Thursday 4 June 2009

Elvis is alive and well...

... and works for M. Eric Petit.

Three weeks ago (is it really that long?) I wrote that our alternator belt started to fray as we drove out of London. I have been meaning to do something about it, but stuff was always getting in the way.
Looking down Route 8 towards Preuilly
Yesterday we went to M. Eric's garage to have it looked at. We had done all our dictionary work at home before leaving, so were hoping that communicating about the problem would not be a problem. I think we got away with it, too. We managed to communicate which belt was the problem, and that the cam belt didn't need replacing (which is an expensive job we had done 40,000km ago). The mechanic (the aforementioned Elvis) didn't want us driving the car around, so we left the car with him and walked home.

Yesterday was a hot day, but it was really pleasant in the shade
As it was a nice day we walked up to see to M Chaboisson, the menuisier, about "refreshing" our estimate for a staircase which was written about 2 years ago. From there we came back to Preuilly via Route 8 (see yesterday's post).

This year is a good one for Painted Lady butterflies
The rough grassy lane runs between banks about 2m high, so it is ideal for photographing wildflowers and the insects that visit them. The highlight of today's walk was undoubtedly the Golden-ringed Dragonfly Cordulegaster boltonii subsp boltonii (the French name is Cordulégastre annelé). We encountered a female, questing up and down for any opportunity to catch herself a meal. We waited patiently for a few minutes and she did indeed catch something. Although we didn't see exactly where she landed, Simon soon located her via the crunching sounds she made as she ate. This is a large and impressive dragonfly, always rare and only occurring where there is suitable habitat, so we are extremely happy to have seen her.
Golden-ringed Dragonfly
When we got home the man who is selling our garden to us rang, to ask if we would meet him this afternoon. I never thought I would ever hear myself say this:

"I'm not sure - aren't we going to be waiting for a call from Elvis?"

Susan and Simon


chm said...

If I'm not mistaken, the flower the Painted Lady sits on is a Scabiosa, Scabieuse in French. Is that a pincushion in English?

Ken Broadhurst said...

Did Elvis call? If he did, I hope you recorded it.

In my home town in America, there was an Elvis who managed the produce department at the Wal-Mart superstore. I didn't see him there in Feb. when I visited, but then maybe he had changed his look.

Susan said...

CHM: Correct, except it's had a name change and is now Knautia arvensis. Scabieuse des champs in French, Field Scabious in English. The garden varieties are sometimes called Pincushions in English.

Ken: our garagiste doesn't look like Elvis, his name is Elvis (pronounced 'Elveess'). In appearance he is a typical young French man – slightly built, dark and with a downy moustache that makes him look like a teenager, but I think he is in his twenties.

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