The Bean. Who on earth is The Bean? Often I am asked what on earth is The Bean? If you want to know what she actually is you will have to ask me! She came to me in 2008, fit in the palm of the hand tiny, bald as a result of a bout of mange (that’s the infestation not the French word for eat) and very very cross.
She got me through one of the worst crises of my life just by being but was always entirely untrainable – she tolerated the other dogs she lived with but would openly assault them if she was in the mood and came with a general warning not to go near because she, like Tolkein’s Schmiegel could turn into Gollum without warning. She was in short a hand-bag dog with a bad attitude. She lived indoors most of the time, would go out into the garden if forced and occasionally enjoyed a walk but if the weather was less than clement she adopted the ‘talk to the paw cos the face ‘aint listening’ approach.
Two months later post arrival, The Bean is transformed. Loved by the locals she is ‘gentile’ (kind) and of course ‘mignon’ (cute). She hikes with me. There are over 300 promenades et randonees across the region and I intend to walk all of them. With The Bean. Here in Sumène Artense we have completed 21 out of 25 and they vary in distance from 6.5-15 km with denileve (that’s the difference between lowest and highest point) varying from 60-410 m but bear in mind that if the raise is small its because you are walking at altitude. In this village we live at just below 500 m but are walking at up to 1200 m. So the terrain is rocky, rugged, steep in places and full of mountain streams. The seasons are well defined here so we now have snow and ice. It is Winter. In fact, Autumn was brief – an Indian Summer with full sun and temperatures into the high 70s gave way immediately to blizzards of sleet, snow and hail. She takes it all in her stride.
She is remarkable. She goes to market once a week and potters around, she takes coffee with me in my village and in Allanche where the glorious Josette presides … I digress – Josette is a story you have to wait a while to hear. The Bean is popular in Monsieur Bricolage, my favourite DIY store. Still feisty she is home. And that’s the thing. The people here are so easy, so accepting. When she barks, now rarely, or growls, even more rarely, they tell me it is just because she is defending me. Another day I will write of the people. Correction, most days I will write of the people because although I am captivated by the geography of this region it is the people who make every day a joy. I will try to do them justice. For today it is all about The Bean ….
Now that she has been introduced to you, you can expect that she will blog her own stories … she is you see @thetweetingbean …..