Letter from the Knights of Avoirdupois 1
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Letter from the Knights of Avoirdupois - Ten Commandments


We moved here to Brittany, France over two decades ago. A move we have never regretted. Our experiences of living here during the past twenty years have humbled us. We are privileged to live amongst the kindest, most sociable, generous and cultured people on this planet. Occasionally we are delighted to receive guests from the ‘Old Country’. Sometimes new friends we have met since moving here and sometimes old friends we left behind and who have kindly come to see us. Not wishing to test these friendships at all we nonetheless are curious as to why so many from Britain seem keen to volunteer unsolicited advice on all matters of our life decisions and choices.

We have therefore prepared this little list so as to satisfy visitors' curiosities and to get the tiresome process over all the more quickly. We like to think of them as our 'Ten Commandments'.

Please take the time to read it and to digest its contents. Accept it in the spirit it has been given and then accept our hospitality which as always is offered freely and with no obligation. Otherwise please leave now and return, without ‘let or hindrance’ to the ‘Old Country’, where you will undoubtedly continue being rude and aggressive to one another over there. The reason we came to live here in the first place!

1 The price we paid for the pile of rubble we call home was a matter for the vendor, the local office of the Marie, le Bureau d'impot (the tax man), our Notaire (solicitor), the Immobiliere (property agent), our bank manager and of course us. We believe that is more than enough people to warrant an interest in our private and personal affairs and suffice to say we are happy with what we paid. The subject is now closed.

2 The reason we own and drive four cars is because we cannot afford to own and drive five cars.

3 The reason one of our cars is a Range Rover is because Land Rover don’t currently make anything any bigger and so we must put up with it. OK?

4 We are not interested in what cars you own and drive. If they are not an Alfa Romeo, a Jaguar, a Range Rover or other proper car then they will almost certainly be an anathema to us.

5 Our choice of decoration was exactly that. Our choice. And when will we finish it? Probably never. As with topic 1 above, the subject is now closed.

6 We eat meat in this household. Often cooked rare, sometimes not cooked at all. We have the greatest respect for both Vegetarians and Vegans (really!). Please respect our lifestyle choice too though and in return we may prepare you a nut burger.

7 We worship no elves, fairies at the bottom of the garden, gods or hobgoblins in this household. We aren’t particularly interested in hearing or learning any more about your choice from the currently available list of around 4,000 such ‘deities’. So with no disrespect intended let’s change the subject and quickly move on.

8 Extreme Socialists, Environmentalists (and other pseudo intellectuals) are welcome here. However we respectfully ask that they do not exhale inside the house. Post Script: Please add Brexiteers to this list.

9 Smokers are welcome here. Please use the ashtray provided (at the far end of the driveway).

10 Our cat is a very much loved member of our family. Please be kind to him and respect him. If you are cruel to him or even insult or upset him in any way then without so much as raising an eyebrow we will allow him to maul you to death then drag your lifeless corpse outside to bury you alongside his other ‘treasures’.

11 (OK, so we can’t count!) We were already aware we eat and drink too much and that this will probably kill us. Thank you for reminding us.

I’ve finished ‘preaching’ now. For the day anyway.