14 August 2011

Late summer is upon us

It's raining this morning at 6:45. I wasn't sure it was really raining until a minute ago, when it finally got light enough for me to see outside. I just went out on the terrace to have a look, and sure enough, a fine steady rain is falling. Temperature: 17.5ºC, or about 63ºF. Ambiance: gloomy.

It's too bad, because Saint-Aignan is supposed to be having a big brocante/vide-grenier today. I think we'd call it a flea market, a sidewalk or rummage or jumble sale. It's an annual event, and the occasion is le 15 août, which is the holiday that falls in the middle of the August summer vacation. By all rights, it should be sunny and hot at this date.


At least two people we know were/are planning to participate in the vide-grenier — that expression means an "empty (your) attic" event — this morning. Walt and I planned to go down to Saint-Aignan and see how they were doing, what they were selling, and what else of interest we might find. Now I think we'll skip it. I wonder if most of the vendors won't skip it too.

More grapes. Click to embunchify.

It's not as if we haven't been busy these past few days and weeks, but now we are going into an especially busy period. Next Wednesday a friend is arriving to spend five days with us before we drive up together to the Perche region to spend five days in the gîte rural I blogged about a few days ago. On Tuesday the 23rd we'll be joined by other friends who are flying in from the U.S. and driving from CDG/Roissy airport directly to the gîte.

A grapevine leaf on a recent dry day

In early September, Walt will be going to Paris for a couple of days to spend time with a cousin of his who is getting married and coming to France with his new wife for their honeymoon. Then we will have a short visit from old friends of mine who live in Boston and whom I haven't seen for at least 30 years. I was an usher at their wedding in 1977. Then our paths diverged, with me living in Washington DC, California, and now France. It's going to be a nice reunion.

At the same time, summer is winding down. This morning, you can really feel autumn in the air.


  1. Yep! It sure feels like Autumn.... but also looks a bit autumnal with the drought causing some of the trees to 'shut-down' early.

  2. The one thing I hate most about France is its total lack of a real summer season.

  3. Wow, those plans all sound like great fun :))

    We just bought a sort of metal fire pit yesterday, at an estate sale (since we're on the vide-grenier theme!). It helps me realize that autumn weather is (sort of, maybe?) right around the corner. It's the one nice thing about going back to work every year... that it means that cool, autumn weather and colorful trees are in the near future (well... not so near, when we go back SO early!).


  4. We're (those of us in Oregon) are in sync with your part of France. We've been having partly cloudy with a forecast of sprinkles...

    No complaints here, as we're still having enough sunshine to enjoy the days.

    Too bad about the flea market- for the crowds will undoubtedly not be good thanks to the rain.

  5. Starman, evidently you've never lived in San Francisco. Here in the Loire Valley, we had a very nice summer during April, May, and June 2011. By mid-July, the weather "went south" as we day. Fact is, I've been in shorts and T-shirts since April 1, and I haven't needed air-conditioning at all.

    Tim, strange season, n'est-ce pas? But we knew back in spring that summer was in jeopardy.

  6. Hey, I was at that same wedding! Say hello to the bride from the official "other woman."

  7. hey Ken! here is a quick link for 'how to can beans' for all those lima's you have. since my 'horticulture' beans are fresh i'm going to start with cooking them first - they dont need to be soaked.

  8. Hi Harriett, I will convey greetings to the OOW. Meanwhile, 60 lbs. of tomatoes and 98 lbs. of cukes! Wow. Our tomatoes are just starting to produce now, and we've had 6 or 8 cucumbers so far. I wanted to make cornichons but so far I haven't been able to find any little gherkins, and we didn't grow any.

    Thanks, OFG. I think I'll dry the lima beans if I get some this year.

  9. Well, the weather was at last fine today, ouf !!! Am looking forward to seeing you again, and then, see Evelyn and Lewis in the "gîte" ;-)
    Mary (Normandy)

  10. I was the groom at that wedding. You are off by a year, Ken, it was 1978. I recall fondly that, in honor of our friendship, the OOW chose to wear a black and white dress to the nuptials.

    We're looking forward to the visit with you and Walt and to the wedding in Normandy that brings us to France.


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