Thursday, 14 June 2007

On Green Hair, Camels and Shepherdesses


I fear the pharmacist at Guemene-Sur-Scorff may have played a cruel jape on poor Jacques yesterday as, having used his new dye last evening, he arrived to drive Chief Patissier to work this morning with his hair a rather startling shade of green. It is most unbecoming but at least on a positive side it goes rather better with his livery than the red, which I always thought clashed rather.

Madame Grognonne attempted to rectify the problem by toning the colour down a tad, with the red lead paste she uses to polish the kitchen grate, but it was a rather unsatisfactory solution, as it runs down his forehead at the slightest provocation so that he looks as if he has some sort of festering head wound. I fear there is nothing for it but to have his hair shaved off completely.

Meanwhile Madame Grognonne has bound his head in bandages and He is masquerading under the falsity that he has injured his cranium in an unfortunate accident Chez Nous involving youngest, Madame Grognonne’s rifle, and a cider barrel suspended from a rope.

I think if one is planning to tell an untruth then it is always better to keep it simple. In my experience most people will believe anything, providing one says it with sufficient conviction and it is not too convoluted. I remember when I was a small child boarding at the convent in Bordeaux one of the girls claimed to have seen a vision of three wise men complete with camels travelling through the convent grounds one of whom had stopped to talk to her to seek directions. Of course if she had only kept her story simple and chosen to see the Virgin Mary instead she might well have achieved sainthood by now. As it was we were confined to our dormitories for a week as punishment and she was required to write, “I must not tell lies” five hundred times in four different languages. Interestingly enough, we discovered some weeks later that she had indeed seen the camels who were from a travelling circus and had got separated from their companions having taken a wrong turn at Grenoble. Her family had her removed from the school soon after.

I do hope my paint arrives soon as, what with Loic and his bandaged knees and Jaques and his head wound, I feel I have the makings of a heroic painting entitled “our brave young soldiers returning from in la guerre”. I would have, of course, to get Loic to remove the spade attachment on his leg first.

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The painting today is of Joan of Arc who, as a young girl, claimed she saw visions of the Virgin Mary and held long conversations with various catholic saints, as a result of which, and possibly as well because of her penchant for wearing armour and men’s clothing, she was burnt at the stake as a heretic. Bearing this in mind my school friend was perhaps wise to stick with camels as I am certain that the catholic church does not view visions of dromedaries transversing convent lawns as quite so heretical, however, with the current Pope one can never be to sure of course.

13 comments:

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Oh my goodness two mornings in a row and first one here...wow! Shame about Jacques hair but ingestion of the lead paste could lead to far worse tales i fear!

Funny you finding yards of Kashkan on the cheap...when I was desperate! 'Funny!' did I say 'funny' I was not laughing!!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I love the fact you were confined to your dorm for a week. Probably not so funny at the time though.

ChrisH said...

Gawd! After the Mrs Tomato fiasco I am off to the hairdressers today to have it coloured - for the first time in 1000s of years - by a professional. Only hope I fare better than Jacques!

Frances said...

Bon jour,
Perhaps as you patiently await the arrival of the titanium white, you might be doing some preparatory sketches, studies and so forth of components for your heroic painting?
I am not sure of you particular technique, and it may be that you prefer to freshly attack the canvas, rather than to take a more measured approach.
Please know that I send my suggestion only to urge you to not lose your creative momentum in the continuous daily turmoil.
Best wishes.

annakarenin said...

Thank goodness the rain has given me the chance to catch up again. I find it incredible the pace you write at and how you come up with it all.

I had green hair once- never attempt to dye your hair black after consuming vast quantities of Campari.

Had to laugh at the mother one as I have resorted to giving Mike a good kick when the littliest wakes up yet again and then pretend I am still sleeping.

Inthemud said...

Poor Jacques! What a hair disaster, hope Mne G can sort it out.

funny how the weirdest of things get you into trouble, poor girl she did see the camels, just not the same wise men! But yes being a good liar is very clever and as you say needs to be kept simple.

sally's chateau said...

Hysterical, as always. Why hasn't a Literary Agent picked these up yet ?

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Nah...he didn't....well I don't think he did......s**t I can feel a blush coming on!

And Madame.... the person looking after camels is NOT a shepherdess! Shepherdesses look after the ovine of the species....dont know what a camelid looker afterer is....that reminds me ...are we going to get the story of exactly how and why one was kipping in the desert as a silent camel train went by? Go on ........please

Elizabethd said...

A drover maybe? Camelherder? Dromedarianess?

Pipany said...

Brilliant as ever, UPL. I have been over to your other bit and read your amazing list for the tagging thingy. How romantic it all sounds; well, most of it anyway! The camel train...oh, write that up as a proper blog, please? xx

Suffolkmum said...

Love the poor girl and her vision of the 3 wise men. How tiresome being confined to a dorm for a week. Hope it doesn't ever happen at Purplecombe.

Pondside said...

Poor girl with the camel visions. You're right - best to stick to the tried and true - virgins and angels.

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Nope Henri still looks the joker in my head.

The only time we will be confined to dorm is because we are having a lock in.