French Connections

FOR AS long as I can remember, and that's about 16 years, Jean-Paul Maigres the travelling fishmonger has been turning up in the village in the early evening. Around 6pm the giga-decibel loudspeaker attached to his van announces his arrival, and because the village is cradled in a steep-to valley the sound carries everywhere and there's no mistaking, if you were in any doubt, that it's either Wednesday or Friday, the two days on which he trawls for customers round the village streets.

THE OTHER evening our friend Jean-Claude came round to see us. He appears in Campbell's Diary quite often. In some ways you could say he was a pillar of this column. He has many claims to fame, and not the least intriguing is that he is, or was, distantly related to Saint Theresa of Lisieux. He's a senior village councillor and has been involved in local government for about 40 years, latterly in the village and before that in Île de France, the region around Paris. We rely on him for all our inside information about what's going on the village and round about.

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