Monday, June 6, 2011


Yesterday. Sunday. Had it all planned. Get up late, give the mutts a walk, settle down in front of the telly for the three races from the Barcelona Moto GP, then an afternoon's weeding and strimming in the garden, followed by a quick cooking session of chops, onions and mash, a leisurely scotch and dry aperitif in the evening sunlight, then a bit of Sunday night telly and a post-sunset dogwalk up the old granite cross (sunsets are late at this time of year) before crawling into my pit.

But it didn't work out that way.

Weather clouded over halfway through the Moto GP, with distant thunder. Just managed to catch the end of the final race before lightning triggered the electricity cut-out. Spent the next hour trying to calm the dogs who were hyperventilating and shivering with fear (they really do get serious heebie-jeebies in storms). Then Hadrien (neighbour's son) turned up and said come on down at about 5.30 and he'll cut my hair (doesn't really need cutting but hair that's longer than about half an inch is considered terribly bad form around these parts). Storm cleared at around 4ish so gave the dogs a quick walk to calm them down. Big puddles. Really fresh air after the earlier muggyness. Garden too wet for weeding and strimming so went down to Hadrien's. Turned out Isabelle had lent his hair-cutting thingy to his cousin. Shall have to remain a long-haired git. Joined Christian, Hadrien, Denis and Davide for a beer and a chat in the afternoon sun (they'd been spannering Davide's Citroen Mehari). Then Isabelle and her mum turned up. Insisted I come round for supper at 6.30. Then pottered off back home with Hadrien who I'd press ganged into helping me remove the front forks from my Greeves (it's a two-man operation that I've been meaning to do for a year or more but Hadrien's rarely around since he's started work - would take too long to explain). Time was now about 6ish so had half an hour before reporting for supper. Gave the dogs another quick walk then fed them. Turned up at Isabelle's at 6.30 on the dot. Joined Isabelle, Janette (her mum), Christian, Hadrien, Patrice (Hadrien's boss farmer who'd turned up to pick up Hadrien and drive him to Ahun for another week's hard graft on his cattle farm) and his wife (I presume they're married but they might not be) and kid for an aperitif or three under a parasol on the terrace in the evening sun. Then it started raining again so we all went inside. Ironically, the telly was showing a news snippet about farmers enduring drought conditions in northern France. Failed crops and starving cattle due to lack of grassy pastures. All very strange while the rain hammered down outside. Enjoyed an extremely pleasant supper of rustic ham with melon (salt on melon - Isabelle's invention which tastes surprisingly delicious), then veal with 'wide' haricots, then tagliatelle (dunno how it's spelt), then goat's cheese and home-made chocolate cake with a sort of tangy custardy sauce (made by Patrice's lady who may or may not be his wife), accompanied by a cheeky little '09 (a very good year) red from the Auvergne region while thunder and lightning raged outside. Storm over, I wobbled off home at about 9ish and just managed to catch a snap of a rainbow over the church. Gave the dogs yet another quick walk (they'd obviously been panicking whilst left on their own during the storm), watched a telly programme about Murray Walker (once I'd switched the electricity back on), made a cup of tea and then hit the pit.

Shall attempt to do a bit of weeding and strimming this afternoon. Then knock up those chops, onions and mash. Weather and neighbours permitting.