Monday, November 16, 2009

collapsed, happy, sigh

Posted by PicasaCasualty of a wet and windy day.
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Maria, at the Sainsbury delicatessen counter, tells me that she is giving Spanish lessons in Tunbridge Wells. "I can die happy," she says. "Why?" " I needed a challenge," she says; "It was always my ambition to teach Spanish in England". She enjoys her grocery work too. She greets everyone with a smile as she bustles in pursuit of hams and cheeses and bids farewell to her customers on Sunday mornings, when I usually see her, with: " Have a lovely rest of the weekend," Today she says "I am happy. I am very, very happy." Somehow, you believe it. Somehow, it is infectious.
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On a pathway in Calverley Ground, a young woman, a cigarette in one hand, a shopping bag in the other, sighs to herself as she passes: "Oh dear!".

1 comment:

Barrett Bonden said...

Maria's utterances catch my attention because they seem un-English; not just the style but the sentiments she expresses. And English supermarket customers need such exposure; it is one of the underlying theories that make me an EU enthusiast. However Maria is not only un-English she's also un-French. I would be entertained in a quite different way if she were from France.

A minor French entertainment. On the evening of the last day in the Languedoc I took M with me to the Au Vieux Clocher vineyard to buy rosé for consumption back home. The proprietor and I now know each other slightly and I embarked on a fairly lengthy explanation about how M had become seduced by his rosé, how his opening hours at the vineyard (he works very hard) sometimes forced us to buy his wine from Super-U and how we must devise a different agenda the following year in order that we could buy our wine from the vineyard. He and his wife smiled throughout and then in unison said, Alors, bon retour! So concise yet so freighted. Implying laughingly that they applauded our interests because they shared them. So French.