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Mrs. Monk's Would-be Diary, should have been written by Mrs. Monk, since she is the "Writer" in the family.
However, since she is a writer only in the conceptual sense, I have undertaken to fill these pages on her behalf.
If not by her, these pages will certainly be about her, and other important matters of the day

Leslie Monk, the long suffering.

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26 July 2005 Versaille

We continued our journey across North France

From Chartres we made our way toward Paris making frequent stops for coffee and lunch and Cathedrals and Art. We stopped at Versaille. This was to be a return visit since we were there 30 years ago and we have the pictures to prove it. We discovered the lines of tourists queuing for each building and wondered if we had time or inclination to endure this. Then we saw the unisex snaky line of humanity queuing for the toilets, and at that point decided to get out of there fast.

26 July 2005

The Blood Of A Frenchman

We continued north and stopped for coffee and more cathedral-gazing in the small town of Beauvais. On our way out of town we were horrified to witness an old man fall backwards awkwardly into the road. The back of his head struck the road as he fell, and there he stayed apparently unconscious in the wet road. It was raining.

I pulled over and went to his aid. A lady from the car behind joined me and together we moved him out of the road where he was in further danger since this was on a bend and traffic was continuing to move. Yes, I know that you are not supposed to move the patient.

I held the old mans head in my hands while someone found something to support his head. Rather, I hoped and assumed that someone would do so, since I had no French to ask. This did not happen so I continued to hold the old mans head in my hands. Mrs Monk was playing with the phone and I assume that she was busy trying to call an ambulance. After some time she came over to me and handed me an umbrella. I wanted someone in the gathering crowd to hold the umbrella but I did not know how to ask. I therefore found myself balancing the old man’s head in one hand and the umbrella in the other. The gathering crowd did nothing but stare. The old man did come to life a little and stretched up an arm and patted me on the back. In due course after maybe 20 minutes an ambulance arrived. A lady who had been standing beside me for most of that time, but said or did nothing as far as I recall, and had said not one word to me until this point when she said in impeccable English, “You may go now if you wish, and also, I am a doctor.”

I was aghast, “You can speak English, and you are a Doctor?” I said.

We left the scene without another word. I was wearing Sally's pink shirt which was now soaked to the skin. The blood of the Frenchman was on my hands. Mrs Monk said that the ambulance crew were all wearing blue plastic gloves so that they did not get infected by the old man. She rinsed the French blood off my hands with some Scottish mineral water that we had in the back of the car.

26 July 2005

Ordering Dinner In Amiens

Once again Veal’s Head is on the menu at our chosen restaurant in Amiens, and Mrs Monk and I both avoid this and order the other veal dish which appeared on the menu. In due course the veal dish arrived and it turned out to be veal’s kidneys and plenty of them on a bed of ribbon noodles. In fact they were delicious but Mrs Monk could not disguise her horror, since she had long since expressed antipathy to that vital organ of the beast, given its function. She made a brave attempt to eat it up, nevertheless.

Amien Cathedral July 2005

Pic Leslie Monk Shoestring Chronicle ©

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Holiday Inn Amien Not recommended Restaurant recommended

Pic Leslie and Sara Monk Shoestring Chronicle ©