Showing posts with label Kangoo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kangoo. Show all posts

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Me and my car

Just over a year ago, in July 2015, I stumbled in the steep staircase at my house in Gamone and had a nasty fall, bumping my head. Doctors have told me that I could have easily killed myself. I'm convinced that the only creature who knows exactly what happened is my dear dog Fitzroy, but he has never told me. Today, in the house, Fitzroy remains constantly a yard or so away from me. Whenever I move up or down the staircase, Fitzroy accompanies me immediately. When I open the bathroom window, Fitzroy immediately places himself between me and the opening, with such determination that I once imagined incorrectly that I might have actually fallen from this window.

Since then, I've never got back to driving on the road. Theoretically, I'm still quite capable of driving. I once demonstrated this capability to my son, on the lawn of his house in Plouha. Above all, I have good eyesight and, since the accident, I've never touched a drop of alcohol.

These days, whenever I need to drive into town, I call upon my friend Martine. She's an expert driver, who looks upon my Kangoo as an excellent vehicle for picking up a fortnight's groceries. Martine has even suggested that she might assist me in getting back into action as a driver. But I'm not at all convinced that I need to do so. I'll soon be 76 years old, and the narrow roads in the vicinity of my house at Choranche are not reassuring. On the contrary, they can be dangerous. So, why bother getting back to the wheel? In spite of all my likely progress, I would be a permanent public danger.

Yesterday, my neighbor Gérard phoned to say hello. He was astounded when I told him (to explain why I haven't visited him over the last year) that I no longer drive my Kangoo. He told me, literally, that abandoning the wheel was surely the worst thing that could possibly happen in the existence of a citizen of Choranche. (To better understand his point of view, you need to be familiar with the steep and narrow winding road that leads up to Gérard's house, which is nevertheless just a few hundred yards away from Gamone.) The news that I had given was as if I had just told Gérard that I was stricken with a major health problem. And he sympathized with me, even to the extent of suddenly referring with pain to his recent personal loss of his mother and two sisters.

To drive or not to drive. That is the question. And I'm more or less convinced that the ideal answer is... Martine.

NOTE A few days ago, the local doctor in Pont-en-Royans (an intelligent Rumanian lady with whom I communicate most often in English) told me that I would recover some facial nerves that were damaged in the fall if I were speak out loud as often as possible. This is not a simple task for a solitary individual who doesn't often use the telephone. So, I've decided to read out loud (in front of my dog Fitzroy) the French-language movie script on which I've been working: Adieu, Abelone based upon The Notebook of Malte Laurids Brigge by Rainer Rilke. If I work at this task long enough, I might even end up obtaining a role in the future movie.

UPDATE: Click here for another exciting approach to restoring any damaged brain functions.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Scottish Kangoo from my sister Susan

When my sister Susan Skyvington dropped in rapidly at Gamone last year, she met up with my Renault Kangoo automobile. In this morning's mail, I received a nice gift from Susan, who offered me a Scottish Walkers version of my Kangoo.

And it's full of my favorite Scottish shortbread biscuits!
Thank you so much, Susan, for that delightful little gift.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Dog pen

It would be unthinkable for me to drive the Kangoo with Fitzroy scrambling around freely inside, because my dear highly-emotional dog has no idea whatsoever of when it's appropriate or rather inappropriate to scramble up onto me. To put it bluntly, he would be quite capable of deciding, on the spur of the moment, to take the wheel. The primary task on my Kangoo agenda consisted therefore of measuring the boot, purchasing timber and constructing a pen for Fitzroy.

The day before yesterday, Serge Bellier came along with his miter saw (in French, scie à coupe d'onglet), which looks like this:

Rapidly, Serge cut the timber into the calculated lengths. Then I used screws and wood glue to assemble the pieces into something that looked like a baby's playpen. Yesterday morning, I placed it in the boot of the Kangoo, and padded it out with mats and a cushion.

Fitzroy can scramble easily into the pen, and he can then see me while I'm at the wheel. We did a test excursion down to the banks of the Bourne at Pont-en-Royans. Fitzroy (who had almost no experience of car travel) caught on rapidly to what the system was all about, and everything worked wonderfully well.

Next, we drove up to Presles, where I was able to meet up with Sylvie and her Welsh husband William (from whom I acquired my dog in September 2010, as described here). I discovered that they have a four-months-old son, Lohan. As for Fitzroy, he met up with a couple of familiar members of his Border Collie family.

One of the dogs had a litter of six pups, and William told me that the mother would lose no time in making it clear to Fitzroy that she didn't want to see him nosing around her pups. Within a few minutes, the noisy action-packed way in which this simple message was transmitted to Fitzroy, and received by him clearly, was most spectacular. Even within a small family circle such as this, where the dogs know each other well, they communicate with one another in such a direct fashion that it looks to us, superficially, like a violent dogfight. The subsequent attitude of Fitzroy proved beyond any doubt that he had received the message, loud and clear. He had understood in an instant that the female didn't want to see him hanging around in the vicinity of her pups. Ah, if only I were able to use this kind of canine technique (I would need to learn how to snarl and bare my teeth) to transmit my wishes to Fitzroy in such a highly-efficient manner...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Billy has a Kangoo

OK, the vehicle I brought home yesterday is not a kangaroo... but maybe the next best beast, named Kangoo (because of its spacious pouches).

Renault Kangoo