Sunday – our first full day at the apartment. A very hot night – well, of course. Early in the morning I watched from the balcony a pair of cyclists taking each other’s photo by the corner of the quay below us. One kept moving away and the other was saying ‘mais, non – non – non!’, in a very complaining voice; as if this had happened before. The other cyclist then tried to let down her hair but because it had been tied up in her helmet in this heat it just stayed stuck up, like it was plastic. I went back to bed.
Lots of church bells ringing this morning. Firstly the insistent three repeated chimes that say ‘Go to church! Go to church!’, and later the long phrasing, a section of which sounds to my ears like the chorus melody of ‘Earth is the loneliest planet’, by Morrissey. This makes me think again of my coming Friday strategy for buying tickets for the Hull and London concerts.
Drifting back into sleep I thought of the first line of a poem:
Before the ringing of church bells is banned
and lines later on that had the words:
And upwards into an unfinished sky
We had coffee at our regular late morning stop; and pretty quickly noticed that the business had changed hands since last year. All new staff and a tangible air of new attitude, good service and fresh paintwork. For years and years we’d grown familiar with (though not to) the previous staff. They were a little… creased, and more than a little brusque; but that kind of came to be okay. And there was one waiter all in black, with classic slicked-up quiff and D.A. whom we referred to (quite brilliantly, imaginatively) as Elvis, and joked that one day he would take our cash and go: ‘uh-huh a-huh, thangyouverymuch’ and wiggle his hips. He probably listened to a lot of Johnny Hallyday and Eddy Mitchell, which traits I do admire in your older Frenchman. Also, he was the only one who knew our daily order before we spoke it. It’s a small thing, and counts towards a small sense of belonging.
Afterwards we looked at (expensive) turquoise rings and whilst I saw one I liked I am determined to give the night market here first dibs at my turquoise ring project.
Between the café and the jewellery shop I had a song making itself up in my head, that went:
I’m sli-ding into Je-sus – and Jesus is sliding into me…
Which I quite enjoyed as a well-meant off-beam slice of country earnestness.
I got a new hat – brimmed for sun – and then bread at the usual bakery, where our niece is trying to get a job. B. said how going shopping for a hat and a baguette made us very much like two characters in a French language book for schools.