Monday, 1 August 2011

Butcher Baker Soldier French

To be one of the professional classes in the UK is a kind of shorthand for having a posh job as a lawyer, architect, doctor or dentist/headteacher etc. Now, I am sure that in the great cities of France, snobbery and all that "I'm better than you" stuff goes on. I'm not an expert on social class here but I can tell you that here in rural France the feeling is entirely different. Many moons ago in London when I was divorced and looking to get a life together I drove mini cabs, worked plucking turkeys and as a cleaner.(Check out my story from those days here).Some folk are great wherever they are. Some folk are arrogant pigs wherever they are.  I can say that in the UK the "upper classes" generally treated me with surly superiority. The difference is embodied in the idea of respect. Quite simply tradesmen are still respected here. A plumber is a guru of plomb. A lorry driver is a guru of judgement and shunt. An artisan boulanger is a guru of cuisine and life.The French bemoan the fact that that there is a shortage of electricians and car mechanics. They believe that the reason is that less and less respect is shown for "trades". They are right of course. One day there will be a super rich elite class here who will just buy underlings, snap commands and point at them with superior brusqueness. But it won't be for a while I can tell you.The reason I got on to this is because today a further delivery of sand and cement arrived for Chateau Calin. My ex husband was a lorry driver and he was a sweet straightforward guy. (The world treated him like a piece of merde).  We broke up when a lot of my posho pretensions (French speak, ART, Opera etc) pissed him off. The VM driver guy who brought the materials is a gent. He is a solicitor of sand. He is a guru of gravel. He is an accountant of aggregates. As the rasta boys used to say in South London - "Hey - RESPECT man". 

It has been hot. A couple of kids are here and they went to the young folks club. They went swimming in the river Charente. They don't go to school locally and didn't really know anyone. They were treated with friendliness and a sense of welcome and interest in them. Sometimes France gets a bad press from Brits. It'simple OK. In France the best and only thing to be in the world is French. So - Duh- be French. You've cracked it.

There are many mysteries of life in St. Savinien. One of them is the yellow recyclable waste sack.  There is a rota. There are days and times for the collection of the sacks. Everyone thinks they know when these days are. Nobody says they got it wrong. It's a French thing. I need to shrug more.....

Emma thinx: The world's oldest profession is respect.

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Thanks so much for stopping by. Always so happy to get your feedback. Emma x