It was brought home to me again yesterday how honest and straightforward the French are. A little old lady dropped a €20 note out of her pension book without noticing in the post office in town, and three people leapt to her aid and fell over themselves to give her the note back.
It reminded me of what could have been a very unpleasant incident a couple of weeks ago. I always walk the dog around the lake in Saujon on a Saturday afternoon whilst Dear Daughter (11) is in her art class at Royan. It's a very popular beauty spot for courting couples, fishermen and dog walkers, as well as the local boules club. When I returned from my walk after around an hour, I realised to my total horror that the car door was wide open on the passenger side and my handbag was on the passenger seat. I truly believed that the car had been broken into. To my absolute amazement, it was me that had left the door open, and the handbag was right where I left it, in full view of all the passers by.
Last summer, one of our holidaymakers left a new camera and his wallet on the beach - it had dropped out of their beachbag. They went to the police station at Royan to report it missing for their eventual insurance claim, and couldn't believe their luck that both had been handed in. This was in August, when the beaches round here are all absolutely packed.
When things get me down, like now, for instance, it does no harm to notice these things, where else in the world would such incidents occur?