Friday, April 25, 2008

The joys of Spring

The sun was shining so unusually brightly in the sky this morning, that I slung what seemed like the whole winter’s washing in the machine and let technology rub-a-dub-dub, while I spent the best part of the day working on the computer and emerging at intervals from the dark with small squinty eyes to hang stuff on the line, since technology’s long arm does not extend to an efficient clothes drier.

But the road to clean dry sweet smelling washing is rather pot-holed, as you know already:

There is the boys’ smelly pissoir in the hedge by the line;

AND how could I forget, since it is a regular occurrence on the first sunny days of spring in France, it is lisier time.

In case you have the great good fortune to not know what lisier is, I will explain. It is super concentrated liquid manure which is sprayed onto fields to encourage growth (but not of anything I would fancy eating.)

Satisfied with a good day’s effort at work, mid afternoon, I set off for my walk with Porridge and something tickled my olfactory lobe from afar, something familiar, but something vague. Something that Porridge seemed to find attractive, since she took some persuading in the direction of the woods. An hour later we re-emerged from the woods to the sound of agricultural technology roaring and unfortunately also spraying and splashing. A light breeze had sprung up to help the farmer on his way up the valley to complete the circuit of the fields around our house, and distribute the aerosol more evenly over my underwear.

There is another strange and disagreeable phenomenon seemingly provoked by a sunny spring day. And that is policemen in shirt sleeves at roundabouts, sunbathing while they stop motorists and hold up all the traffic. (In France, unlike England, the police do not have to have a reason to stop a car, they can do it just because they feel like it.)
I have to go and pick up Darling d on one of my taxi missions in a moment, so I will be able to test my theory.

I hope they will be there.

I am in just the right mood for them...

13 comments:

Lucy said...

Oh yes, the first warm day of spring, lisier and gendarmes; you can speed and overtake dangerously and get as pissed as you like in cold wet icy weather, they won't be out then!

My friend Isobel's first French boyfriend here built lisier pits for a living, you can't get more glamorous than that!

Rosie said...

very glamorous...he must have smelt just like my knickers do now

amy said...

Thanks for enlightening me about lisier! What a shame about the laundry though...

Maybe it's a good excuse for some lingerie shopping.

Rosie said...

there speaks a girl about to be married...

Mike said...

The best thing about spring where I live is that even though the farmers are spraying the fields with manure, the smell is covered up by all the grass fires that break out along the roads. I've learned to appreciate the smell of burning grass (considering what it's covering up).

leslie said...

Last summer, we had the lovely (mis)fortune to be in the path of odors emanating from a sod farm a few miles from us. The chicken manure (and other what nots) was so bad that we didn't have many pleasant days outdoors in the neighbourhood. Hopefully, because of the outcry from residents everywhere the farmer has remedied the situation for this summer.

Rosie said...

Mike, my sweet H has always appreciated the smell of burning grass...
Leslie, you have reminded me of a terrible experience when we first moved to Brittany and were invited to someone's house to a summer barbecue. The flies were a nightmare, landing on the food in swarms because of a nearby chicken farm. I think that on the shit list, chickens are right up there!

Mouse said...

A friend of mine was recently stopped at the Callac roundabout by the gendarmes who demanded a donation to charity of 20 Euros before she could drive on. Really. They actually demanded money
It's lucky it wasn't my friend they pulled over, his reaction would have led to me visiting him in jail
Funny how they nevernotice the unregistered and uninsured Brits though, wouldn't you think they'd spend a day at Dinard airport rounding up the buggers?

Rosie said...

I've only ever been asked for money by police once...in Mexico...and we gave them something but not much!
I've never heard of french police demanding with menaces. Its the fireman and postman that do that when they come round with their calenders at christmas...

Dr.John said...

Police everywhere can stop a car and make up a reason later.

Rosie said...

hi Dr John. I suppose that in England a policeman can see a car that he doesnt like the look of and stop it (but he is supposed to have a reason, like a dodgy headlight or no tax). In France they block the whole road and stop everyone...do they do that in the states too?

Mrs. G. said...

It takes a special kind of writing talent to cover piss and police in one post. Well played.

Rosie said...

mrs G looking back over my recent posts I see that I am developping an obsession with excreta in general...I'll concentrate on the police from now on