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Rain, rain, rain

My daughter, Jude, and family arrived on Saturday and with the exception of yesterday, where it was mostly just overcast and cool, it has rained – and rained and rained. And it is going to rain until they leave on Friday.

All credit to the family that they have such a positive attitude in the face of such lousy weather, particularly as it looks better in London, where they came from!

The parents had an energetic wet walk on Saturday and an even wetter one early on Sunday. Then the whole family braved the rain for their traditional Esparon to Bréau walk. Yesterday they took advantage of the relatively improved weather to climb up the steep hill to the Col de Mouzoules (not bad for Maddie, aged six) where I met them for a picnic lunch, and then they continued on to Bréau and back home via a visit to their other favourite haunt, the river at le Rieumage.

After all that energetic, bracing exercise it is entirely permissible that they are playing games on the iPads! We alternated this with a good session of the two families’ favourite card game, Monopoly Deal. Even Maddie can now join in, when she is not creating decorated folders (Private – keep out) and other art works.

On Sunday the girls, helped by sous-chef Ed, made some delicious chocolate chip cookies, which have been sustaining us since then. Sadly Ed has now had to go back to London, unexpectedly, for work. So meals without the chef are going to be a challenge for Jude and me.

More good news: my cold is improving by leaps and bounds, and Philippe (who cuts my grass) and my tenant, Sébastien, are climbing on the roof trying to find and fix the source of the leak (so i can avoid major roof repairs).

However, a new complication is that on Sunday I heard that my friend, Roy (Chris and he were graduate students together 50 years ago) is seriously ill in the hospital in Alès. He was in Alès for a court hearing of a neighbour dispute and was found unconscious in the hotel. His children are scattered round the world, his main friends happen to be absent too, so I have been a bit preoccupied with phone calls.

His wife, Lynn, is en route from York, but it is tough for her, as she speaks only English and Spanish (she is Mexican). But I have just spoken to the hospital and been assured there is someone who can explain what is going on in English. Meanwhile, I just got a call from Ryanair – she left her mobile on the plane! Poor Lynn, I may have to leave my family tomorrow and go to Alès to see what I can do for them.

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