Monday, 23 April 2007
Private rather than NHS
A new family is due imminently here at Le Chateau. The bed is made, a duvet of the finest down is lying spread over a base of the softest green moss. The pale grey shutters are closed to keep out the heat of the southern sun whilst behind the original 19th century glass windows which are also firmly shut we watch with mounting excitement. Our new guest has chosen the appropriately named Ham Room in which to bring her flock into the world. She has chosen wisely and well for this quiet spot with a magnificent view of the Pyrenees and over to Montsegur is neither visited by Mrs Cuckoo nor Miss Cat, private then in the very best sense of the word rather than the NHS.
We think, for it is our policy not to intrude unnecessarily upon our guests, that this is a Chaffinch but we may be able to peek further when she pops out later in the day.
Meanwhile we are gluttonous in our intake of pleasure of the gardens and surrounding countryside. The soaring temperatures over the weekend meant we enjoyed a swim in the pool and tested the new teak sun beds for comfort. The bees lavender round the border is out in full bloom, the rambling deep red rose is flowering with profusion. The walnut tree’s flowers hang like heavy catkins from the boughs.
But there is still a sprinkling of snow on the mountains seen in the distance. Many French have expressed horror at our foolhardy behaviour even though the temperature of the water alone is 72 degrees. ‘But it is only April’ they murmur amongst themselves.
Precisely, it is indeed only April which is why we are quiet but I foresee that when the word gets round we are going to be just as busy as our delightful new guest up there in the Ham Room.