16 July 2013


So here I am in Le Grand-Pressigny for a few days with an old friend.  Nick was here for the weekend and has now gone back to work in the UK while we stay on to enjoy the sunshine.

Which, I have to say, is very welcome.  The previous three holidays have featured a lot of rain so to have day after day of warmth and sunshine is just wonderful.

Anyway, I was busy investigating the contents of the fridge in the cellar when Lulu barked and there was a tap at the front door.  I came back upstairs as my friend opened the door and spoke to two youngsters in scout uniforms, then turned to me to say she thought it was “bob a job” week.

lunch guests

I was frantically trying to think what I could ask them to do (clean the windows, sweep the back yard), when they explained that they had walked all the way from Leugny (a distance of 14 km) to find the shops in the village all shut and they had nothing to eat.

So what they wanted was something to eat.

Well, we were just about to sit down to lunch ourselves so we invited them to join us.  I must say at this point that I was completely flummoxed and it’s hard to be sure which of us was the most surprised.  Me for finding two nice young lads on the doorstep asking for food, them for being invited to sit down to lunch with two strange English women, or my friend for having a friend of hers who would do such a thing as ask two complete strangers to join us for lunch.

I certainly can’t imagine anything like it happening in Derbyshire.

The thing is, is this what scouts do in France?  If they find themselves hungry and the shops all shut they just knock on doors until somebody feeds them?  And what was I really expected to do?  Is it written in French law that if a hungry scout lands on your doorstep you are obliged to provide food?  If they were actually on an exercise to get something to put in a sandwich (they did have half a baguette between them) then they would have failed, as we filled them up with home-made quiche, salad and huge slabs of home-made fruit cake.  They also cleaned me out of orange juice and drank a whole bottle of water.  Maybe all they really wanted was a piece of cheese and a banana.

Anyway, they ate it all up with polite eagerness and went on their way.  My friend and I hoped they were not then meeting up with other fellow scouts and sending them to our house !!  We decided to go out for the rest of the afternoon, just in case !!


  1. I bet they couldn't believe their luck! You do see scouts all over the place walking from town to town in the heat. I assume it is some sort of organised thing.

    What puzzles me is why your house -- it's not on the street, and not the closest to the shops. I've never heard of scouts asking for food before, but I can't imagine they were up to anything nefarious.

    1. Exactly!
      Even people who HAVE been invited to lunch struggle to find our house!

  2. What an odd occurrence, I hope they enjoyed your hospitality whatever. Enjoy the fabulous weather and have a good week Diane

  3. They probably had a 'nose' for sniffing out the aroma of good, wholesome, homecooked food. Well done for providing them with an excellent lunch.

    I just hope that they weren't the forward 'scouting party' although I'm sure there will be a list somewhere where the scouts chalk up their 'finds' with a points rating as to whether it is worth walking 14km for!!

    Great story.

  4. Come, come, Jean. A likely tale! Those "youngsters" are twenty plus if they're a day! You can see their six-packs from here.

    No wonder you were in buoyant mood when you arrived!

    And if I remember rightly, the last friend you had to stay was 'propositioned' within 24 hours of arriving...!!

    No wonder you want to move to France!

    1. Sixteen years old I reckon, and forty five years too late !!

  5. One of my best National customers is Scouts Australia. I've attended many of their events including the Jamboree as a guest. The leaders do an amazing job and the kids have life experiences that stay with them forever. Maybe we should conscript kids to the scouts instead of War.
    It might change the world.

  6. LOL! Bet they were flabbergasted and will dine out on the recounting for a few days at least!
    But like Susan, I'm puzzled why your house, it's not exactly next door to the shut shops is it!

  7. It does all sound rather odd! Perhaps they were refused refreshment at other places before they reached you? Reminds me of Cognac, a young man's car broke down outside our house. He was there all day and we kept going out to see if he needed help or to use a telephone etc. He claimed that he was waiting for his Dad to come and tow him. Eventually at 8PM we insisted that he come in for a sandwich and a drink which he accepted. We'd used our baguette and only had sliced bread. Half way through the sandwich he asked us why we didn't have any baguette for him as the sandwich bread really wasn't to his taste! Gratitude for you!

  8. Their good deed for the day was: "Make an Englishwoman feel useful." I sure would love to see that merit badge. (What's your address???)

  9. Have you noticed the reef knot motif carved into your front gate? Expect many more French Scouts in the coming summer months. Was one called Michael? Your home has just been given three Michael stars! Felicitations! Stock up on croissants and cheese. Ooh la la!

    Joking apart they seem nice lads and an equally nice experience.

  10. That's a great story for your friend to take home with her, Jean. They were obviously true Frenchmen who would do anything to avoid the catastrophe of missing lunch. :-)

  11. Hahahahahaha - thats fab xxxxx

  12. A lunch to be remembered for a very long time !