The house, at one stage, was the home of the Echevronne priest and there was a little chapel on the grounds somewhere. Also there was a graveyard somewhere on the block. Pat, who has lived here for some thirty years, has dug up bones and teeth at one time or another in the course of tending her garden. THAT is not a 'problem' any of us has encountered now, is it?
Apparently Pat's husband took off with one of his students a couple of years ago, leaving her in the house. Xavier came on to the scene, via an online meeting, about 6 months ago and things have been 'progressing well' since then. Problem is that there has been no divorce, much to Pat's annoyance, and - to further complicate the issue - Pat's husband has tired of the girlfriend and cannot get rid of her (according to Pat). Xavier has not met Pat's husband, but has seen photos. He reckons he saw him in town yesterday, but shied away, not wishing to speak with him.
So here is a possible scenario, more scary than the Walk in the Black Forest of last Sunday:
1. Groombles is tucked up nicely in Pat's house in Echevronne.
2. Pat and recent friend have taken off to friend Xavier's house on her way to a wedding in Manchester
3. Pat's husband (PH - I don't know his name) decides he has had it with the girlfriend, and head home to his house and wife in Echevronne to re-state his claim.
4. Enters the house with shotgun ("just in case").
5. Spies Groombles all tucked up in house, all comfy cosy.
6. Imagines Groom-Choom to be Xavier (they haven't met).
7. No French words of explanation come quickly enough - he is still trying to commit the word for 'eleven' to memory.
8. PH raises the firearm in a jealous fit of tormented rage and ...
9. ... the rest we shall leave for the work of your imagination.
10. By the way, the French word for eleven is 'onze'.
Nothing of the sort is going to take place now, is it? No! Unlike the forest adventure, where Lou calls of "HULLOOOOOOO!!!" could possibly ward off misdirected gun shots, there is little to be done to prevent the above occurring. I shall just have to keep my head down.
One thing is for sure. Pat has been very generous indeed to let me stay here for the next week. It is a very comfortable home with a big screen television with lots of dubbed movies to watch at any time of the day. Or sport (rugby, soccer, curling). Or news (Sarkozy vs Hollande). Or ...