Tuesday, September 19, 2006

After a hard days permaculturing, every good permaculturer deserves a drink and, in France, that’s often a glass or two of red wine. Gabrielle came back from shopping today with a huge grin on her face, clutching a bottle of “Arse” wine. In faint subscript, the whole title was Seigneurie d’ARSE, which I have translated, with the aid of my much used English/French dictionary, as the “Lord’s Arse”. This wordplay is presumably lost on the French as I’m sure that they wouldn’t try to sell wine that apparently issues from the Lord of the Manor’s own bottom.

I’ve noticed that we have many visitors to our blog from the USA, where, for you, the word is “ass”. In England, an ass is a donkey, i.e., some sort of horse. I think that the extra “r” adds useful emphasis! In French, the word for arse, or ass, is “cul”, pronounced, “coo”. Thank you very much is “merci beaucoup”; problematically, a mispronunciation could be heard by French ears as “merci beau cul”, which translates as “thanks, nice arse”. However, I do think this would work adequately well in a restaurant, for example, when addressed to a pretty waitress or handsome young waiter!

That’s enough international wordplay for tonight. I have a computer problem, most of my screen has gone blank, so it’s off to the repair shop tomorrow and we’ll be offline for a while but please keep an eye out, as I’ll carry on posting as soon as it’s sorted. In the pipeline: I’ve loads to tell you about our woods, after the second French expert forestier came to visit. He’s employed by the state and a really super, right-on ecological guy and very supportive to our permaculture ideas for managing the woodland. And, I’ve got an update on our food production, with some shiitake mushrooms, and an answer to the conundrum “which came first, the chicken or the egg”. Back soon, I hope…