The end of June usually finds me in The Lot valley in France. This year the weather was a vast improvement on last year’s dampness, we ‘endured’ temperatures in the thirties most days, so a lot of time was spent in the pool!
Most mornings I was off for a short walk from the house before the rest had stirred. This is the time to see deer in the adjacent woods. The flora seemed more advanced this year and the orchids were past their best. However there were wild sweet peas alongside the paths.
Longer walks needed to be completed before lunch to avoid the fierce heat. The cooler evenings are a good time for cycling on the deserted local lanes. Spotted a couple of rusting Renaults to add to my collection – a 4 and a 12 I think.
One afternoon we watched as they bottled 4500 roses in a semi mechanised fashion. Apparently they distribute into England now through the Wine Society. No visit to the premises is complete without a tasting of Mr. Filhol’s prune eau de vie and I always seem to come away with a bottle of the fiery stuff.
Obligatory visits to the restaurants in Duravel and Puy L’eveque meant that calorie balancing needed even more exercise. Three of us found a new walk starting in nearby Castlefranc which proved to be of interest. The village is a ‘bastide’ town centered on the market square and built in rectangular fashion. A steep climb up the hill behind took us between neat box hedges past stations of the cross to the statues on the top – ‘Calvare’.
The last day of the holiday was made more interesting as a massive machine harvested the crop from the adjacent fields. As the machine move through the field red kites flocked down to presumably pick out the mice etc disturbed. Good entertainment.
Can’t wait to return. Bonne vacance!