When I went to see the doctor the other week I forgot to take the letter about the dépistage du cancer colorectal (poo test), so I phoned her up. Come tomorrow at 10:45? OK.
"Vous avez maigri?"
"Ché pas." This translates as "dunno", and has overtones of the indifferent, ignorant response of the adolescent tested orally on the declension of Latin pronouns.
We have started running.
What do you mean?
We run. There's a programme. You start with 1 minutes and work up to 35 over 8 weeks.
Let me see? That's good. And your wife is doing it?
Yes. To begin with she couldn't run for 1 minute but now she's doing 15.
It's very good. You have good shoes?
Yes, we bought running shoes.
And where do you run? You need to run in the woods.
I thought of our dear old Park Cazalet and its woodland paths, the dogs, the dog-poo, the hordes of mushroom pickers, the closure in times of high winds and driving rain.
We run in the street, but we're careful and we go at it gently.
No, that's good. Think of running on soft surfaces, though. Now, for the poo test, send it off and if there's a problem they'll ring me and I'll ring you. But we need to do a colonoscopy before you're 60.
So sometime in the next three years I'll be taking that face-down nap in a paper nightie.
Oh joy, oh bliss.
Still, at least in France they give you the photos they take.
Oh yes, and the poo-test? Ghastly and hilarious in equal measure. They give you this origami thing to use which you have to attach with sticky pads to the lavatory seat. It's not that obvious how it goes on, so they provide a link to a video of a happy gentleman doing the test. Very useful. It's been sent off.