Monday, 23 June 2008

At Last!

I've been in the UK for a week. I left France a dank spring, I've come back to a roaring summer.

At Bergerac airport, we edged our way into a small hut, already full with passengers from an earlier flight, their suitcases being manhandled down a single ramp. We jostled good-naturedly in the heat and those of us still dressed for the UK regretted our heavy jeans and long sleeves. Suddenly all those who had travelled in strappy T-shirts and bare toes looked sensible.

Wheat fields are bleached the colour of light sand. The hay is cut and in circular bales the height of a man. Water canons and the huge wings of sprinklers are set up in the maize.

The petals of the pink roses by the pool are scorched to brown tissue and collect in corners. Red admiral and peacock butterflies settle on the veranda tiles, in pools of sunlight.

Summer is all the more welcome for its late arrival.

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