You may have read previously about the Porters paying a flying visit back to the UK from France in order to pick up and transport a mini-excavator back over the Channel. The journey took them through Paris (see Paris Or Bust…)
Well, the excavator has been put to use and word has gone round. Wayne is now working around the local area as more people have become aware of the service he can now provide, and more and more work has been rolling in…
He’s now digging trenches, land-filling and landscaping amongst other things with his new machine. In between this he squeezes in the work on the farm with the Ostriches, vines, and work on their own house. Its actually non stop at the moment.
This all going on while Kerry returns to the UK for her week long stay every 3rd week, to work hands on in the offices in Manchester. Then travelling via Tram/bus/taxi and lifts, to which-ever place her diary dictates during that week long stay. I tend to bump into her around 9pm each evening as she manages to return back to my house to crawl to bed. The last time she came over I managed to squeeze a night out with her into the hectic schedule she kept, just before she returned back to France.
I met her down in Manchester with her friend from work at around 7pm that Friday evening and caught up with them in a bar-come restaurant on High Street in the Northern quarter, where they were ensconced at a table for two upstairs. I was going to wait down stairs at the bar until they were finished, but to the waitresses dismay, I was convinced to drag a chair over and block her route through the room and join them at their table.
I gathered the waitress saying, “Oh no its finnnne..” and her smiles were a trifle insincere when she clocked me with her elbows behind the ear a couple of times in passing.
Once seated, I sat and watched them munch their way through the variety of Mexican food placed before them, nursing my beer and slowly salivating and trying not to. To be fair they didn’t take long to lick their plates clean (in a lady like fashion) and we headed across the street to another bar.
What then followed was around a 24 mile hike drinking at various establishments. Just as I would stop sweating and catch my breath, it would be,
“Why don’t we go…”
And another forced march. I had told my wife to expect us home for around 10pm so you can imagine my surprise to find I had criss-crossed the city center a number of times, and now discovered I was on Deansgate having visited Piccadilly Train station en-route to drop Kerry’s friend off. It was, I discovered, now 12.30/1am in the morning and as the fresh air hit me I was also made aware that I was reasonably convincingly drunk and was faced with one of Kerry’s concerted yomps, to catch a tram from Shude Hill.
We did make it all-beit using that old favourate, one step forwards, two sideways and the two backwards shuffle. Which when you think about it ensures you get to your destination only if you head there backwards.
It was I have to add an excellent night one I don’t get to do often enough with my sister..
A couple of days later, Kerry duly returned home to Wayne who had been beavering away with his excavator during Kerry’s absence with his own stories to tell.
What he has built outside the house now, is what you could only describe as a bungalow. Its all a matter of perspective of course, it actually being a home to house the Porters newest additions – the 3 chickens that they have bought. But even to a human eye its a big structure with everything available for the welfare of these new creatures. From a chickens point of view though, the ceiling must go on forever…It must cost a fortune just to line it with bales of hay..
Kerry went with a neighbor to buy the chickens, Francios’ mum Agatha, a 70 something year old, typical farming no-nonsense lady. Kerry’s French has improved daily since, but at the time the conversation during the journey in the car was a little vague, although Agatha happily talked none stop. Leaving Kerry to throw in an odd “Oui” or “Non” or guestimating her response depending on what she imagined the question had sounded like. While Agatha who also had no idea what Kerry was saying, but bulled on through the conversation like women everywhere do..
It went long the lines of,
“Ho frisés, quand avez-vous décidé de poulets”
(“Ho Curly, when did you decide you wanted chickens?”)
A look inviting Kerry to speak.
“Poulets? Ah! Chicken! I love chicken sandwiches! I love the sky so blue and clear! Oui!”
(“Poulets? Ah! Poulet! J’aime sandwichs au poulet! J’aime le ciel si bleu et clair! Oui“)
“Oui? Très bon! J’ai eu des poulets depuis que je suis petite fille. Ils ont nourri ma pères de famille pendant la guerre!”
(“Yes? Very good! I have had chickens since I was a small girl. They fed my fathers family during the war!”)
“Really? Your father? I see. (not) He road a bicycle then?”
(“Vraiment? Votre père? Je vois. (pas) Il route un vélo alors“)
En effet. Les Allemands auraient confisqué les avaient ils les ont trouvés. les porcs
(“Indeed. The Germans would have confiscated them had they found them. The pigs!”)
“It was a german bicycle! Ah. Oui! And he had pee..pii.pig! Pigs! Indeed! He also rode a pig?
(“C’était un vélo allemand! Ah. Oui! Et il avait pipi .. pii.pig! Porcs! En effet! Il a également la route un cochon?”)
“Oui. Tous les porcs. Porcs allemands. Porcs anglais. Tout le monde est un cochon! Votre cochon bouclés!”
(“Oui. All pigs. German pigs. English pigs. Everyone is a pig! Your a curly pig!”)
“I love bacon. Mmmmmmm. I love pig!!”
(“J’aime le lard. Mmmmmmm. J’aime porc!!”)
And they laughed together all the way to the farmers market.
Where they bought our new friends who Kerry and Wayne now know as Ginger (Black/ginger colored chicken) Betty (Because she looks like a chubby old lady chicken and Betty fitted.(?)) And lesbian Mary, (white chicken) (because fuck knows)
These new pets are providing the household with regular free free range eggs, if, the Porters can find them when they wander into the vastness that is the chicken hut to look. I believe a ball of string and regulars shouts of “Alls well!.” every ten seconds as they wade deeper into the building are encouraged, to maintain contact with the outside world…
All the chickens produce eggs that have that lovely vivid yellow yoke that come with real free range eggs. Lesbian Mary in particular lays eggs in monster proportion scale. They seem to be pre-historic, knobbly and larger than normal. And what’s more, Mary’s eggs and only Mary’s eggs , are double yokers every time..
I think it’ll turn out she was infected by something radioactive that had been carelessly discarded when she was a chick…
Wayne has had his own moments with Nicole Pierre’s wife, while Kerry was away back in the UK. It was one of those days when he was attempting to fit in the work on the farm whilst continuing his now on-going work with the digger.
He had been accosted by Nicole in passing. Wayne and Kerry help on the farm with the management of the Ostriches. Pierre being a retired Vet, has an assortment of animals for the Porters to contend with. So Unusual request’s aren’t uncommon. (see The Yokes On Wayne, Dance Like A Butterfly, Sting Like A Ron, Vive Le Garlic (Long Live The Garlic)…)
This stoic old lady had accosted Wayne with an urgent job that needed doing. She had tried to get Pierre to do the work and he had pointed her in Wayne’s direction having no inclination to have a go himself, and rightly so.
Again, while Wayne is valiant in his attempts at fitting into the way of life in France, his actual spoken french still needs a lot of work. So his conversation with Nicole was if anything more prone for misunderstanding.
“Ah Wayne. Juste l’homme J’ai besoin de parler à!”
(“Ah Wayne. Just the man I need to speak to!”)
“Hello! How are you madame? well I hope?”
(“Bonjour! Comment êtes-vous madame? J’espère bien“)
“Eh bien? Non! J’ai besoin de votre aide. J’ai un arbre qui a besoin de rognage. Êtes-vous libre”
(“Well? No! I need your help. I have a tree that needs trimming. Are you free?”)
“I’m sorry madam. A arbre? A bucket? A spoon? Pardon. I don’t understand..”
(“Je suis désolé madame. Un arbre ? Un seau? Une cuillère? Pardon. Je ne comprends pas…”)
Old lady rolls her eyes…
“Mon dieu. Un arbre. Un arbre! Attendez! Un buisson? oui! Un Buisson”
(“My god. A tree. A tree! Wait! A bush? yes! A bush?”)
“A Buisson? Buiss..bui..Ah! Buisson! Bush? Yes! Oui! You have a bush?”
(“Un Buisson? Buiss .. u .. Ah! Buisson! Bush? Oui! Oui! Vous avez un Buisson?”)
(The final word gave way to a pause and a bit of hesitancy..)
“(Cher Dieu) Oui! Oui! J’ai un buisson. Un gros buisson. Il a besoin de rognage. Pouvez-vous couper mon Buisson??”
(“(Dear God)Yes! Yes!! I have a bush. A BIG bush. It needs trimming. Can you trim my bush??”)
“You have a bush? Yes? A Gross bush? Gros? That you want me to mow? Cut? Trim? Trimmm!! You have a bush, a massive bush, you want me to trim!! Yes!! Wait..you have a..Massive bush…(Oh Jesus..)
(“Vous avez un buisson? Oui? Un buisson brut? Gros? Que vous voulez que je tonds? Couper? Coupez? Coupez! Vous avez un buisson, un buisson massif, vous voulez que je rogne! Oui! Attendez .. vous avez un buisson .. Massive … (Oh Jésus ..)”)
Well. Wayne’s nothing but game. Put a problem before him, any problem, and he’ll tackle it. Over come it, learn by his mistakes and know exactly how to do it properly from there-on-in. Never afraid to try.
“It Can Be Done” should be Waynes motto.
So as you can imagine upon translating what the old lady wanted doing theres was nothing else for it in Wayne’s eyes. He just squared his shoulders. Looked her straight in the eye and as dignified as he could he said,
Madame. It would be my honour, (Bow’s head even) Nay, My privilege, To trim your massive bush…
(“Madame. Il serait mon honneur, (la tête de Bow même) Non, mon privilège, Pour couper votre brousse massif…”)
Satisfied he finally understood she smiled at him, reached up and patted him kindly on the cheek and said,
“Oui, un bon garçon. Je vais attendre dans la cuisine pour vous”
(“Yes, your a good boy. I’ll wait in the kitchen for you..”)
It was with some surprise she opened the kitchen door to his hesitant knock 10 minutes later so see Wayne stood there, shoulders squared looking determined, clutching a tiny pair of scissors, which seemed even smaller in his large hands. The Old lady was confused for a moment, and looked from the scissors back to Wayne and said,
“Mon garçon Dieu. Vous serez là toute la journée avec ces petites choses! Mon Bush est énorme!! .. Vous devrez peut-être vous Digger…”
“My God lad. You’ll be there all day with those little things! My Bush is enormous!!..You may need your digger…”
It was about this point that Wayne swooned.
Even Wayne has to draw a line somewhere.