Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Campsite man 2

Ian was fully engaged all week building the llama house so while we were in France it was my job to run errands, do the shopping and generally be friendly to everyone. I made several trips to see campsite man (Pierre-Henri). It was his last week and there were three old camper vans on the site. On the first two mornings that I went there it was deserted and campsite man was nowhere to be seen. However, on the Friday I finally saw him. He looked tired and even thinner than I remembered him in the summer. It was cold enough to see your breath and he was clutching a bottle of wine under one arm and saying goodbye to the remaining campers. He didn't recognise me straight away but when he did he seemed generally pleased to see me. My attempts at communication were limited by my inadequate French but after a while he started speaking in a little English (something I never knew he could speak!) and then we communicated using both. He told me that he was finishing with the campsite all together. He had had enough of the local commune and had fallen out with them and told them that he would not do it the following year. He decided that it was too hard with too much stress to make it worthwhile. He was about to start a job in Agen in a factory repairing electronic goods. From what I could understand this was a revival of an old factory that had been set up years ago, where he had worked as a young man. I wished him well and felt quite sad a I don't think the campsite will be the same without him. When we were leaving the following day we saw him driving his camper van in the opposite direction. We tooted and waved at each other. I wonder if that will be the last that we see of him?

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