“Could you stop your honeysuckle from growing over my vine?” was the question that was nearly as irritating as the poem about ducks on Radio 4 that had set my teeth on edge just before the insane Frenchwoman knocked on our door and spoke those words to me in her own tongue. I nodded, in my own tongue, and shut the door before that tongue could start haranguing her out of the hamlet. If I tore up both plants by the root I could put a stop to their intermingling, but otherwise they’re going to mingle like nature intended. Prune as I will, the chances of a rampant honeysuckle and an untended vine, which both cling to separate sides of the same ancient wall, not clinging together in a honeyed and vinous embrace are as likely as Charley Sheen passing up on the offer of identical blonde twins who beg to be his sex slaves. There is also the problem that the gate that would give me access to her vine is firmly padlocked against any inroads that might be made by le sal rosbif – that’s me. At last the duck couplets have stopped and someone is now quietly reading an unlikely story about Spain and billions of Euros which could well be called the Spanish Imposition. It’s nearly as fanciful as the demands of la folle bergere (she of the crasy demand is also the rightful, yet absent, guardian of the two sheep next door that we have befriended and to whom we feed brioche and bread which is of no use to them nutrionally but, like humans, they don’t give a toss about that and beg for more.) I am now going to calm myself with toast.