Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Alas poor Loic!


As sometimes happens, after a hectic week of social obligations, we were grateful today to occupy our time quietly chez nous, the boys fishing from the remains of the hen house on the pond, and Eldest lying on cushions under the shade of the apple tree growing her hair, whilst Chief Patissier and I sat in chairs under a parasol reading in companionable silence together, he the Marquis de Sade’s travellers guide to sodomy which I purchased for him at the Vide Grenier, ( I still have not quite located Sodomy on the globe so presume it must be a very small country indeed), and I reading Emile Zola’s Nana for the third or fourth time.

It was with some surprise then, that our tranquility was disturbed by the unexpected arrival of the itinerant Pompiers from the neighboring village, just after luncheon. They stood before us, hat less and smoke stained, their uniforms in disarray, bearing the limp and dust covered body of poor Loic on a hand cart.

What with it being Sunday and with all of the excitement of the Bastille Day celebrations the day before and the fire in the village church, his absence had gone totally unremarked by any of us, except of course for the pigs who had been making a terrible racket, a fact that we had foolishly attributed to their being frightened by the noise of the fireworks of the night before. No wonder there had been a marked absence of fresh vegetables with the repas!

We discovered that, after the fire in the church tower had been extinguished, a task that had taken them most of the night and well into the morning, the exhausted Pompiers had just seated themselves on some of the rubble in the square to refresh themselves with a jug or two of well deserved cider, when one of them impaled his nether regions on something unexpectedly sharp. Closer inspection revealed a strangely twisted and contorted metal implement protruding from under the fallen masonry. Curious as to what it might be they swiftly uncovered the fallen statue of St Fiarce, the patron saint of gardeners and haemorrhoid suffers, which had toppled during the explosion and under it the body of Loic, still wearing the dibber attachment on his now useless artificial leg.

Our local Doctor had been unexpectedly summoned away to provide emergency treatment to a prize boar, in a far flung hamlet, who had unaccountable eaten some fireworks carelessly left lying about. The Pompiers were forced therefore to call upon the assistance of the veterinary surgeon, who, having over indulged himself during the Bastille Day celebrations , had not been able to go to the porcine emergency himself and whom they found sleeping it off in a near by hayloft. Although barely sober he was able to identify Loic before collapsing backwards into the water trough.

Luckily for the injured Pompier our village seamstress was able to stitch up his injured buttocks using a generous splash of Absinthe as an anesthetic.

Despite not knowing the village well, the Pompiers had managed to requisition a handcart from the local gravedigger and brought Loic home to us.

What with the fact that his body lay rigid with one arm stretched upwards and the other sticking out at the side, and the handcart having a wonky wheel, it could not have been an easy task. It being a very hot day they had very sensibly used Loics upright arm to stack their helmets on during the journey. The poor men were very apologetic that, by doing so, they appeared to have mislaid one of Loics hands during the journey but we were able to reassure them that he had lost it some years before along with his leg.

We were all deeply saddened by the state of the poor crumpled heap of a man that lay before us like a broken doll. Madame Grognonne and Jacques were beside themselves with remorse when they realized that, far from propping Loic in a safe place for the firework display, by wedging him in an alcove directly below the statue of St Fiacre he had been totally buried by falling debris when the tower exploded. If only they had propped him in by the statue of St Winifred, patron saint of the lame, all might have been well, after all to the best of our knowledge Loic had never been afflicted with hemorrhoids so one could hardly expect St Fiacre to protect him. Naturally one can not blame them for they did what they felt was best at the time but in hindsight it might have been safer to leave him at home in the potting shed with his pigs.

Bearing in mind the heat and the over excited state of the pigs it was agreed it would be better to lay Loic out on the kitchen table at least for the time being. Madame Grognonne is quiet adamant she can work around him but I think, under the circumstances it might be unrealistic to expect any thing other than a light salad for supper.
Needless to say, we are all very shocked.

…………………………………………………………………
The illustration is from an ancient manuscript and shows St Fiacre with a spade in one hand and a book held in the other. I can see the spade reflects his gardening connections and can only assume the book is an oblique warning that if one spends to long reading books one may well, inevitably, end up with hemorrhoids.

16 comments:

sally's chateau said...

Have the BBC not been in touch yet ? this would be so funny as a comedy sitcom !!

The Country Craft Angel said...

I have already said that Sally!!

I think now you should take this seriously and get some of them sent off yourself UPL!!


Poor Louic-don't know whether to laugh or cry!!
warm wishes
x

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Loic does come in for some stick doesn't he.

Crystal xx

Suffolkmum said...

Oh no poor Loic, what an inconvenience for you all.

Chris said...

Hello Loufoque,

thanks for dropping by my site and your comment. - It seems to me your site is very interesting and I should visit it again if my time is not as little as it is now.

Have a good day!
Chris.

snailbeachshepherdess said...

I am bereft and distruaght! My hero!! Poor Loic! I must go now and struggle round the sheep wailing at the demise of my hero, the tears will run (in amongst the rain) down my haggared and grief stricken face...my heart is broken!

lampworkbeader said...

You are very brave to face the prospect of a mere light salad for supper so stoicly... stowikly... sto... where's that blasted spell checker

Tattie Weasle said...

Despite the shock I am releived to hear that no one lost their heads and tried to put Loic in with the Pigs - they are such sensitive creatures and this could have seriously undermined their growth prospects. I am sure Loic would have understood....

Tattie Weasle said...

Despite the shock I am releived to hear that no one lost their heads and tried to put Loic in with the Pigs - they are such sensitive creatures and this could have seriously undermined their growth prospects. I am sure Loic would have understood....

Pondside said...

Such a lot has happened over the past few days. I was so busy getting myself arranged in the new school that I missed all the excitement of the birthday party and bastille day. And now the tragic news of Loic! What more could possible befall this simple family? Will dinner appear on time? Will UPL find another gardener as good as Loic? Will M le Chef get ideas from the new travel book?

Grouse said...

Well when I said rigid with shock I didnt mean permenantly!!!!!!!

Do you think its too late now for mouth-to mouth.........??????

Fennie said...

Alas poor Loic I (thought I was beginning to know) him well. This is really sad. Especially as I have just been catching up on all the Diana posts and was gently humming Candle in the Wind to myself. Loic was not, I feel quite in the same league as Diana, either for looks or limbs but still bougies come in all shapes and sizes as does le vent. I shall shed a small discreet and gentle tear for the poor 'poilu.'

So that leaves two (servants) unless the Loufoque household imports a Pompier or two, with the regular complement of appendages.

(Of course, there exists the possibility that Loic did not die from the falling masonry, but from septicaemia (?) caused by the impromtu removal of the arrow that caught him in the posterior the other day leaving an infectious legacy. He thus may have already have been dead when the masonry fell. I do think you ought not to rule out this possibility entirely. And should there be a Breton equivalent to CSI, call them in at once).

Blossomcottage said...

Madame Grognonne is a real brick to say that she could work round him, I glad that you made do with salad, shocked I am sure you are I feel a large bottle of wine coming on whilst seated in the shade.
Blossom

Frances said...

Oh no. It cannot be true, can it?

UPL, how do you continue to bear these tribulations?

A dark thought. Is their any possibility of a morte nature painting? Please forgive me that suggestion.

xo

FunkyMunky said...

Poor Loic. I was just getting to know him and now he is gone! Perhaps we should declare a day of mourning?
Hope you enjoyed the salad!

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

OH NO NOT LOIC . . . . .Rushing on in earnest now . .in the hope . . .