THE GENIUS OF MICHEL POLNAREFF
T H U R S D A Y, 2 0 J U L Y
Pa left early for his day trip to Amsterdam, so Ma drove me into Epsom.
I met Anya outside Rumbelows, in a swoon about Polnareff. We felt so inspired we walked straight in and asked to hear 'Ame Caline'. He said they only had one left, so I said, "do people buy them, then?" He said, "well, we're sent half a dozen and all except one have been sold." (Pol must have English fans.) We went into a booth to listen, until we realised it was playing it in the shop. So we stood swooning until it was over. Hardly felt like digging in Ewell.
Martha, Sally B and Anne were already there (Lucy went to Portsmouth today). We did a lot of spade and wheelbarrow work. Then Mr Buckingham arrived, cheery as ever. Then this young workman came and watched, fantastically tough looking, with long black hair. We were trying to uproot the huge root that runs through the middle when he offered to do it for us. With about ten bashes of the pick-axe he cut though it, and with his huge arms he pulled it all away! We got terribly thirsty so Anya and me decided to borrow a cup from the workmen. The funny little old one gave us a filthy crimson one - "it's not dirty," he said!
I don’t know how he can get away with not working - he just watched and smoked! Later the one with fair hair came along and saw him - "yer liar,” he said. He also kept asking Mr B “what’s the time, guv?”, and gave us funny flirty looks. Old Buckingham got utterly excited about Norway. Then old Jenkins turned up – what a droner. We took an instant dislike to him. Once he said he’d never been anywhere in Europe but had been all over India. I might have guessed it: an Empire builder.
I had to walk home. My jeans, blouse and flip-flops were absolutely filthy. Took a bit of pottery, 2nd century probably, some clay pipes and a Roman oyster shell - which Pa was interested in, when he got back.
I've just heard Ame Caline on the radio. It's too beautiful, especially the piano bits. The presenter calls him a 'génie'.