Friday, 29 June 2007

Seeking inspiration...



What am I to do with my time now that I have relinquished Art? This is the pressing question that has tormented me all morning. How is a cultured woman, such as myself, to occupy herself here, in the cultural wastelands of Brittany, bereft ,as it is, of salons and galleries, of expositions and opera and where sadly, the closest thing one is likely to find to the ballet is an impromptu drunken performance, by Madame Grognonne and my one legged gardener Loic, of a traditional Breton Gavotte, complete with wooden sabots, in the salle late a night, after an evening of ill-advised over consumption of champagne and eau de vie!

The normal diversions, of women of my class elude me. I am ill equipped to deal with the sick and elderly of the commune, not, sadly, having been blessed with a stomach for illness or the company of persons of a hygienically challenged nature. There are, I know from bitter experience, no suitable openings on committees, and now that the war is over I can not even usefully employ my talents, knitting socks and mittens for the troops! Not, of course, that I would wish the continuation of fighting in order to fulfill my urge to knit, I could after all knit Madame Grognonne a new balaclava if I felt the need!

Art was my savior from ennui but even that has failed me. I wondered if I might perhaps take to literature but frankly feel life here offers nothing of import about which to write, and yet, I must do something otherwise I shall, I fear, go mad.

Madame Grognonne, who like a true Breton Peasant, has suggested that I should consult a soothsayer for inspiration and is determined to discover for me the whereabouts of a local diviner to read my destiny.

Apparently Claude consulted one when his cow was suffering from ulcerated udders and ,taking his advice and hanging a bunch of mistletoe over the barn door for a week, the cow was miraculously cured. I did attempt to persuade Madame Grognonne that, it is quite likely that the cow would have got better without walking under mistletoe, but she was so horrified, at what she considered to be my blasphemy, that she has now placed small bowls of salt at the threshold of the house in order to ward off any bad luck I may have wrought upon us all. I have tried to point out to her that I did not require veterinary assistance, but she assured me soothsayers and diviners cover all sorts of problems from butter refusing to turn to the future of the nation. I can not help but feel that if this were so, then it might have been wise for our government to have consulted one before now over the small matter of the war with the Germans, then perhaps I might not have been reduced to running our household with a drastically reduced domestic staff consisting of a one armed one legged gardener with shell shock, a groom with an identity crisis and a drink problem and a housekeeper of dubious skill and unpredictable temper!

Ah me! If only my own problems could be resolved with the mere touch of magic under a bunch of mistletoe!

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This is a recent photograph of Claude’s cow in its pen after its miraculous cure by mistletoe. If you look closely to the right of the picture you will see Claude’s wife gesturing with a stick to indicate exactly where the mistletoe was hung as directed by the soothsayer. She is the one in the lace cap and checked shawl, the one next to the miraculously saved cow is the family goat, although at first glance it is not obvious which is which and even at close quarters it is sometimes easy, I admit, to confuse the two.

12 comments:

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Superstitions almost rule me life. Just wondering where I can get some mistletoe at this time of year...

ChrisH said...

Bonjour! Have raised my head from the Pillow of Despondency to catch up with UPL only to find that she is teetering on the brink of the Pillow of Despondency too! I'll will joing her for a mistletoe wave.

Elizabethd said...

Cultural desert, yes. Brittany doesnt excel in offerings, unless you are very fond of local music and danse.

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Am with you on not dealing with the sick....I simply do not deal with any bodily fluids well...ask my three sons who have in their turn been left sitting on the landing with the door open while bad mother falls back to sleep! Now I can deal with missing limbs fine! How is the ark coming on? its raining again and its village party night...beef stew and dumplings ...in JUNE!

sally's chateau said...

Look Dearie I don't want to send you back to the land of despondency but the weather here is simply superb and I do feel that you would benefit greatly from a journey down South where your wit and talent would amuse me greatly !

Faith said...

Never know what to say to Un Peu - read your blog anyway!

mountainear said...

Perhaps we've all got a touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder - those of us who live in northern climes that is, not having seen the sun since seemingly forever. Agas, beef stew and hot water bottles in JUNE for heaven's sake.

I should try something stronger than mistletoe.

LittleBrownDog said...

Concerned to read of Un Peu's recent ennui. It's difficult to know what to suggest, though. Perhaps you could take up Boules(or petanque, as I believe it may be called in your part of the world). You do endure some trials, though. I hope the weather is better for you than it is here, otherwise I fear your melons will never ripen.

American Scot said...

Perhaps writing about five things you do to stay positive will help?
Sorry to do this to you, but you've been tagged!
Just see my blog if you need more information..
Cheers!

Frances said...

Alors,
What is going on. You are the strength of your entire household.
And now, you wish to find meaning,
inspiration, a direction to follow.
Art. Beauty. Culture.
UPL, we must remember that many whom we now revere were, in their own time, very much disregarded. I wonder what their self doubts might have been.
It is too late this evening to respond adequately. I think more time may be available tomorrow.

A demain.

jackofall said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Oh Un Peu - what will you do now without your painting - I am sure you will come up with something . . .rushing on.