24th August: I moved again today. The other evening, when I was still at Karil’s, before Leonie left for home, it rained. We moved the table and chairs into the remise and took the aperitif whilst waiting for Karil to appear with one of her excellent pasta dishes. Looking round and looking up, I spotted a pile of wood resting in the eaves. ‘What’s that pile of old wood for’, I asked as part of the pre-dinner intellectual conversation? ‘I’m going to make a harpsichord’, replied Peter. Yes, of course you are. Ha, ha, ha. Have another drink.
‘A second harpsichord’, he continued. He wasn’t laughing. Leonie and I look at each other wondering whether this is some kind of rare Swiss joke. Peter asks whether we want to see the first harpsichord. We do and we duly follow him into the dining room. As we eat in the remise during inclement weather, the term ‘dining-room’ seems anomalous although it is where the jam and honey are kept. Sometimes, it’s referred to as the library. There are a lot of books in here. And a harpsichord. You might think that I would’ve noticed a large musical instrument previously, possibly when looking for the jam. It’s a big wooden thing leaning against a wall. In fairness, this is a residence with lots of unidentifiable objects leaning against walls.
So, there it is and here is that enigma known as Peter. Last night I was finally honoured with a private showing of many of the beautiful pictures he has produced: Switzerland, Tuscany, Les Alpilles. He doesn’t seem to have painted for ten years and I’ve no idea how long that pile of wood has been in the remise. Shame.
Now I’m having Sunday lunch on the terrace at Villa Glanum. It’s an alcohol-free day. The Coca Cola bottles have names on the labels – friend, princess and so on. Mine says celibataire. Optimistically, I consider whether this means celebrity although I have my suspicions that it might be similar to the English word. I ask the waitress. She is embarrassed. I help her out. Does it mean someone without a lover? It does. Ah well. C’est moi.