We spent Tuesday afternon in the company of M and Mme Ory. We had a walk with them and Albert and Wendy during which we saw the cows had escaped from the field behind our house! As we walked down the green lane on the last leg of our walk we saw the famer M Hervé driving his tractor along the road so I said I would hurry along to tell hm about his cows. I walked briskly the couple of hundred yards to catch him. He had released another half dozen or so cows into his field by the time I got there and told him about the escapees. “Merde!” he said, and not the last time I would hear that expletive today.

He drove up the lane to where it bends towards our house then blocked the lane by reversing his tractor and trailer across it. I caught up with him again whilst he was undoing the makeshift gate he had at the corner of his field. I stood at the open side of the gate whilst he hurried off to get to the other side of his cattle. He drove them before him and when they reached the bend in the lane their progress was blocked by his tractor and trailer in one direction and by my manly frame in another. They had only one choice remaining, to return via the gate to their field. They did so with minimal fuss and we closed the gate to secure them in. I took M Hervé’s telephone numbers in case of further incident and returned to M Ory’s house to find them playing boules in his garden.

There were two teams M Ory and Julie versus Albert and Wendy. It was quite a close score and the winners would be the first to get to 13.

It was nip and tuck all the way and though it was fun each team wanted to win. M Ory got frustrated with himself at times and I heard the word “merde” for the second and third times that day when a boule didn’t land where he had intended it.

The Ory/North team were the winners and we rounded off the visit with a drink of fizzy grape juice toasting both the winners and the losers.

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