In the Pantiles we bump into an old mate, ( last encounter 10 years ago). We get to fill in in the gaps. He says that he had to sign on with a doctor, not for medical, but for administrative reasons. He could answer none of the questions which confronted him. He had had no reason to see a doctor in the last 40 years or more. He was fit. No, he didn't know his national insurance number. And yes, he did smoke 4o cigarettes a day, and he saw no reason to stop.
Thin slices of buttered toast called soldiers, which you dipped into your boiled egg were called soldiers, when I was a child. I dare say they still are. I wouldn't have known how to translate them into French, until this morning when I came across the word mouillette, which I guess is the correct transaltion, without the military metaphore.
I have come to the end of my notebook, which forms the often indecipherable source of this blog. Looking back through its pages I see a number of examples of received opinions inspired by Flaubert's Dictionary of Received Ideas. My favourite and, my own rather than Gustave's, is:
Old person: Anyone ten years older than you. Never speak to one unless you have to. Also: Foreign language: Spoken by foreigners when they don't want you to know what they are saying.
There are numerous drawings of, birds, dogs and the heads of people in pubs and restaurants. And folded into the pages are a number of winged seeds, bits of plants and yellow post-it notes, which I cannot read. Tomorrow, I new book begins.