We arrived sweaty from the over priced omelets of Saint Mont Michele and sad throngs of people pushing the sand along the hourglass. The cast assembled whilst the shirt stuck to my back, amongst the small country surroundings of Saint Cecile.
The cider shop door left ajar, and a note said they’d be back after lunch, the hotel was closed till two. A few more cars arrived during the interval, foreign number plates with smiles like a cricket crease and voices we’d later recall at dinner. I tried to feign French with them, whispering hellos and goodbyes and hoping they wouldn’t hear me speak English.
We checked in with a cleaner who finished the hoovering before she spoke with us. The whole place revolved around dinner, served between seven and eight and in the garden were some sheep searching for their lambs we’d later eat.
The evening would play out like a murder mystery. Middle aged women with seductive eyes crave bacchanalia whilst their husbands gave up sex in favour of instant personal gratification. The few staff moved with hidden intent.
The old man in the linen room shifting through white sheets with his moustache and I saw a few cooks open a back door somewhere. Frost expired from the frame and they dragged out a carcass and a dying bonfire outside gave wind of a gardener, although I didn’t see one.
At dinner the only waitress was short tempered. German marching music blasted from the small Ghetto-Blaster and a well dressed Dutch family began to laugh. The waitress proudly offered her coffee specialties, although I wondered where the other staff went and why the cider shop outside still had its door wide open.