Saturday, 18 August 2012

Yet again . . .

. . . this year high summer seems to arrive out of nowhere.

One minute we are fretting that the weather is not warm enough for our visitors and we worry that we will be chilled sitting out for a leisurely evening meal in a restaurant high on the escarpment overlooking the Lot valley.

The next, we are hiding indoors, shutters pulled to with just a crack to let a glimmer of baking sunlight through.  We wonder whether it was this hot last year? (It probably was.) Did the pool get up to thirty degrees? (It probably did.) And was the lawn this parched and dry? (Almost definitely.)

We stroll up to Laparade night market, leaving it late thinking the crowds would be thinning, but the hot night envelopes us like a blanket and cars are still arriving by the dozen, the tables are still packed and the queues for food still intertwine across the square.  A man in white with a red cap and scarf is singing Basque songs - quite well too. We spot friends in the dark silhouetted against the lights of the band and chat for a while.  But Bertie announces loudly to the world that he can see/smell another dog between the bare legs of the milling throng and we decide it's time to beat a retreat.

We park the car in front of the house and pause before going in, looking upwards at the huge arc of star-filled sky. The Plough hangs low over us - appropriate for this harvesting time of year.

Then, to the north east, across the dust of the Milky Way, I see my first Perseid meteor.  This is a good year to see them - no moon and an inky-black cloudless sky.


  1. Definitely hiding indoors today behind the shutters. Feel frustrated not being able to get outside into the garden. Phew!

  2. I know what you mean Sue. Frustrated gardener here too! I squeeze a little bit of work into early mornings and late evenings.

  3. I remember 2003....and watering the garden via a pump from the river in the late evenings.

    I missed the Perseids this year...too cloudy.

  4. Hi Fly, yes 2003 was exceptional wasn't it. We were still in the UK, but read about it. I'm watering every evening now and most early mornings. I'm always amazed when I actually see a meteor! :)

  5. I'm afraid we slow right down on the watering in weather like this - apart from the new plants of course. It comes from laziness and living in the vines where you aren't allowed to water anything except the newly plaanteed vines, and also from visiting a wonderful private rose garden with over five thousand roses in it. The owner says she waters for the first two years then just lets the roses get on with it.

  6. I think you're so right Victoria and long-term that's my plan. The roses round the swimming pool have been here for over 20 years and don't get a drop. But much of the rest of the garden - trees, bushes, borders - is still relatively new and this last 12 months with drought last summer / freezing winter / more drought now has been pretty brutal, so I'm still nursing our young plants. I'm looking forward to the time when they just get on with it. :)