Alis Grave Nil

Monday, 23 January 2012

A Horsey Tale

There are some horsey ladies who ride up and down our lane.  Nothing wrong with that.  The thing is, they all wear these high visibility bright yellow vests  with "Polite Notice, please drive slowly" written on the back.  Now, at first glance, it looks like "Police Notice".  Okay..with me so far?  On their riding hats, they also have this blue and white checked tape.  They actually look like police people on horseback.  Why would you want to look like a police officer unless you are on some kind of power trip, or maybe you are just a bossy old moo and want to frighten people in their cars?  The next time I drive past them, I might just drive fast and see if they chase me. Do you dare me?

One of the horsey ladies once accused poor old Mr Forrester (80) of racing down the lane at break-neck speed in his car and trying to kill her entire family, who were walking down the lane.  Now, I find this very hard to believe because in all the years I have lived in this village, I have only ever seen Mr F driving at about 15 miles an hour.  Mrs Angry even called the police and reported him.  The poor old soul was really shaken up by it all but thankfully she was told to stop wasting police time.  Phew!  I had visions of having to make him a cake with a saw hidden in the middle to take to him in prison so that he could make his escape.
.....And another thing, why is it that the horses always want to poo right outside the entrance to our drive? It's just not funny, you know, especially if Roberto has just cleaned his car (it's his pride and joy).  In fact, when he has cleaned his car, he is very reluctant to let me go out in it and likes to keep it in the garage until the rain stops.  I know, girls, it's a man thing!  Funnily enough, I always thought cars were self-cleaning. 

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The Inconvenience Store

 The Inconvenience Store is a small supermarket in our village, in which the concept of customer service is completely alien to the majority of staff who work there (including the managers).  They look at you with their dead eyes as if you are an annoyance, forgetting of course that the customers are paying their wages. There are sometimes two ladies serving behind the counter during the day, one who I shall refer to as Mrs Sourpuss because she has a permanent expression on her face as if she was sucking lemons.  When Mrs Sourpuss sees that there is a huge queue, she scowls at the patiently waiting customers and either walks away from the till or pretends she is busy doing something, scrambling around under the till pretending to be looking for something.  "We're busy doing nothing, working the whole day through, trying to find lots of things not to do", as the song goes. 

There is also a lady who shouts at customers if they ask her to make up a sandwich after 2pm.  "Yer too late", She says, glaring at them, as if they've asked her for the contents of her bank account,  "I've cleaned up now". 

Sometimes there's no bread on the shelf in the Inconvenience Store, sometimes no milk or eggs, sometimes the kid behind the counter doesn't know what a leek is, and isn't particularly interested because there's a text coming through on his new iphone.  Sometimes said kid actually answers his phone when he is serving a customer..Grrrrrr!! The customers don't seem to complain but you can hear them sighing and huffing and puffing in the queue.  When there is only one person at the till and a big queue builds up, there is bell under the till that they are supposed to ring for another member of staff to come and serve.  We are waiting, waiting, waiting, the queue is growing and growing, then someone at the back of the queue loses the will to live and shouts out "Ring the effing bell would you Gladys, I want to get served before I die!"

The young kids/students who work in the Inconvenience Store have this glazed expression that descends upon them when, for example, your shopping costs £5.25.  You give them a £10 note and the 25p.  They hold the money in their hands, staring at it with panic in their eyes,  wondering what to do with it because they don't understand what it's all about.  Unbelieveably, these same kids all seem to want to go to university to study Rocket Science.  You just couldn't make it up!

The vegetables in the Inconvenience Store are a sight to behold.  I hesitate to use the word "fresh" as I might be contravening Trading Standards laws.  The carrots are usually covered with blue mouldy bits and I've seen one of the staff members pulling lots of dead leaves off cabbages and putting the tiny wilted cabbages back on the shelf.  The mangoes are always weeping (I know the feeling!) and the cucumbers are always soft and squidgy.  Courgettes?  Don't bother! 

The Inconvenience Store is the only shop in our village, but I no longer go in, unless it's wine o' clock and the wine rack chez nous  is bare,  and I only go in on the evenings when the one and only customer-friendly lady works there. 

Happy shopping, mes amis.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful - Un, Deux, Trois...

First of all I’d like to wish all my blog followers a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

This morning when I came downstairs, I caught Roy the builder sobbing into his cup of tea. "What the hell’s the matter with you Roy?", Said Roberto, my husband. In between sobs and sniffs, Roy spluttered, "She...she...Wilma won’t let me put up my poster in the living room". It turned out that Roy’s son had given him a life size poster of the girl from the Transformers film (not the alien girl, the other one) for Christmas and he wanted to put it in a prime location in the living room and Wilma was having none of it. "Jesus, Roy", I said, "I thought somebody had died the way you are going on". I have zero patience for 10 year old boy-men. Note to self: buy some darts for Wilma.

Well, things are really looking up in the Printemps household. I am delighted to announce that it is the final week of our building project and there will be no more workmen in our house after Friday - YIPPPPEEEEEEEE!!

Reasons to be Cheerful 1, 2, 3...

  • The money I will save on tea bags and biscuits will be enough to finance a Caribbean cruise, including spending money. Ditto our electricity bill from boiling the kettle 20 times a day.
  • There will be no more daily trips to B&Q or Screwfix (pulease!) for strange bits of plastic and pipe bits.
  • I will not miss Roy the builder arriving at 7.30am, working on the roof and banging on the bathroom window to give me the fright of my life when I am in the shower.
  • There will be no more drilling, hammering, radio blaring and Roy and Bob singing duets to Beyonce songs at the top of their voices.
  • I will no longer have to look at builders’ pants/bottom cleavages or listen to their stupid 10 year old boy jokes.
  • I will be able to look out of my upstairs landing window without someone standing on the roof looking back at me with a goofy grin.
  • I will no longer have to listen to Roy’s conversations...with himself.
  • I will never have to look at the plasterer’s assistant’s HUGE multi-coloured pants (sorry, pants again).
So, mes amis, this Friday I will mostly be doing cartwheels round the garden.

Update on Previous Post
The big black Bentley driven by the mysterious blonde lady was seen going up our quiet country lane again today, closely followed by several elderly neighbours travelling incognito en bicyclettes. Inspector Poirot, eat your heart out!

A bientot.