Saturday, April 28, 2007

Gamone greenery

In this photo I took this morning, my neighbor Dédé, with his chestnut walking-stick, is standing in front of my white-flowered wisteria. Nearly every morning around seven o'clock, Dédé leaves their place (a couple of hundred meters below Gamone) and strolls up past my house and further up the track beyond Bob's property. If I happen to be up and about, my dog Sophia barks to let me know that Dédé's in the vicinity, and I go out to chat with him for ten minutes or so. Usually, our conversations don't evolve much from one morning to the next. Our first subject, of course, is the weather, then the various animals at Gamone. Dédé knows everything about everybody in the surroundings, but he doesn't talk readily about other people's affairs unless I ask specific direct questions. So, our morning chats are not at all what you would call gossip. On the other hand, concerning inanimate objects at Gamone, he has a remarkable attention to details. Whenever I mention such-and-such an aspect of the house or property that might be modified and improved, I usually find that Dédé has already done some serious thinking about the question I've brought up. Before my recent excursion to Marseilles, I happened to inform Dédé that I would need to purchase a small metal pin to fix the hinged back of my metal trailer. When I returned from Marseilles, I discovered that Dédé had come up to my place, during my absence, and done the job for me. This morning, when I told Dédé that I was thinking about devising a technique for encasing two big steel girders with wood in the façade of my house, I discovered that Dédé had obviouly already thought about this problem, for he immediately described a solution...

On the left, the giant linden tree between my house and the road is now covered in leaves. Funnily, another linden tree, to the right, still has its wintry look. Dédé told me that they, too, have a linden tree of this kind, which doesn't grow leaves until late spring. This morning, looking at all the tall grass that has shot up over the last fortnight around my house, Dédé asked a pointed question: "What's happened to the hand-held weed cutter you used to operate?" I understood, of course, that Dédé was not really asking me a question. It was his subtle way of suggesting that I should move my arse and cut the grass.

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