31 May 2011

Changes of scenery

There's water on the edge of the terrace this morning, which means it must have rained a little overnight. It may be sprinkling rain right now, but it's too gray and dim outside for me to be sure. I'll go out with the dog in a few minutes and get a better idea.

The stormy weather and rain stayed mostly to the east and
south of us. This is looking east yesterday afternoon.

Yesterday we had a shower in the morning and another in evening, each giving us just the slightest trace of rain. And it was hot in the afternoon: about 27ºC, or 81ºF. Now that might not seem hot where you live, but believe me, in Saint-Aignan that's sizzling. Remember, not air-conditioning. The sun is especially hot here, it seems to me, when skies are not cloudy.

A tractor path out in the vineyard, looking south

I went out around six o'clock yesterday afternoon to inspect the garden and walk the dog, and I found some of the plants in my little plot of collard and mustard greens lying flat and wilted on the dry ground. I hadn't realized how hot the sun was and how dry the soil had gotten. When I got back from the walk, I pulled the hose back there and watered everything thoroughly. I figured it that didn't make it rain, nothing would. There were dark clouds and rumbles of thunder to our southeast.

The ground is dry, but the reason why this grass under
the vines is so brown is — I think — herbicides.

I'm getting ready to take a car trip to Paris and points north and east. I leave Saturday morning for the drive to Paris and lunch with friends there. The city will be overwhelming — sound, fury, frenzy — especially in a car. The neighborhood I'm going into is the site of a big street fair all day Saturday and Sunday, and there's also a big food market on Saturday mornings. Parking will not be fun, but I'll just drive around until I find a space somewhere.

Our neighbors' houses under threatening skies

I'm looking forward to the trip and it will give me something different to blog about. You, like me, have probably had it with my moaning and groaning about the weather, the drought, the painting and planting projects, and all the rest. I need a change of scenery but I'm sorry Walt can't go with me. He's stuck here with the dog to walk, the cat to feed and play with, and the garden to water and weed (and he's fine with that). Lucky him. Lucky me.


  1. On va se croisé...I'm going tomorrow to Paris and coming back on Friday. By train, though.

  2. I'm next to Paris if you want to leave your car in Nogent and take the RER into the city. Let me know.

  3. Even during stormy skies, it's lovely where you live. I've visited several French blogs this weekend in between watching the French Open. You've shown me a new area and for that I thank you. Those cherries below look delicious. Hopefully you'll acquire the property one day.

    Speaking of the heat, we were in Provence in late June, early July one year it was really hot there. We quickly learned why they have heavy shutters.
    Bonne journee,

  4. Hi Meredith, sorry we'll miss each other by a day. Hope to meet you someday.

    Ellen, thanks so much. The problem is that we need to leave Paris very early Sunday morning to go north. I'll just have to me débrouiller to park in the city.

    Sam, it's much hotter, on a consistent basis, down in Provence in summer than it is here in the Loire Valley. This spring, however, has been the warmest spring season here since the year 1900, according to today's news. I hate to think what June, July, and August will be. The again, those months may be rainy and chilly, for all we know. That wouldn't be much of a surprise.

  5. The warmest spring since 1900 is saying something!
    Our temps are OK so far, but we're suffering from killer tornadoes. Perhaps the two are linked somehow. Weather is interesting. Funny how I didn't pay much attention to it until I got old...

    Bonne route. I wish you good parking karma, too. Looking forward to hearing about your journey up North.

  6. Hmm, can't find the blog post on Jaques Perrin. I'm at the desk at the library today and someone just returned "Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home' by Julia Child and Jacques Perrin. As soon as I saw it, I thought of you.

  7. Hi Ellen, it's Jacques Pépin, not Perrin. That's why.

  8. Isn't it fun to have animals when you want to go somewhere?

  9. See, I put the book on the shelf and then wrote to you, so I didn't have it in front of me anymore. Terrible memory.

  10. Ken, if you want to go on a trip with Walt, I am sure you will find plenty of house sitters. You just have to put the word out.

  11. Ellen, an understandable mistake, especially since Jacques Perrin is a well-known French actor, director, producer...

    Starman, tell me about it!

    Nadège, do you want to house sit for us?


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