There's definitely a nip in the air. Tod lit the fire in the lounge last night (this hot summer has made us soft).
Was it really only last Monday I lingered in Lacanau, reluctant to leave the beach in the late afternoon sun? And drove home through the dark with the car thermometer reading thirty-four degrees.
I zigzag across the lawn extracting long bleached maize leaves that are huddling in small groups between the bushes.
My prayers for rain were granted as storms during the week drove through the Bay of Biscay, travelling on the coat-tails of a small tornado that flung Monsieur F's field across our garden, lifted the morning glory-draped trellises from the poolside off their posts and hurled the swimming pool cover into the pool.
The mess is worth it. The water butts are full for the first time in two months. I cheerfully pull up barrow-loads of dead weeds that have succumbed to the heat - their roots slipping easily from the damp earth.
The last of our paying guests have departed, so I trot backwards and forwards to the cottage, linen and towels in my arms and breath in the sweet damp smells of autumn.