Monday, 25 June 2007

Enough is enough or un peu takes charge!


Enough is enough, raining or not, I will not put up with the households sullen sluggishness a moment longer. I am determined to lift their spirits and get them all out of doors if only so that I may continue to paint in peace. To that end I have informed them that I had arranged a small soirée chez nous for this evening, a fact that had quite slipped my mind until I checked my agenda this morning, and that regardless of the precipitation we shall keep to my plans. Despite considerable complaints each has been allotted a task and has been sent out to accomplish them in preparation for tonight.

Jacques has been sent to the barn to collect dry wood for the fire. He is well wrapped in an oil cloth, with his head covered by Madame Grognonne’s German helmet which she has thoughtfully lent him and his chest liberally rubbed with goose fat to ensure he does not catch cold again.

Loic has been dispatched to visit Yannick and see if he will provide us with some fresh meat, butter and cheese. Eldest has gone with him to help extricate him should he get his leg stuck in the mud. I am certain no one will recognize her wrapped in old army overcoat, her head well covered with sacking, but just in case I have instructed them that should anyone comment Loic is to inform them that Eldest is his cousins half wit son up from the Ardeche for a change of air and Eldest is to act as if she were simpleminded, say nothing and keep her head bowed, all of which I am sure she will have now trouble managing.

I did ask Madame Grognonne to go instead of Loic but she flatly refused as she says she is not welcome at Yannick’s Farm, he suspecting her, as he does, of having something to do with the disappearance of his prize calf. This reminds me, I must ask Madame Grognonne if she has any salted veal left in the larder that we may add to the menu.

Since she will not go to Yannick’s Madame Grognonne has been sent out to the pottager in search of whatever vegetables have survived the torrential rain. Middle, meanwhile, is picking what ever raspberries have not gone mouldy in the fruit cage and youngest is gathering eggs from the hayloft. Madame Grognonne has told him to check in the chamber pot under her bed as, apparently, the poultry have taken to nesting there.

I myself shall be busy laying the table with the best Limoges and damask cloth and generally making the salle a manger look splendid. Chief Patissier is quite convinced that no one will come in such foul weather but I have assured him he is wrong and have laid the table for eight in anticipation.

I have left Chief Patissier sulking still at the Studio window but have discreetly let the fire go out in the stove there so, no doubt, he will soon stir himself when he begins to feel the cold. When he arrives down stairs I shall send him off to the cellar to bring up something special for the table, and then go back upstairs myself to paint. I am sure with the judicious application of an oil soaked rag and a bit of kindling I shall soon have the fire roaring.

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This rather splendid painting is called Kant and Friends at Table, and was Painting by Emil Doerstling. I do think it looks quite jolly, although obviously a trifle dated. I do wonder though if I might get Jacques to wait at table dressed in this style. I know he is a tad short to carry off the look but the wig would cover his hair quite well. Initially I thought of Loic but his artificial leg might detract from the elegance of the costume and obviously Madame Grognonne would look ridiculous in breaches, her derriere being far too big!

15 comments:

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Its getting to the stage if there is any more rain that we will all meet on various arks somewhere over Spain! We will be able to recognise our respective boats...yours by Loic hanging on the front as the anchor...ours by mad cat on gang plank....he has 'bitten' again!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I think you have already taken charge. This weather is getting rather depressing, I keep looking out of my window wondering if I ought to just leave the paddling pool to fill up itself.

sally's chateau said...

Your robust spirit is to be commended my dear, I too am adopting a grin and bear it stance from just across the Channel to you.

The Country Craft Angel said...

I have the same attitude to all this rain. Good for UPL-there is not much we can do about it so may as well get on with it!

warm wishes

ChrisH said...

What spirit that woman has! It is raining like billio here today - so much for my bragging about the sunshine.

Himalayan Blue said...

It will stop raining soon ..... it has to or my hilltop village will be cut off!!

Grouse said...

I'm developing a GIN and bear it attitude to the weather.......I find I am noticing the rain less and less............

Suffolkmum said...

Good for you for your determined attitude that the family should get outside inall weathers. Peace and quiet is what you artists need.

Frances said...

What a clever woman you are, UPL. I am going to closely study your managerial techniques! Think that there is much to be learned from you.

(I forgot before to say how much I like the Rousseau. It really does capture a wet landscape feeling. No umbrella would withstand that storm.)

Perhaps the sun will return to you in time to create a beautiful sunset this evening.

xo

muddyboots said...

that's the ticket, stiff upper lip & all that. l have been prepared all day, 'wearing in' my hideous new wellies, wrapped up well in an all enveloping mac [that leaks] with a stoutly, waterproof fedora firmly jammed down on my head, keeping my wold hair in check.l am now ready. what time is the ark passing Flamborough Head ma dear?

FunkyMunky said...

Love your style!! Everyone knows (and should respect the fact) that creative people need peace and quiet!!
Agree about the painting by the way!

Himalayan Blue said...

Hi Un Peu, have checked with Maud and she is happy for you to share her shed if necessary. Personally I recommend you don't sit on the very hairy towel over the sun bed because that is her favourite place and she may take offence, and you would end up covered in large amounts of grey fur!

Inthemud said...

Rain rain go away! Come again another day! Not too soon though pleaseeeeeee!
We're suffering here too!

Pondside said...

That's the spirit Un Peu!! When the going gets tough the tough get partying!! Can't wait to hear who's invited and what the menu looks like.

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Ooooo a party . . . .rushing on.