From the time that I was an enfant, my dear mother pulled me by my ears (my god that hurt!) saying; “Again, you forgot the liter of wine for your father’s lunch at the corner store on Mairie street. You always have your head in the clouds! Won’t you ever change?”

Even so, I really made an effort, I swear, I tried. What can I say, on the way home there were so many wonderful things to think about: a mischievous wind that made the skirts of all the girls go flying up; a dog with his ass stuck to another dog’s ass; large puddles of water that you couldn’t resist entering to splash around… to forget one thing that I was supposed to bring home was an obligatory minimum.

Many years have passed (a little too fast for my taste) and nothing has changed. Still as scatterbrained as ever. It’s not unusual for me to arrive at my adored river, search the saddle-bag of my motorcycle and find that I forgot my reel or the box of flies; sometimes even my fishing rod manages to stay in my atelier and I, when I return a half hour later with my tail between my legs, red-faced, have to confront my wife’s grin

“Fishing already over my love?”

“Well… seems that I forgot my wading shoes.”

OK. But on that special day, I didn’t forget anything at the house and the day was perfect!  The wind had died down and the sun delicately caressed my shoulders. I was bringing in my third minnow. This one was really fat and nervous and when I released it in the water I heard a discreet clapping of hands behind me.


A lovely young girl about 19 or 20 years old, having witnessed my Homeric battle, was lying on a rock with her thumbs up (universal sign of approval!).


Good catch! she said, radiating a Jane Mansfield smile.


At that very moment the left strap of her charming bathing suit gave way, allowing me to admire her trembling tanned chest, which made me think of those marvelous gelatins so firm and tasty enveloping the chicken liver pate at the local Super U.


Did she do that deliberately? I couldn’t swear to it, but when she began to scratch her crotch while mischievously staring at me, there was no longer any doubt. Even at my advanced age (81 years old next spring) it would be scandalous and unchristian to let an occasion like that pass unheralded.


I seized her by the hand, the lovely child, and steered her to the nearest thicket.


(Just a little aside, the Ardeche thickets are legendary and are among the most beautiful that I know.  In fact, “Mister Politicians” instead of reimbursing the national debt you should think about exporting our great thickets. I have said that again and again but you, the political powers that be, remain totally indifferent!)


Now, where was I? Oh yes. There we are in the thicket in question and we did a thousand tricks, one more beautiful and audacious than the next.


At the end of our frolic I asked the lovely “And so my dear, did you enjoy that?”


She replied… with a phrase that I shall remember until my last breath.

“Yes, not bad… but you should have thought about removing your waders!”


I had already warned you. When you’re born with your “head in the clouds”… it’s for life.