I was on the phone to Alexander when Ann-Sofie knocked on the door. She sat and waited patiently whilst Alexander continued his diatribe against our drummer, Michel. Apparently, he and his family had left unexpectedly and returned to Canada. I can't say I was surprised after what happened at the Golden Wedding party, but I do think he could have given us a bit of notice. Needless to say, Alexander was fuming. I noticed Ann-Sofie had brought over her latest instalment of Midnight Hour Zombies, but Alexander was in full flow and would not be stopped. It was another five minutes before I managed to end the call.
I asked Ann-Sofie why she wasn't at language school, then she reminded me there were no classes on Thursdays. It was also her day off from looking after the children. Instead of having to look after them when they return from school and kindergarten, her time was her own. She told me her class at the language school are learning about French food and they each have to take in an example of a Breton dessert or cake. (No doubt everything they take in will be eaten during the lesson). I suggested a Far Cake. Ann-Sofie was keen on the idea of a Pommes au Tart, although I'm not sure that's specifically Breton. I was planning to go to the supermarket near Lorient, and suggested she come along.
Ann-Sofie had brought her sketch pad, in case she spotted anything of interest to draw. I told her we must go to Dinard, with all the lovely old buildings, she'd have plenty to draw there. (I must remember to mention this to Celine).
On the way out I showed her my three Clematis plants, two of which are starting to wind their way up the trellis. I've put my herbs outside too, they're doing well, even the Basil which survived the rain over the past few days.
The supermarket was packed as usual; irritating electronic music playing over the speakers, forcing shoppers to shout across the aisles. While I was trying to decide what to have for dinner, I noticed Ann-Sofie sketching. She was drawing a middle aged woman in a a bright red hat and a matching dress who was standing by the cakes and desserts in the patisserie section. I couldn't see why she was of any particular interest. Ann-Sofie came over and joined me. She was looking for illustrations of the zombies in her novel, and this woman fitted one of the descriptions perfectly (Poor thing! If only she knew!) Looking at the sketch, I was again taken with Ann-Sofie's drawing -- so much better than her writing, although I don't want to discourage her with either.
We were loading the food into the car (including the Tarte Aux Pommes) when Ann-Sofie nudged me, pointing off to the left. Standing not far from us, loading their dirty white van with crates of lager, were Marie and the Twins. I explained that they were neighbours and told her about Hilda, the magic cow. She seemed to be fascinated by the twins, with their usual blue overalls with matching caps. They both sported pencil moustaches (a fashion statement for the summer, perhaps?) and Marie's outfit was as strange as ever. She was wearing a yellow flared trouser suit, blue socks and bright blue sandals with high heels. I can't imagine where she gets these clothes from. Ann-Sofie insisted on being introduced to the twins. I warned her they weren't exactly friendly, but she wouldn't listen and had already started to approach them. I decided I'd better go over and join her. Marie, yellow headscarf fluttering in the breeze, turned and glared at us over her dark shades. When I asked after Jean-Luc she started blurting out something about the lottery and a system. She spoke so fast it was difficult to follow. The twins didn't appear to notice us and continued loading the van. Ann-Sofie went over to them and held out her hand. She introduced herself halting French and said she would like to draw them. They stood side by side and stared at her with expressionless eyes, but they said nothing.
As soon as Marie noticed she began to shake her head and called out "Non, non, non!"
Several people stopped to watch as the mad woman dressed in yellow pointed in the general direction of our car and urged us to leave them alone. I suggested Ann-Sofie to follow me as I marched off. What was their problem?
We stopped off in Languidic as Ann-Sofie was keen to sketch the church. I left her to it and said she'd find me in the café bar. Whilst I was chatting to Andre, the proprietor, the door swung open and in marched Marie and the twins. They didn't seem the type to frequent bars, but then, without having to ask Andre nodded at Marie and went over to the coffee machine. I watched as he served them three coffees. No words were spoken. There were only a few other customers in the bar and they were all amused by Marie and the twins. I was thinking about Jean Luc and his mad family when Ann-Sofie came in and sat beside me. She showed me her sketch, which was very good. I asked if she'd thought about applying to Art College, but she seems unsure. It wasn't long before she spotted the twins and with the sketch pad on her lap, she started to draw them. I hoped they wouldn't notice. Not that they'd say anything, but Marie certainly would. Thankfully they didn't stay long and left without speaking to anyone. Once they'd gone Andre looked over and raised his eyes. When he came over to clear our table we told him what had happened at the supermarket. He smiled and told us that, about a month ago, a Psychology Professor from Paris had been staying nearby with his family. He came into the café quite often and spotted Marie and the twins on several occasions. He tried to speak to them, not appearing to be bothered by Marie's rudeness. Andre was concerned and he warned the Professor about them. The Professor explained that he had studied twins for many years and was fascinated by the idea of telepathic connections between them. Andre told us that Marie had become angry and told the Professor to leave them alone. Andre had heard that the Professor had been up to Marie's farm several times to try and make a connection with them. He had also heard from the owner of the gite where the Professor was staying, that his tyres had been slashed and a note left on his windscreen advising him to leave. The note had been badly spelt, made no sense and was obviously written by Marie. The local police were informed but said they could do nothing. The whole incident became a source of much amusement in the village. The unfortunate Professor and his family returned to Paris as soon as their tyres had been replaced (with the usual at extra charges reserved for Parisians).
Before we left the café, I asked Andre if he'd heard from Jean Luc recently. He'd seen him a few days ago and he mentioned he was working on a new system designed to predict winning lottery numbers (so Marie hadn't been lying about that).
Back at the cottage, Ann-Sofie rushed next door, saying she'd be back later. I'd finished dinner and was watering my garden when she returned. She held open her sketch pad and showed me her finished work. I had to laugh. The twins, wearing their blue overalls and blue caps, had been transformed into a pair of grotesque zombies with bloodshot eyes and blood dripping from their mouths. With a backdrop of dark and cloudy skies, they were staggering through a deserted country field. Ann-Sofie explained that the twins were now characters in her novel, two of the most feared and dangerous zombies.