Indian summer ends – during motor rally

What a glorious ten days it has been: temperatures in mid-twenties, beautiful clear skies, a lovely sharp autumnal light. Everybody was smiling because the weather was so good.

Now it has come to an end, as predicted. This morning we had rain and the temperatures have dropped ten degrees. From now on, the forecast is for more rain and unsettled weather.

This will affect this weekend’s busy programme of activities around le Vigan. Tomorrow is the annual apple and onion fair – I fear it will take place under heavier rain.  And we are in the middle of the annual Critérium des Cévennes, one of France’s major motor rally events – a series of courses taking advantage of our steep, winding roads.  Last night it was the leg Arrigas-Aumessas-Col de Mouzoules-Mars. For several hours  there was the constant noise of rally cars at the end of this circuit, turning  the road junction at the foot of my land.

I’m pretty neutral on motor rallying itself, but we have had bad experiences of spectators parking anywhere, leaving rubbish, and one year while we lived below, camping on our new house site, helping themselves to our woodpile. More long-lasting is the effect it has on local drivers, or would-be rally drivers.  How often I have heard cars take the corner below by skid-braking rather than changing down gears. (And no, despite all my speeding offences, I have never tried this technique.)

One of the most enthusiastic spectators is Malik, the driver who delivers my lunch (equivalent of meals on wheels) each morning. Yesterday he could not wait for the rally to start and to take his children round the local country to watch as much of the rally as possible.

Malik’s enthusiasm is infectious and I enjoy our morning chats.  Sadly I have decided that I must end these meal deliveries, intended to help while I am limited to lifting two kilos, making shopping and cooking difficult.  The limit is still there, but I am working out ways to avoid lifting shopping bags and not cooking in larger pans. Never mind, said Malik.  We will surely bump into each other in le Vigan.

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