Sunday, 25 October 2020

Yesterday, in bright sunlight ...

... as we headed down across the field,  Vita rolled in something odorous. Normally Vita's rolling would provoke an "Oh no!" as she proudly wafts around in her new perfume. But on this occasion we smile.  She has not done this in months.  She struggles to her feet against the slope - her back legs collapsing under her - but finally manages.  

This is progress.  It has been a hard year for her, with the emergence of full-blown epilepsy and then three violent bouts of high fever over the same number of months.  Slowly, slowly, she is regaining strength, aided by the lovely Doctor Sophie in Bordeaux with her acupuncture and her colleague who administers osteopathy.

Vita had followed us as we headed down towards the far corner of our terrain to plant a new liquidambar tree.  I needed Tod to hold it in place while I decided exactly where it would go exactly, in the line of sight to the right of the dark green cypresses and to the left of the more distant golden leaved silver birches.

I hope the new addition, which will have the most spectacular of autumn foliage, will be a flame red - the label only offers a vague promise of purple or red or yellow.  In a few days we will know.

This morning, an increasingly robust Vita announces at six am it is time to get up and go for a walk.  Only today it's five.  So we pretend not to hear and she finally curls up and snores gently on a rug in the kitchen.  Daylight saving quite throws a girl's routine. 

Saturday, 3 October 2020

The rain tinkles on the metal frame of the tall ladder ...

 ... propped longways beneath the window of my study.  The drops are falling from the hundreds of seed pods dangling from the wisteria - their removal a future task for a cold, bright January afternoon when the low sun has crept round to the west.

For the moment, we huddle indoors, gossiping, spending too much time on our computers and making endless cups of tea.   Storm Alex is working its way across swathes of Europe and we are (probably) catching a soggy, blustery trailing edge.

Almost overnight the weather changed.  We had a couple from Germany in the cottage for two weeks.  They arrived to a pool that was a pleasant twenty-six degrees.  By the time they left on Thursday the temperature had dropped to eighteen. Even so, he went for a swim.  Somewhere in the middle of those two weeks it rained and rained and rained.  They assured us they were content - more so once we'd put the underfloor heating on - and over those grey, no-point-in-going-out days, she knitted us multi-patterned socks as a gift, left socially distanced in the pool house for us to find after they had gone.

Some of our computer time is spent (reluctantly) addressing what may be the impact of Brexit, now only three months away.  Firstly, it was the UK banks.  Are they going to close our accounts because we live full-time in France? Now - it looks like fun and games with our cartes vitales, which show our entitlement to healthcare here.  Maybe it's as well it's raining.  I would really resent dealing with this if I could be out in the sun gardening.