After two months of warmth, with sun and blue skies most days and only one extraordinary night of rain (flooded basements in town and piles of grey hailstones, like grit, in all the gulleys) the weather has finally broken.
For the last two days the valley has resounded to the noise of tractors in all directions - harrowing, sowing winter wheat and getting in the last of the maize as the rain clouds gathered. The co-operative shed at the corner of the road where we turn left to go down into town was open late last night, lights blazing, as the great golden pile of kernels was shoveled into shelter by a truck like a snow plough.
These weeks have given us heart and a chance to work seriously on the boat; something for a time that seemed quite beyond our capabilities. In the certainty of dry warm weather we've been sanding down, cleaning out badly cracked and leaking woodwork, filling holes and gaps and applying wood treatment. The boat is a long way from being water-proofed (as we will no doubt find after last night's rain) but it feels like we are making progress.
In the meantime, the garden (limp, dusty and gasping for water) is breathing a sigh of relief. There is more rain forecast, so there's a chance we will be able to plant new young trees down in the field before St Catherine's Day (November 25th). The French believe "A la Sainte Catherine, tout bois prend racine" [up to Saint Catherine's Day all wood takes root].
To get more trees planted - that too will be progress.