Wednesday, 15 August 2007
Weather in the Languedoc
I'm not short of requests, begging letters even, asking me if I can send some beautiful hot sunshine over the Channel. I can't always oblige of course, it would be a misrepresentation to paint of picture of glorious undiluted heat. I can today though and I've even got enough left over to share it with you.
Today in France is a bank holiday. I haven't managed to find out why though, even our French friends seem rather vague but everyone is making the most of it. I'm rather pleased to report that I have a new man in my life, goes under the same name His Lordship but a much younger version. I could hardly keep up with him as he strode out into the vines. We have the most beautiful footpaths right here on the doorstep of Le Chateau where the banks are now laden with blackberries. The sky was a clear blue with a welcoming breeze coming in from the Mediterranean to take the edge off the 36 centigrade, apparently we are the hottest place in France today. Armed with my mini rucksack containing water and my beloved Leica lensed Lumix TZ3 camera we did 3 kilometers in 40 mins which is a whole lot more than we have been able to stride out together for many years. As we gently made our way up the hot dusty track we looked back at Montreal, it's majestic late medieval church shimmering in the heat haze on it's hilltop. We paused every so often so pick blackberries and wild flowers. The heavy heads of the sunflowers are bowed down to the cracked dry earth.
We were completely alone on our walk except for the slithering lizards and the buzzards soaring and wheeling over our heads. There were wild scabious and bright deep yellow corn marigolds in profusion. Everlasting sweet peas tangled their late flowers amongst the wild clemetis and we picked some seeds for the garden.
On our final stretch we came along the quiet shady lane with neighbours allotments running alongside. One particularly fine patch held healthy French beans and the marvellous tomatoes pictured above. Tucked away in the far corner was a crop of aubergines together with some fine specimens of Charentais melons. Spikey purple artichoke heads were beginning to appear. Although this is all completely open no-one would dream of helping themselves to this bonanza.
Which, alongside the favourable weather is one of the very many reasons why this enchanted corner of France holds such appeal.