Wednesday, February 27, 2008
‘Bonjour’, said the rough looking man as I stepped into the shed hidden deep in the woods. ‘You must be the new gamekeeper’, I said tentatively. He shrugged, not taking his eyes away from hanging the freshly caught ferrero rochers from a game hook. I felt a little frisson as his big rough hands worked amongst all his big rough gamekeeper stuff in his big rough shed. ‘Oui’, he said. ‘I 'ave downshifted from France’ . Crikey, I thought, that must be the first time anyone retired from the Dordogne to buy a cottage in Barnsley. ‘So how did you come to get this job?’ I asked. ‘I played ze garde-chasse in ze French version of Lady Chatterley,' he answered, ‘and I discovered I liked being an English gamekeeper’. I nodded in understanding. ‘It was very brave, a French actor playing a northern working class englishman’, I said. ‘Well’, he thought for a moment, ‘I thought if Juliette Binoche can get away wiz playing Catherine Earnshaw, 'ow bad can I be compared to her?' ‘
'I suppose it was the fresh air, being in the country, living with nature that made you become a gamekeeper’, I proffered. He shook his head. ‘Non’, he said, correcting me (translation: no), ‘it was shagging the landowners wife of course’. Well, I reflected, he was French after all. ‘All upper class English women are desperate for it, n’est pas?’ ‘Well, I’m sure I couldn’t possibly comment!’ I said, trying to sound convincing. I really didn't want to shed my inhibitions innan actual shed. He shrugged again. ‘so err’, I began, ‘has their been anyone special?’ He looked up. ‘Zer was a woman’, he said, ‘but she broke my urt’. I looked down, embarrassed. ‘Did she tell you she loved you then go back to her husband, is that how she broke your heart?’ He looked at me strangely. ‘No, she broke my urt, she put her foot right through ze floor of my urt over zer’, and he pointed across the room. ‘Mon dieu!’ he sighed, 'I mean, who goes in an urt wearing high heels?’ I kicked off my shoes quietly.
‘So, what can I do for you Madame Super?’ he asked. ‘Have you got any eggs, say half a dozen?’ He shrugged, again, and I thought he really should improve his repertoire of stereotypical French gestures if he wanted to be in my blog again. ‘I ‘ave only got one egg left’, he told me. ‘Oh well, I shall try somewhere else then’, I replied. ‘Oh, so one egg is not un ouef then, eh?’ he snapped with a huff. ‘Look’, I said, annoyed, ‘Just tell me where I can get some eggs’. he raised his eyebrows. ‘You could try Sean Bean next door’, he said. ‘Sean never has any trouble getting ze birds to lay for him...hello?...Rilly?...oh...where did she go..?’