The day the mayor came round

The day the mayor came round

A small white van trundled up the bumpy House With No Name track and parked underneath the plane tree. We all looked at each other in puzzlement. We weren’t expecting anyone and none of us recognised the middle-aged man in khaki shorts and T-shirt clambering out of the driver’s seat.

Seconds later everything became clear. He was the local mayor (albeit without a gold chain) and wanted to say “bonjour” to les Anglais. A neighbour had told him we were at home and he wanted to welcome us to the district. We hurriedly assembled a set of motley glasses and a bottle of fresh orange juice (it was mid morning after all) and sat outside in the sun. Over the next 45 minutes we chatted about everything from the mayor’s goat’s cheese business to the local water supply (a slight stretch for my schoolgirl French). Then he jumped in his van and

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