We went away for a few days and, despite blustery winds, sat outside in street cafes and restaurants, drank dark, dark red wine and lifted our grateful faces to the sun. We climbed ancient cobbled streets and narrow stairways in villages clinging to the sides of ravines, explored medieval and renaissance towns and marvelled at how, in only a two-hour car journey, the fertile rolling greenery of the Garonne valley gives way to the steep fissured cliffs and stony scrubland of the Lot.
We were glad we went out of season. We had our pick of hotel rooms and restaurant tables and had dramatic views and interesting alleyways to ourselves.
Vita adapted to hotel and cafe life and the occasional shared titbit with gusto.
We've come back to a garden bursting into leaf, daffodils in bloom, lawns that need cutting, small green tree frogs tuning up for their summer chorus and black redstarts, with their strange call like a baby's rattle, courting from the top of the young walnut tree we transplanted when we started work on the cottage and the pigeonnier.
Cahors on the Lot
The Lot Valley and Saint Cirq Lapopie (one of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France)
The Dordogne at Beynac