It's rained during the last two nights. Not much. Not enough to fill the empty, bone-dry water butt by the house. But enough to brighten up the grass this morning and to give the day a feeling of freshness.
Suddenly the tasks that seemed impossible in all that heat are being tackled: turning an overly dry compost heap; pruning a rampaging wisteria; cutting the long grass by the pool; starting to sort out the muddle of gardening stuff on the veranda that needs moving down to the tin-roofed shed by the cottage, so that we can create a comfy seating area just outside the kitchen - a place to flop with a cup of tea, rather than trip over empty flower pots and cast aside no longer working strimmers.
Every evening for the last three weeks, we have watched great rolling thunder clouds, pink in the setting sun, build along the edge of our valley only to have them slip away to the south of the Garonne, or flickering with lightning, move north into the Dordogne.
The floating fat yellow duck thermometer tells us the swimming pool is way above thirty. We no longer cover the pool at night, in the hope that if we leave it open it may cool down slightly and refresh us when we dive in.
Even sleeping under just a sheet, all the windows and doors open to try and catch a draught, has felt too much.
Last night though, I half-woke at some point to the novel thought that getting back under the duvet might be a good idea, but then drifted off again, enjoying the touch of cooler air across my shoulders.