Thursday, July 10, 2008
If ever there was a day to come back from a holiday it was yesterday. Rain, rain and more rain, all with an unremitting greyness. I had to try hard just to stop myself falling into a pitch-black pool of glumness. In France the weather although variable, had been warm. Some days had been blisteringly hot, others had been mild. There had been rain but it did not last and everyday had had some blue skies and lovely clear light – above all light.
But there is no use in moping - home is home and I am home.
I have come back from the Charente region, not far from Cognac where my sister and brother-in-law have a house in a small village. They bought as a wreck and have been renovating for the past five years. It is amazing how many English people have done the same. In our village there incomers are not only English there is for example a Belgium civil servant, who is the subject of a certain amount of envy as he has three months of holiday a year (something to do with his age and seniority). Any way it is a friendly community and when anyone arrives for their summer the first thing they do is walk around to see what has changed. They visit each other, just pop I for a chat and to compare progress on the latest projects. Shared enthusiasms are good.
(This after all is the purpose of these blogs. We share our experiences and thoughts, learn from each other, reinforce each other and thereby reassure ourselves we are not totally batty.)
The area itself is wonderfully rural. The landscape rolls, the soil is rich and the climate benign so that a wide range of crops are grown. Probably the most visually dominant are sunflowers and vines. We were a little early for the sunflowers this year. One or two were out but not whole fields. So I present you with a picture of a solitary flower. I know it's an image that has been done to death but I cannot help it - sunflowers always lift my spirits and in my mind I associate them with this place.
Over the next few days I will be posting more as I have to catch up on my photothon. I managed four runs, which is not too impressive, but rather carelessly I managed to injure my ankle -twice, I don't think it is serious,probably caused by running on little roads with a high camber, but I think somewhere there was a message telling me to ease off, go on visits, and eat and drink.
I did my best to heed that message.