Now I’m in the middle of Sara’s all too short visit. Only she could be so cheerful with a start that was appallingly wet (nearly three days non-stop rain) and which featured me being either absent for medical trips or on the phone or computer making appointments.
We have really have all weathers thrown at us over the past two weeks with temperatures between the 20s and zero, much to the confusion of nature. We still get the odd lizard, frog and bee wondering what to do, despite one morning of overnight frost.
Then at last yesterday the weather transformed into glorious warm autumnal sun and we started plans for an outing centred on finding somewhere nice to eat in the middle. Only fly in the ointment was finding that virtually every restaurant I usually frequent was closed and we realised that in these autumn school holidays running up to Toussaint, public life once again comes to a standstill.
We did one of my favourite trips to see the autumn colours, going up the forestry ‘road’ above Salagosse, climbing up the mountains almost to Aigoual, stopping to admire views and colours, and then descending down to Valleraugue. All the time we hoped to find at least one place open to get a bit to eat – but no! La Cravate, the Gite d’Etape near Col de Minier, the miserable places at the ski centre at Esperou, and the entire food industry of Valleraugue were closed.
Still, we enjoyed our stroll round Valleraugue before setting off for Ganges (couple of errands to do) and munching a later afternoon roll in place of lunch.
I was surprised to see that up in the mountains the autumn colours were almost over, whereas down here they have hardly started. Still, we have seen the odd glorious tree on our trips, plus some jolly animals: first Hélene’s goats grazing beside the road, then a non-sighting of a rare mountain sheep called a Mouflon (the mind boggles how they survive on this almost vertical hillse) and then the road blocked by a flock of sheep.
Today we did the Aveze to le Vigan and walk – and back – beside the river and then picked up another (disgusting) mid-afternoon roll from the supermarket. Why, we asked, were we not organised enough to have packed a little picnic.
Sara then did another outing with Christine, up to Mouzoules (the buildings of former friends now sadly all abandoned).
Sara’s short visit is sadly over (not before the usual sewing, cooking and gardening help!). She continued her whistle-stop tour with the usual convoluted car-train-bus journey to the family house in Roussillon, and then on to her son James in Cagnes-sur-Mer. Two old pals who never stop talking – even when playing Scrabble. I miss this.