pauvre Un Peu! You need a holiday - at a spa - with lovely meals and fluffy robes and handsome attendants. Then you need to buy some new shoes....in fact, a complete new outfit for your portrait.
Because I'm your friend I feel the need to prepare you for le Chef's possible reaction to your good news. If he is less than 100% thrilled just remember that he sees you as the mother of his children, the ornament of his home, the upholder of all things feminine.

muddyboots said...

oh so funny, long rubber gloves & a sucking pipe thing[on slurry tanker] are just what you need 4 your tank spetic......he he he!!! as 4 joy de vie?.....a nice glass of absinthe my dear! purely medicinal of course or pineau if you prefer...... don't forget to drink descreetly from a tea cup so curee doesn't rumble you!

muddyboots said...

gosh you are a spoil sport... well, they are in paris, mum + 2 girls, living a very quiete, boring life, when a dazzlee woman arrives who thru' magic & fraud takes over someones identity, well she worms her way, influencing eldest daughter, then roux comes so she encourages conflict between him & VR fiancee, phew, you did say quick?.. well next VR cottons on, so has becomes more her oldself again, climax in last chapters as nasty woman appears as VR at party & has done more fraudulent stuff in VR's name. Attempts to run off with Anouk,....all ends happily with anouk getting away & the whole happy family plus long lost mother of VR boarding a barge on the Seinne. Now look what youy've made me do ruin it for everyone else. Your colours are flashing!!!

Tattie Weasle said...

There is wonderful news - Mme G has done you the greatest possible service. Do please wear chciken skin gloves at night - so good for you hands. It is the strangest thing but a good pair of hands is always noticed and sets a lady apart - on this alone you should bedazzle as chairman and they will look so fine in your portrait! Lilac will set them off beautifully..
As for your kind offer of a kitten - my heart says oh yes please but my head reminds me that Dear Charlie has limited my pet count to the six at present. He did limit it to four and through persuation and lobbying it has risen - I will start immediatley but fear they will all have gone by the time he agrees in 2008!

Grouse said...

UnP- one is embroiling oneself in too much of the day's .........embroillment........relaxemont...try to removevremont from Le raelissimont of le boredome of la vie. Or as Brenda would say: Light a bonfire.

Posie Rosie said...

Oh un peu, you always make me laugh,sorry you are having a bad day, hope the fingernails grow back beautifully soon....

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Oh you are welcome to come over to exploding cesspit cottages and we will train you in how to!I will be there too and if anyone can't make it physically then perhaps you can do it mentally . . . .and we can include everyone that has lost someone and also for all those we know who are curently fighting a life threatening illness.