22 Aug 2007
We had a wonderful March. It was so hot I set up a steamer chair under the willow tree, plugged a wifi card into the ancient Mac laptop and worked outdoors for much of the month.
"It's going to be a catastrophe," said the farmers. Of course, it's always a catastrophe for them, the only question is, what kind? "We'll have a long, hot summer," they declared. "Another canicule. Our crops will die in the drought."
They were wrong. They are always wrong. Whatever happened to peasant wisdom?
Since then, it has rained. There must have been days without rain, but it's hard to recall them. And it's cold. We had to close the bedroom window last night — not against the mosquitoes, as would be normal in August, but against the chill gale.
Today, all the lights in the office are blazing in an attempt to dispel the gloom that seeps in through the windows. And Trish has put away her summer clothes without having worn them once.
The garden is a mess. It's on such a slope that I can't mow when the ground is at all wet. So now the grass is thick and tussocky. It looks abandoned. The only consolation is that it has been a fantastic year for growth — the trees have put on such a spurt that they now encroach on many of our pathways.
The leaves are already turning on the cherry trees. We're wearing woollies and thinking of lighting a fire.
We feel cheated. We never take summer holidays because, normalement, Normandy is such a beautiful place to be in summer. Maybe it's time to think of living further south.