The old boy looks about eighty-seven but he still works a large vegetable garden. He is also an agent for bottled gas, there being no mains supply in the village, but I have never seen anyone go there to buy any. One morning I stopped to pass the time of day and I think we talked about the different vegetables and how much better they grew in the village than in my garden back in England, but as I managed to understand no more than one word in ten I can't be sure. I was certainly talking about vegetables, and I thought the old boy was as well, although with my limited French I didn't get much further than "Onions, very good. Bigger than mine in England. Peas, very good. Bigger than mine in England." He must have thought I was moving in to be the village idiot.
(Sadly, the old boy died about three years ago. His widow continued to live in the house until just over a year ago when she moved into a retirement home. Since then the house has been let to at least two sets of people whom we have never met.)