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Everything posted by mint

  1. ok, i've had it with the music buffs.  how about me now calling all art aficionados.  what about the highbrow person who is aware that a canaletto is not some kind of pasta? and how about starting a thread called Highbrows vs Lowbrows?
  2. i thought a highbrow person was the one who thinks of the William Tell overture when everyone else thinks it's the theme tune for the Lone Ranger!  Nevermind, I guess I am just too old and remember the things that everyone else has forgotten!
  3. Pierre-Yves looks up after an interval.  What has he come to and how has the rapid turn of events left him in this God-forsaken outpost of empire? He looks across the dusty compound that contains his office AS WELL AS his living accommodation.  The latter is a bungalow of sorts.  It looks definitely rickety, nothing like his pavillion in the Vendee.  In fact, with hindsight, his pavillion has now assumed palatial proportions. He tries not to think of the chic flat in Paris in the chicest of arrondisements where he had started his career and he and Colette had started their married life.  Not for the first time, he rues the day of the armadillo and the night of the radishes.  In fact, he wishes he has never so much as set eyes on Poles. He reassesses his new situation.  Separated from wife and children, he nevertheless has a certain standing in his new community.  He determines he will go to the the Australians' party down at Kylie's Billabong.  The blood of the Pompadore de Frou Frou's flows in his veins after all.  He is nothing if not resourceful.  His antecedents have not survived the horrors of the revolution with their heads still firmly attached to their bodies for nothing.  Alors, he belongs to a nation that possesses both resource and some cunning.  He determines to survive in this hell-hole.  He now has 48 years and there are but only 12 years to go to his retirement.  He will have annual leave.  For his grandes vacances, he will return to his beloved homeland and be reunited with his wife and children.  In the meantime, his first priority is to change out of his sweat-soaked clothes and smarten himself up after his long journey here.  He removes his jacket and looks at the sweat marks in the underarm of its sleeves, and shudders.  He drops it on the floor....... Dr Chandra meanwhile, back at the Vendee, climbs back into bed after his night's work.  He has managed to strike up a good working relationship with Mme Berland, the vet.  Together, they had managed to extract the child from Marie Therese.  All right, so they have had to use all their ingenuity and every mechanical help available to both the medical and veterinary professions to enable them to complete their task.  Still, it is always satisfactory to attend a birth with a good outcome.  Marie Therese has survived their ministrations and the new-born baby with the cow's horns has a certain distinction.  He remembers seeing many representations of Moses in many a church where Moses has what looks suspiciously like horns on the sides of his head! Dr Chandra is a happy man.  He is so glad that his scholarship to Guy's in London has lifted him out of the poverty of Bombay, or Mumbai, as the city has now been renamed.  He remembers well the slums of his childhood there.  True, Mumbai is now no longer in such dire straits.  Why, it is now a veritable city of gleaming multi-storey offices full of graduates working in call-centres for British Banks.  If you don't believe me, I invite you to ring your high street L.......Bank and see if you don't get a charming but totally incomprehensible voice asking you what your mother's maiden name is (part of the security process, you see). Dr Chandra has no regrets about leaving Mother India.  After all, who wants to have spent their childhood in what is now dubbed the "AIDS capital" of India.  He feels fortunate in having been in England during the Thatcher years.  Ah, those were the days; the days of true meritocracy.  If a grocer's daughter can become the Prime Minister, then this is the American dream writ large in a UK setting. In his medical school, Anil had made his mark.  For a start, his dedication to his studies was hardly shared by his fellow students.  They brayed in their Home Counties accents and partied when they should have studied.  By his dogged determination, Anil had triumphed.  He was top of his intake at his graduation. After that had followed his dream of becoming a top physician.  His was not the nature of a surgeon.  Not for him the crude excising of tumours and gangrenous limbs to effect a "cure".  No, no, his is the painstaking nature and attention to detail of the true-born physician.  He loves the investigation into the cause of disease and its elegant solution.  Not for him the "quick-fix".  He is a fastidious man in many ways and, in this respect, he is not unlike our hero, Pierre-Yves. However, he found that even Thatcher's Britain had its limitations for a man with a dusky skin from the sub continent.  Brilliant as his research work and clinical practice had been, he found ascending the ranks of the medical establishment closed to him.  He applied for many many consultants' posts, but there was always some insurmountable hurdle at the last fence.  Once he was told that they needed a consultant who had "shared experiences" with their patients.  Well, there was no way that he could have had similar experiences to his British patients in Mumbai, or Bombay, as it then was. Disillusioned, and accepting that he was never going to ascend the British medical heirarchy, he had opted for general practice.  The only GP placement that would accept him was some third-rate practice in a Welsh valley.  Horror of horrors!  He has not left one third world country to live in another.  (Please do not take offence, Welsh people; this is merely the thought of Anil.  I do NOT say that it is the reality).  But, back to the present.  Yes, this is much more like how he would like life to be.  His pretty wife, Lakshmi, is from a caste high above his own.  His children are in the French education system.  His house is a vast and beautiful Vendeen property.  Although he would have liked to have practised more challenging medicine than his present situation, he understands that this is the softest of soft billets. The expatriate British practice population is "a piece of cake, old boy!"  Of course, he can't be bothered to learn all their individual names, but he gets by very well by calling all the women, "my dear" and all the men "old boy".  He takes care to call all the children "sweetheart" and thereby earns the undying gratitude of their parents. The French patients of his practice are another matter altogether.  He wonders whether he couldn't make even more money out of these "frogs" by substituting the Colman mustard powder with Asda's own  brand?  Surely, they would not notice the difference? Or course, the Lea & Perrins is a different matter.  Who could mistake the taste of Lea & Perrins after they have tasted it? Tonight's work has been more than satisfactory in many ways.  The mother and all 7 putative fathers have invited him to be godfather to the child.  He has a  lingering interest in all things Hindu and a boy with the horn-like protruberances of this child is not come across everyday in the Vendee. He sighs with contentment.  He cannot know that thousands of miles away in the tropical heat, Pierre-Yves has also come to some conclusion from his mental deliberations.  Pierre-Yves has determined to make his mark on Guiana.  He resolves to introduce the taxe de sejour in this most French of former French colonies.  
  4. i stand humbled and corrected.  my heartfelt apologies to all americans on the forum and elsewhere.  of course, it was just a flippant remark which i did not stop to think might give a lot of offence. i think it's the sort of remark that friends make when they are joshing each other and i certainly did not mean it to be taken seriously possum girl, you might like to know that in private conversations, whenever americans are slated, i do tend to defend them.  after all, they ARE the most generous nation in the world and are almost always the first to step forward offering help whenever there is some sort of catastrophe; eg the tsunami i can only apologise again for a thoughtless remark and will be more careful in future about how my "jokes" might go down with others
  5. cassis i laughed so much i nearly spilt the whiskey that accompanies the kebab.  you are an absolute star and, if it weren't for jude, i'd say i love you to bits! jude, i love him but it's only platonic, honest    
  6. Because, Benjamin, we are British.  So, we don't like living in condos; we prefer our own house with our own gardens and no neighbours below or above us.  We have better sense than to sit in the sun all day, getting skin that looks like boot leather.  We feel guilty if we are contributing to global warming.  We don't like the way Americans talk and generally conduct themselves.  And we have a sort of Protestant mindset that says we need discomfort in life.  Do you need any more reasons?
  7. Lost the plot?  What plot would that be? At this very moment, another blood-curdling shriek rents the air.  Marie Therese opens her lungs and the decibels of her scream register into the 200s. Jean-Louis reluctantly admits to himself that perhaps an obstetrician is called for.  He motions to his men, "Get one of those shields and put the woman on it!" Pierre-Yves holds up his hand, "Chef, let me help poor Marie Therese."  The Poles grit their teeth, but there is little they can do.  In this scenario, they dare not insist that Pierre-Yves do as they would like.  Best to slink into the darkness and return for the little man another day. Pierre-Yves and Bernard lift Marie Therese, with some difficulty, onto the full body-length shield that one of the gendarmes has pushed forward.  Marie Therese closes her eyes and waits for the next contraction.  She crosses herself and prays silently under her breadth. "You can bring her into the bar," says Jon, anxiously.  The 2 men heave the shield up and proceed with their burden into the bar of O'Casey's. The alcohol imbibers, young and old, now look a bit solemn.  They clear a space in the middle of the bar floor.  Into this vacancy, Pierre-Yves and Bernard lay Marie Therese, trying not to drop her too precipitately. Marie Therese's eyes are now almost popping out of her head.  She gathers breadth and, rounding her lips into an enormous O, she lets rip another scream.  "Help me, help me!"  "C'est insupportable!"  Unbearable?  What do you expect?  This is a woman who has carried whatever it is she has been carrying for 18 months.  Isn't that the length of time female elephants carry their foetuses?
  8. ford anglia what, offers of help with no strings attached and for free?  where do you live, angel?  i'm not proud; i'll accept.  just let me know what i am accepting?
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