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Alerte rouge

Written two days ago, but apparently failed to post! Since then I have bought electric fans for my house and for the gite, where I have friends staying. This is much better, provided I sit tight in one place, do nothing except let the cooler air blast in my face.

We have been watching the temperatures climb all week and today the Metro France forecast passed from orange to red – the highest level. Our department (le Gard) is the one second left:

Yesterday afternoon was already pretty horrific; it was stiflingly hot and yet if one opened just one window, hot air rushed in. I’m afraid the after effects of the cancer treatment – loss of lymph glands plus horrible thick compression stockings – have meant I have lost my tolerance for hot weather. So I was dreading today.

I spent the morning playing music with my friends, Charles and Pierre. Not only is this a pleasure in itself, but it was paradise playing in their dining room – a fifteenth century cellar with incredibly thick stone walls and so its own delightfully fresh micro-climate.

As soon as I stepped outside after lunch the heat hit me. The car registered 47 degrees and the steering wheel was almost too hot to touch. I rushed home, deposited Poppy and cello somewhere cooler and went down to le Vigan in search of a fan.

After half an hour in my least favourite shop in le Vigan – the sole remaining hardware store – I came back to my car and by now it was registering 50 degrees!

In comparison my house seemed relatively acceptable. Though half an hour later, with the fan still not assembled (the plastic bits are not fitting) I was again drinking and sweating litres.

We have just had a thunderstorm, which lasted all of five minutes and we are back to unrelenting sun. The BBC forecast is that this will continue for another two days. Here we are again, the red blotch blog the coast of the south of France.

I’m hoping that normal summer weather will arrive in August, when the two families come, because this would not be fun for anyone.

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