Early summer drought

Drought? What drought? Everything looks lovely.

Well, yes and let’s all gaze and gaze on those beautiful roses and cistus now.

Even the white cistus that self seeded at the end of the dry garden looks marvy.

Don’t look at the wonky fence, that’s next on the list.

But the heat! Not only have we not had any decent rain for months and months, now it is the blasting wind and heat to ‘enjoy’. The Ardeche and Drome region broke all records for the hottest May since someone wrote the temperatures in a book and shared with friends.

Luckily for us May was the month we did get to share the farm with our friends. A school reunion for David with mates from when he was a callow youth of 15 and went to Edinburgh to live. What an extraordinary group of people.

The long weekend (which started on Wednesday) was just a series of delights and laughter and great company.

And having a heat wave meant there was a lot of this:

(We pass over the work that went from horse in the pool damage to sparkling delight.)

Actually that is the best bit about a big event of house guests galore and three meals plus lots of lovely aperitif each day…

You really, really up your game.

That pantry you have been meaning to sort and clean?

The linen press and shelves and even the places no one will go…

I swear you need a good big event every few months to really keep you on your toes.

And isn’t it marvellous how you can tolerate something you walk over or past or on for months and months…

It only takes an afternoon. But looks so much lovelier when it’s done.

There was baking and bottling and prepping..

And yes, even bottles of fresh milk. Quite the rarity.

It all ended up in a delight of feasting .

So t’was well worth the effort.

Forest paths were strimmed (thank you David and house guest Fenning!), and the mower valiantly worked those curves.

And I even had time to gaze and gaze upon the gorgeous work of a morning before the crowds arrived.

And of course the day they all left we both felt bereft.

And nothing beats the Cinderella feel of an empty farm in a drought with just one thing thriving to take your mind off things.

Farewell house guests, hello caterpillar infestation in the orchard.

Talk about back to earth with a bump.