This does seem to be a wonderful month to be in France, for the past ten days we have had wall to wall sunshine and its been hot, Mediterranean hot. The mornings have been fresh and warm and at mid-day there has been a retreat to the inside of the farmhouse for that long two hour french lunch. Outside Jobs are crammed into the morning and the early evening. The gecko's seem to be the only creatures scurrying around at a pace, the rest of us loll by the pool and wallow under the blue, blue skies. The heat brings a serenity, a softness, a hush.
Yesterday lunchtime we went to Tournon d' Agenais, our nearest village five minutes in the car, heading north. When we arrived in the square one could hear the gentle scraping of knives and forks and whispered talk from the restaurants, it is as if the heat has held its finger to its mouth and hushed the world. In truth the peace is due to the relaxed, heady haze that the warmth evokes, nothing becomes too important and tranquility pervades.
On Monday we went to Montaigu Plage, a lake with a beach and cafe. It's in Montaigu de Quercy ( our nearest village five minutes in the car, to the south) and very accessible. It was however a bank holiday here in France and with the fantastic weather it was quite busy. Montaigu Plage is a great place for a bit of bucket and spading, swimming in the lake and getting into a pedalo. There is a easy walk around the lake and lots of trees and picnic benches to use for eating in the shade.
Back at the farmhouse the plant watering has been in full swing, I have learnt a lot this year about the plants that can cope with the hot sunshine and those that can't. More importantly I have realised that the half sun and full sun on a plant label is a very important icon, for when we have full sun here it is indeed very hot. Consequently there have been quite a few plant moves in the garden, some have involved digging up and others just moving the pot. My freesias seem happiest on the bolly where they can be indulged by the morning sun and then be in the shade as the heat of the day increases. The geraniums are sun tarts! They soak up the sun and relish the heat, so they are happy on the patio facing south all day. However hibiscus have become a real favourite. Last year I planted one in a pot but soon realised that it needed a boarder so that's where it is now and it's doing very well indeed.
A final update on the shutters, they were painted green and I think we found the right shade in the end. A picture is below and I hope you agree.