The French lady who lives next door to Parc Verger is charming, and exactly as one might imagine someone living out in the French countryside might be. She is tiny and slightly built and bright as a button, reminding me of a little Jenny Wren. I am not sure how old she is but she informed me (via Lisa) that she would have been married 42 years this year, though she had been a widow for the last 18, and that all her married life her husband had never once made her cry. And that she has the most wonderful son in the whole world
She has sweet little house, and outside a barn with chickens and quails. In the woodlands behind the house is a goat, and in her tidy entrance porch were bright, flowering pot-plants and a couple of dozen persimmons ripening. Apparently she is pretty well self-sufficient. I wish I could speak with her in her own language, and to that end have at last put on the French Language CD’s that I bought early in 2014. Bad girl that I am!
I sit and listen, and think I am doing quite well, and compose things I will say when I meet one of the locals, though when I do I mostly forget how it goes, and if I do remember and they understand , I am then confronted with a totally incomprehensible reply, plus spurred on by my efforts to communicate they encouragingly chat away whilst I stand by totally dumbfounded.
And of course, assuming I do get to grips with the language even a little bit it is my intention to move on to Spain, where I have even less hope of communicating. So! – I pay the price for my English laziness.
Little Miss Phoebe and I continue to enjoy the walks along the cycleway through the woods, each day venturing further as Phoebe gets stronger. A lot of exercise is not good for growing Great Danes, but it is a fine line between having her full of boundless energy in an RV and over-taxing her with long walks. Of course it is easy for me as I can just sit on The Supter. Still Phoebe’s speed and strength increase daily. If she lags behind me investigating some new and interesting smell, then gallops to catch up, she flies past The Supter, which does eight miles and hour easily outpaces it. Apparently one of her siblings from last year’s litter has been clocked at 35 mph.
Weight wise she is also growing! Just over 35 kilos when weighed at the vet’s today (She will be six months old the day after tomorrow).
One of the ladies staying here on the site kindly drove me to the local vet’s, as Phoebe is in need of more worming tablets. I am not normally a fan of constantly dosing pets with all sorts of medications – coming from a time when most folk just kept mongrels, which were freely available, as everyone’s dogs seemed to produce puppies once or twice a year and their owners were just grateful to rehome any offspring. Then, other than trying to keep the puppy away from the chance of “hardpad” for the first six weeks that was it as far vets were concerned. Their diet consisted of Spillers Shapes and household scraps, and cats were expected to make their own living apart from a large bowl of milk. They rarely had fleas or worms, but if anything was looking off colour it had a few Vetzymn tablets. A bit thin and it was given tablets purchased from the hardware shop, or if it it started to scratch was covered with white powder from a large perforated tin from the same source. And I have to say they all lived long, happy and healthy lives. But now I am travelling and don’t know what foreign dangers may await my precious girl.
The vet’s here is situated in a large airy, purpose built surgery, with a plant filled atrium as an entrance, and several elegant French Madamoiselle as receptionists. I was assured everyone spoke English, but we must have visited on the day when the English speakers had all gone out on call. I managed to remember how to say her name was Phoebe, and that she was a Great Dane nearly six months old and was on monthly Milbemax tablets for worming. We couldn’t even cope with how to spell my name and were stumped until I mimed that I needed a pen and paper and would write it down. But I came away with a tablet and even if it was not Milbemax a bit of googling and google translate let me know that it contained the same ingredients.
This is a little montage of her first six months.
I have to say making this encouraged me to look at some of the photos of my lovely old Phoebe, but I still miss her so much that I found it too hard to bear and had to stop.