Me, Settle Down!

"Come on Simon, it's about time you found yourself a nice little froggie and settled down. Until you do, no mother in this town will feel her little girl safe from your grubby little Irish hands."

This kind of light-hearted, well-meant banter was beginning to become quite frequent at the pub. To be perfectly honest, the thought of settling down was the last thing on my mind. I'd come to Gensdouce for adventure. I found something different. I liked it here. I wanted to stay. These wonderful people were my friends and the thought of one day leaving them had never crossed my mind. But settle down, build a home, start a family - that was a step too far. And I couldn't help feeling, the accusation levelled against me - however friendly it was meant - was a little overdone. True, I'd done my best to charm one or two of the fairer inhabitants of Gensdouce, and I'd had the odd one night stand but it was nothing but a bit of harmless fun. The only serious attempt I might have made, would have been on Thérèse. But I knew, she was out of bounds. No way, would I betray my friendship like ours. And even if I did, Thérèse would have put me in my place before the thought of anything untoward even crossed my mind. My reputation for invincibility only stood because I knew who not to take on; Thérèse was one of those.

In fact, I had been playing around a little bit over the past few weeks. I'd met the young lady in question coming home one day from Besançon. She was petite, dark and mysterious with that little touch of mischief in her eyes that really appealed to me. On her insistence we only ever met outside of Gensdouce. She was quite taken in, not just by my frivolous and flighty manner, but also by the novelty of being with someone every self-respecting mother would warn their daughters against. It was only when, one windy day, I got a visit from Gérard, that I understood the full truth of what was going on. I hadn't seen him since that first, fateful day in France. He'd walked out on me in the pub then, and now he came to warn me off his sister. My eyes were opened, but it only made the forbidden fruit even more attractive. However, a few days later and the novelty wore off. With her birthday coming up and hoping for some nice, glittering presents she chose her camp without even bothering to sit on the fence for a while. Once again I thanked my lucky stars for getting me out of another mess I'd stumbled into. Time to get on with life.

It was the end of September and the 'espace loisirs' was opening up for another season. And this time I was on the billing. I was signed up to lead two groups - English for Beginners, and English Conversation. They even added my phone number for further information. My idea was to provide a fun way for those who knew some English to meet together and practise what they knew. It had been a pretty tough battle to get permission for me to do these courses. Mayor Demille had pulled out all the stops to persuade the powers that be that I was an undesirable person for such a responsibility. But in the end he was forced to bow to economic reality. I was volunteering and thus the centre would save quite a bit by taking me on. And English classes were always a big money spinner. So, I spent most of my spare time, digging into various books on how to teach English. I even did a correspondence course, which would enable me to get a certified and universally recognised qualification after one year. I'd have to do regular exercises and some of my teaching would be monitored, but it was worth it, if I could get my foot on the career ladder. A quick glance at the local newspapers showed me that there was quite a demand for English teachers in the city, especially to teach professionals.

So, I didn't really have the time nor the inclination to act upon the light-hearted banter of my friends at the pub. Still, occasionally I did find myself feeling a little alone and hoping that fortune would one day smile on me and provide with a jolly little companion to brighten up my existence. Not that I'm admitting to it, mind you. This will forever remain my secret. And if that author of mine, should tell anyone, I'll sack him on the spot!

10 comments:

And if that author of mine, should tell anyone, I'll sack him on the spot!
LOL
Good one!

31 October 2007 at 15:07  

Know the feeling of wanting but not wanting companionship as life is too busy, yet...

31 October 2007 at 16:30  

Well now you have me desperate to see him get with Therese.

:)

31 October 2007 at 16:36  

Settling down is not easy. I should know. Damned if you, damned if you or not.

Next part...please!

31 October 2007 at 16:40  

settle down??? my arse... he hasn't even got a "piece" yet!!!!!

31 October 2007 at 20:53  

what's a poor bloke to do? Nice tale!

31 October 2007 at 22:19  

This is a very enjoyable piece and you have a pleasing style. And I must tell you, it put me in mind of The Magus:)

1 November 2007 at 00:57  

Love this... And the being of two minds part particularly. Hope he has more fun that his "author" lets on, tee hee.

--Gay

1 November 2007 at 06:23  

Nice one Paul. You really write so well. I enjoy reading your entries.

1 November 2007 at 16:33  

A little bit of poetic justice that the only woman he would be interested in something long-term with won't have anything to do with him.

2 November 2007 at 01:04  

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