I wasn't criticising your francophonic feminine fail. It was the roving official from the Académie française - whose job it is to deal with matters of national importance such as the controversial circumflêx accênt dêbate, the hardline Faction d'Apostrophe Rouge et en Haut, or decide whether the 'borrowed' English nouns 'parking' or 'weekend' should be masculine or feminine, or suing Google for mistranslating the French for 'parkin' - i.e. the yummy treacly oaty stuff.
Boreas was howling menacingly around the Cross of Wishes, and little Valia could barely stand up. Even the brooding Aura of Mystery was being buffeted by the Beaufort gale-scale 8. For a second as they made their secret wishes, she and Tamara fancied they saw the six stone petals of the Flower of Life rippling in the intense breeze. Beneath them, at the back of the cross, the Precipice yawned noisily so they quickly retreated to the safety of the path. "Nu mi-e frica de Bau Bau!"
they screeched. Boreas moaned in reply.
"So the Padanian nationalist movement have even left their graffito
here??", mused Tamara both perceptively and questioningly. "I wonder if it was Umberto himself", she pondered, being a fervent fan of his.
The innocence of youth! Nu!
This carving is old, foarte
old, ancient even," corrected the mysterious Aura, marvelling at the 10-year old's impressive grasp of Anglo-Italian singular nouns, and devotion to aging Pandanian political figures. "It's a mystical symbol found worldwide, and even used by Queen Esmeralda herself".
"Wow! That's sooo awesome!!" opined the girls in a unitary fashion.
Their small flock of pet lemmings chittered in unitary agreement.
Having transiently re-introduced the fleetingness of beauty and youth to satisfy a certain critic, who noted a geriatric bias here, we'll now fast forward in time by about 16.18 years, and in space by about 122-123km (76 miles), and find ourselves back on the M3.1.. (aka Mϖ) where a happily burbling samovar is preparing itself to be poured out into a set of five cracked multicoloured cups*. A motley crew of superannuated geriatrics and bouncing furry things watch with feigned interest at the fast retreating 'Santa', legging it along the 'motorway', his fake Ugg boots leaving a tell-tail trale in the thick snow. He'd left his reindeer (whose true name was Renuță), as well his sundry accoutrements, pieces and bits, behind in his haste. * In fact, very similar to my own set, all gold-rimmed but differently coloured: a peculiar orange, a pea green, a weird dark greenish-blue-turquoise, a royal blue (as befitting a queen) and a sunflower yellow. Beneath all but one was an embossed glyph of a cup and saucer, the mystic number 466 and the cryptic words "made in România" - but all in capitals, a bit like this: "MADE IN ROMANIA" - but NOT in italics! In case you're wondering, the odd one out was the peculiar orange one which lacks the glyph, but has the same number and words yet in smaller print. I feel so honoured to have a complete five-piece matched set exactly like Her Majesty's.
Meanwhile, Tex was getting more and more impatient, and began to aggressively stamp his cowboy boots in time to the soothing, insistent, melodic rhythm of the bongo drums.