The goats made me do it

“All about you: Explain why you chose your blog’s title and what does it mean to you?”

A fair enough question for this latest of ‘365 Days of Writing Prompts’, but the problem is that it’s based on a joke and if you have to explain a joke then somehow it’s just not funny any more. Assuming it ever was, of course.

Most of my UK readers will get the reference to the catchphrase from the British comedy programme ‘Little Britain’. However, it may not resonate with my burgeoning army of international followers, so this brief Youtube primer may come in handy:

Of course there are subtle but important differences between the catchphrase and the blog name. For a start, this is a hameau, not a village.

Oh, and have I happened to mention that I’m rather fond of the Grateful Dead?

And not gay.

So you are now in possession of three salient facts: I’m a deadhead, I live in a hameau and there’s this catchphrase, see.

But how, you may ask, did all this get put together to create the title of this blog? Well, I’ll tell you.

Goats.

A few months before we moved in to Brokedown Palace, we had come for an inspection of how the renovation work was coming along. Finished, we set off in the car back to civilisation. About 500 yards out of the hameau we rounded a bend and had to brake because, walking down the middle of the road was a shabbily dressed man with, as we saw when he turned around and gave us an accusing glare, long – as in pony-tailed – grey hair and a luxuriant beard of similar hue (or absence thereof).

‘Who’s that?’ said Madame.

‘I don’t know’ I replied, ‘but I’m the only deadhead in the hameau’.

Bingo.

Subsequently, we have learned more about our mystery man. His name is Hervé and he is generally known in the vicinity as ‘the goat man’. That’s because he makes a living – which to judge from his general appearance and the ramshackle wood cabin he lives in, no more than a modest one – by selling the cheese he makes from the milk of his small flock of goats.

Since his cabin is no more than half a mile away from our house, we see him about quite often, usually on foot, although sometimes on his ancient bicycle should he venture further afield – like to the nearest village, three miles away. We have never actually spoken to him, but we have by now been promoted to receiving a curt nod in response to the wave we give him whenever we pass him on the road. Progress of a sort.

I’m not at all sure that I want to take matters much further, though. Apparently, while he speaks surprisingly good English and is very well-read, basically he thinks we’re all a bunch of townies here in the eighteen-house teeming metropolis that is Tranquility Base. Although this hasn’t stopped him from turning up on a neighbour’s doorstep at eleven o’clock at night and not leaving until after two – and only then because the alcohol supply was exhausted.

On that basis, if he came round to our place he’d be here for a week.

And what if he actually did turn out to be a deadhead? Quite frankly, one is more than enough to be going on with round here.

Or so I’ve been told.

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One thought on “The goats made me do it

  1. Pingback: Simon Schama’s Swampy Suck | theonlydeadheadinthehameau

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