I think that we have every right to be proud of our achievements since arriving in France over 10 years ago. We have become well-integrated, our French gets better all the time and we have very many French friends and acquaintances. However, above all this I think that my biggest cause for self-congratulation is in persuading Sonia, “la patronne” of our village bar here in Le Puy Notre Dame to order Guinness making it, as far as I am aware, the only bar between Saumur and Vihiers where you can buy the Irish nectar. The picture is of the first “demi” being pulled. The system is one I have never seen before. Sonia pours the Guinness from a can and then puts it on a small plate attached to the machine which then shakes which causes the traditional Guinness head to develop. One of our guests over Christmas who happens to be Irish tried it and said that it compares favourably with Guinness from his homeland. After a few hours of experimentation it is also proven that it also revitalises flat beer and sparkling wine. – a small step for mankind but a giant leap for clients in the bar. The only problem is that, having been instrumental in getting Sonia to order it, I feel compelled to keep drinking it so any help from people living locally would be appreciated!!
I am not quite so proud of the second incident which I am about to relate which was, frankly, bloody embarrassing.
We were in the Intermarché supermarket in Doué la Fontaine and I asked a question regarding a particular joint of meat on the butchery counter. To identify the joint in question I reached over and pointed at it. The glass that separates the public from the meat is sort of curved and I rested my wrist on the edge – big mistake!! The glass exploded with a huge bang and shattered into hundreds of small pieces which covered all the meat in the display cabinet which, being Christmas was of the more expensive sort, being things like venison, guinea fowl stuffed with cépes, confit de canard etc, etc. The supermarket was packed and they must all have been warmed by the furious red glow coming from my face. It’s now in the hands of the two Assurance companies so we’ll see what happens.
A day or two later I went into a bar in Doué and joined a group of guys by the bar to discover that one of them was saying that some “mec”, (bloke), had broken the glass in Intermarché and that they had thrown away all the meat in the cabinet – at a value of over €3,000!! “Yes, I know who did it”, I interjected, “I know him very well” . “”Well, who was it”? was the response. “Errr…me” I replied. Which of course cued much uproarious hilarity, totally over the top in my opinion!! Although “mon copain” Didier did come up with the idea that I should go to see the Manager of the rival supermarket, “Super-U”, and ask for a reward for sabotaging the opposition’s meat sales just two days before Christmas. I’ll have a think about that one!!
Have a good 2012!