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Morning walk

Scarcely had the BPs reached the airport than the weather started preparing for the ‘épisode cévenol’ forecast for this weekend. The southerly winds swept in cloud and rain from the Mediterranean and indeed it has rained pretty relentlessly for three days.

It has not been as bad as some feared and not brought the destruction we saw last year. Nevertheless, the only thing to do this weekend was to hibernate. Added motivation was that this was the weekend of the main motor rally in the pay viganais; the town was virtually taken over by what seemed like hundreds of loud, souped up cars, and endless marquees for all the people supporting each car. (In fact the episode cévenol meant that even the rally was cut short, by order of the Préfet du Gard.)

Last night it rained heavily, but then, miracle, the sun came out this morning. So I took Poppy on a longer walk make up for the short sorties of the last few days.

My main morning routine is to go to Serres, have coffee with Margaret and then return. I learnt during the first lockdown, when we were limited to a kilometre range from the house, that this was (almost) within this limit, making a comfortable two-km walk. But since Margaret is still in hospital, I chose to take my other walk: along one road up to the village of Mars, in the next valley, and then back along the lower road, which has uninspiring villas on one side, but also many of the original orchards and fields, and a magnificent view up to Col de Mouzoules. (The BPs walked up to Mouzoules as the first part of a big walk in the summer and I joined them for a picnic, gazing down at Pied Méjean, where I live.)

It was a lovely morning, but the relentless rain of the past few days served to remind me how ephemeral the autumn colours can be. This time last year I saw little of autumn as I was in hospital, recovering from the knee replacement. In 2019 the BPs had a particularly wet autumn visit, but in 2018 I remember autumn as being long and beautiful. There is now a strong north west wind, and I fear that many of the leaves will fall before the hills reach their full glory.

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