Saturday, 9 June 2007

Chateau Le Con

How I formed the impression that my good friend, Thomas Hamburger Jnr, came to have a chateau in France, I don't know. Perhaps I just assumed, from what I knew about him already, that when he invited me to spend a few days in his 'home' in Bergerac, we'd be heading to some antiquated pile.

Not to. It's a perfectly pleasant place, of course - but it's no chateau, by any stretch of the imagination. Three bedroom cottage would more adequately describe it. It's set in a large garden, which is given over mostly to lawn, fringed with apricot, apple and pear trees. It's all very sedate and seductively French.

My views on gardens and lawns are already well rehearsed. Yet, Hamburger's silver tongue somehow persuaded me to spend fully six hours yesterday trimming the place back from the jungle it had become since he last visited. He'd also persuaded another pal of his to join us, and he was tasked with the job of constructing a sturdy, wooden composting bin.

Hamburger, meanwhile, seemed to spend most of his time swanning around Bergerac Town, striking the kind of pose outside the pavement cafes there that only a would-be writer can. He claims to have been working on his novel, of course, but I know better.

I should be annoyed, and feel duped, but there's a certain pleasure to be had in seeing the garden restored to something like its former glory, and to be able to claim full credit for that. I've had more relaxing holidays, of course. But the absence of Mrs Blunt has more than redeemed the situation. A man can only take so much of his wife nagging him to 'get that grass cut!'. Somehow, to be asked to do it (however disingenuously) feels a whole lot better.

4 comments:

Daddy Papersurfer said...

I always follow orders - it's safer in the long run.

LT said...

Hate to say this Bill but 'there ain't no thing as a free lunch.. ' quote unquote.

the domestic minx said...

Dear Bill, I too can attest to the joy found in taming the tangle, grooming the grass, trimming the topiary...
I do hope you are enjoying your time at the Chateau le Con.
There is always the prospect of a little vin rouge to dull the pain.

Miss you.
xx

Bill Blunt said...

Thank you, domestic minx. Much wine was quaffed in the process, I can assure you. Just wish you'd been there to join in the trimming!