Thursday, October 29, 2009

Too Many People

As I write this, I'm sitting overlooking la Baie des Anges where a yacht is in full sail and moving gently and silently (from here) towards the port of Nice. It's sunny and mild and not at all like last year when the weather was systematically dismal, cold and wet. Apparently this is more typical Nicois weather... Good thing too, I say.

Yesterday my TWDB and I braved Leroy Merlin, a huge DIY store in the flat, ugly river valley, to buy a few bits and bobs. Actually I loathe DIY. This gut-related reaction dates back to having had to participate actively in the building of a house that was going to be sold because of divorce. DIY has terrible associations for me and I vowed never EVER to have anything to do with it ever again. I'm like that, I make ultimate statements.

Mind you, I was feeling a tad physically queasy as we went around the aisles. The place was heaving. They'd had 600 people in two hours there and the staff were already wilting. Not only were there a lot of people wandering around trying to find what they wanted - never an easy task in a DIY shop, but the aisles were pretty narrow and very high. If you weren't claustrophic when you went in, it'd be a miracle if you didn't become so once inside.

You see a lot of life's rich tapestry inside Leroy Merlin, from the rank amateurs who really have no idea why they are there, to hardened DIY-ers who come prepared with SUVs and trailers to carry off planks of wood, building materials and other essentials to spending time up a ladder/covered in paint/in an uncomfortable position straining muscles you never knew you had. Real professionals go first to professional suppliers because the mark-up at LM is quite shocking.

Having got out without spending much on very little, we stopped by at Carrouf Market for some lunch essentials, and came out vowing never EVER to go to that particular branch EVER again. We're like that, we make ultimate statements.

Why? Because too much of life's rich tapestry was squashed inside, doddering about, getting in the way and being really annoying. Someone had broken a bottle of squash which had not been cleared up, so as we walked around, we made irritating sticky noises. As we came out, some jerk with an over-inflated opinion of himself parked right in front of the shop blocking a car that was due to leave. It was some sort of a bastardised, specially tuned Mercedes 190 (= old) with ridiculous polished chrome super wide wheels, and on the front, one of those leather bug protectors you see in the US. Inside was a mess, and the guy that strutted out of it had to be 70 if he was a day. The mot juste that sprung to mind was 'tosser'.

This quite made my day and reconciled me with the horrors of LM and Carrouf Market. I chortled to myself about it all the way home on the back of the Suzuki 1400MEGA cool bike belonging to my TWDB.

I'm like that, little things please little minds...


  1. What's funny about French DIY stores is the unapologetic ignorance of the employees. In UK/US, they'll recommend you half to death in a very knowledgable-sounding way. When I asked where to find paint stripper in the Lodève Mr. Bricolage, the jeune femme quite cheerfully replied that she had "aucune idee."

    Those bug protectors on car-fronts are called bras.

  2. Oh dearest, I am still chuckling...perfect, perfect your description of the total mental breakdown when caught up in the hysterical crowd in LEROY..

    And as for the "tosser", I nearly fell off my chair I laughed so much, I could SEE the fellow in my mind's eye.

    Your nevrotics about DY shops I problem is with certain "in" places or things or objects..

    Just go plain nevrotic...instantaneously....and keel over with allergique full blast reaction.



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