Who would of thought it, June already? Wendy and I are still in France just now and I have to say it is bl@@dy freezing! Yes, I hear Sir David and all his sycophants crying into their soya milk about global warming, but it is not happening...well not here anyway. Apparently, once the ice caps all melt due to farting cows, the polar bears are all relocating to Lot-et-Garonne to stay cool and possibly wallowing in my swimming pool. Meanwhile, our Coypu have vanished back to from whenst they came, somewhere near the equator where lemon trees don’t all die from hypothermic frosts, in mid May!
In actual fact we should be in Newcastle-on-Tyne this weekend, where I'm told the sun often shines, but for the loss of a good friend to cancer earlier in the week. An avid follower of this column and regular visitor to France, my Edinburgh pal will be sorely missed for his gentle ways and sharp wit. Another one of the good guys, taken far too soon. Anyway, onwards and upwards.
Meanwhile life goes on here at Chauffour, with the usual springtime chores taking up most of my time. And this year has just got a little bit harder since the French powers-that-be have confiscated my favourite gardening tool, ROUND-UP. Apparently its active ingredient, Glyphosate, is about to kill me and therefore, once more, I am being saved by people who care far more for my welfare than I do. Well, actually I am not, because now I have such backache from pulling up weeds for 6 hours per day instead of my once-a-month 20 minute 'rounding-up', that I am bed-ridden, unable to sleep and grumpy as hell. I would, of course, buy it in UK where it is freely available and will be even more so when Britain is no longer in Europe. Except I can't, as I am not allowed to take it on an aircraft in case it explodes! I can't buy it online either as, although the smiley British postie can deliver it to the Channel while whistling a merry tune, Monsieur LaPoste refuses to so much be in the same vehicle with it, such is its supposed danger to everyone. Apparently I can buy it in Germany, Italy, Spain or just about everywhere else in the world which makes a complete and utter mockery of the French bureaucratic system. Oh well, I probably need a holiday, so will have to drive a few hundred miles in my gas-guzzling diesel climate-destroying machine to get a fifteen quid bottleful!
I would let our few remaining sheep into the garden to eat the weeds except that, led by Daisy, all the flowers and vegetables would be gone in minutes and the offending weeds would remain untouched! Maybe I could attempt to educate them into selective eating and do the world a favour? Because - you heard it here first - sheep in France are actually allowed to go to school. Yes, in a small parish in the Alps, 15 ewes have been registered as pupils in a primary school, so it can keep its numbers up and its doors open. Somewhere in a European by-law, the ability to discriminate the ovine from the human species has been overruled in yet another spite at President Macron who had suggested that school with diminishing numbers be closed. This has inevitably escalated the rights of animals over humans and played into the hands of those who believe BBC's Chris Packham speaks any truth whatsoever, despite the fact that his propaganda is about as reliable as a Boeing 737 Max 8!
The fact that the French love their rules almost as much as they do finding ways around them is no surprise. From banning ketchup, redbull and mobile phones in schools to burkas (but allowing peeing) in public and flip-flops in cars, France has always led the way when it comes to absurdity. Hence hundreds of men sitting around a bbq in yellow vests and annoying motorists on every major traffic island becomes instantly acceptable behaviour, despite its illegality. Well, thanks to the 'Gilets Jaune's' disappointment in the governments rule to drop our national speed limit form 90 to 80 kilometre per hour, I might save a few quid. You see, in April this year I got a speeding fine through my Scottish letterbox from a flash I had from the camera at the bottom of our road in France, in September 2018. Yes, it took six months to find me, but find me it did. Thankfully now the local protesters are not content with wearing yellow jackets but have added a few tins of jaunes spray-paint to their armoury and then proceeded to blast it repeatedly over the face of said speed camera. In spite of my hesitance to support their socialist ideals, I will certainly not be the one down there with my Jif and J-cloth any time soon.