When I left college in 1975, having studied on a short ‘How to be a Farmer’ course, I took time off. Back then the gap year hadn’t been invented apart from a hippy trail to Marrakesh (but nobody in the farming circle knew anyone as ‘daring’ to be that adventurous). A very short tour was all that was allowed between education and work – in my case a fortnight crammed in before harvest! Yesterday I found my diary from that fortnight and it resurrected a memory of which I’m not proud…
I went touring France with a friend from college,
In desperate search of some Gallic knowledge.
We drove around France in his mother’s small car,
Looking at cattle to prove ‘farmers we are!’
We thought we were clever, thought we were cool,
Looking back now, I was simply a fool.
Driving around in unseasonal rain,
I’d seen enough cattle, never again!
I did something that, funny at the time,
But now in hindsight, seems more like a crime.
Driving through a village, floods everywhere,
A man sweeping water, soon had a look of despair.
By driving the car on the side of the street,
We drove through some water that was really quite deep.
The man looked up, too late to take action,
Was showered in water, no time for reaction.
I wonder if he reminisces about those wet days,
When he shook his fist and shouted ‘Anglais!’
Postscript: I always thought the village where this incident took place was called ‘Fresnog Le Grande’. It was only yesterday, thanks to Google, that I realised how bad my spelling was back then! It should have been ‘Fresnoy Le Grande’. A very pretty old-fashioned village in the Picardy region.
© Baldock Bard 2013
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