This is the longest I’ve ever been without visiting La Maison Blanche. In three years of owning it we have always visited at least every five or six weeks. At the moment its been nearer 15 since we packed up and shut that great big front door for the last time. We know its OK, because Serge has his beady eye on it. Serge is our neighbour who lives across the road in two rooms of his quite large house. Who brings us wood on his tractor and mows our lawns but refuses to take payment for any of it because we are his ‘les Amis’. And woe betide anyone who tries to mess with the house of ‘les Amis’. He once called us in a grand panic at 2am in the morning. Peter answered his mobile having seen ‘Serge’ flashing on the incoming screen with a large measure of trepidation – the only two times anyone else has called at that time of night it was Peter’s family with the news that his father and subsequently his mother had died. No good news ever comes at 2am in the morning.
It was though in this case simply an incident with ‘les jeunes’ or YOOF as we would say. It turned out that Serge’s panicked ramblings at 2am were simply to tell us that some young people had kicked our gate. And then….. We asked? Well, nothing it turned out, they’d just drukenly wandered on to the next gate to kick.
I’m telling you this to underline how lucky we are to have Serge and his beady eye. Without him we would worry all the time because our house is our pride and joy. And as we’ve now got so much sweat equity in it, the thought of anything going wrong is horrifying.
So we give Serge a lot of love, parcels of English cheese (like snow to Eskimos) and British royal paraphanalia. He has a Baby George commemorative biscuit tin coming his way this Christmas which he will love. And Peter promised we’d put an extra latch on that gate.