Marcelle had never been as one might say a bright star.  Not that there is anything visibly wrong with her – she is charming, has a radiant smile and a kind word for everyone.  Now in her forties, everyone in the village knows and likes her and she knows and likes everyone in the village.

But life had always been a bit of a struggle for her.  School was not her strongest point, and having left at an early age, she had tried her hand at various uncomplicated careers.  To start she had made an attempt at cleaning people’s houses but was fired on account of several disasters that involved flooded bathrooms and arson without intent.  She subsequently proposed to iron clothes for people who were too busy to do this themselves, but after an indiscriminate amount of burns (both inflicted on herself and clients’ properties) this job too was ditched.  Next followed a period of looking after elderly villagers which, with her lovely caring personality, she was good at – until she tripped up 84 year old Cécile, broke Corinne’s TV and allowed Joséphine (Fifi to the privileged) to walk around the village with her dress tucked into her knickers…

After this, Marcelle repeatedly left notes in people’s letterboxes that she would be happy to cook for anyone who didn’t have the time to do this themselves, but somehow people decided not to try out these skills…

Then out of the blue, poor Marcelle was diagnosed with a brain tumour.  A year of operations, chemo treatment and rest followed, but Marcelle never lost her smile.  Because of her perseverance and good humour Marcelle soon got better.  Then a miracle happened.  Someone during the rehabilitation and aftercare that she received, had the foresight to put a paintbrush in her hand.  It changed her life.

Marcelle turned out to be a natural artist with (I believe) a talent that surpasses most of us.  Her ability to perceive and interpret light is quite extraordinary.  It puts her on a par with the very greatest…