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Monday, August 16, 2010

C'est un temps de chien

Bonjour!? Did anyone notice it was supposed to be august about now?  Vaguely summery weather, occasional white fluffies and bright warm bits?  Hmmmmm. Something must have gone spectacularly wrong with the order as the last few days of depressing grey skies and showers have been bettered by non-stop rain since yesterday afternoon. It alternates between drizzly and knocking-over-the-flower-pots hard downpours and even the pond level is reaching a reasonable depth, indicating that we've probably "enjoyed" around 3cm of the wet stuff since yesterday. There is one silver glint to this otherwise dark and despondent cloud: it isn't really cold. Otherwise we are on alerte orange ie

Soyez très vigilant; des phénomènes dangereux sont prévus ; tenez-vous au courant de l’évolution de la situation et suivez les conseils  de sécurité émis par les pouvoirs publics.
Add in the risk of flooding and how exciting can it get?

Somehow we managed to eat in the garden three or four times including once in the evening whilst friend Margaret was here. Sadly we didn't even get to sit on cousin Marion's balcony whilst in Lippstadt the week before, though we did fit in a barbecue at cousin Uwe's house on the Friday though it was not balmy but damp and chilly by 21h00.  We allayed the cold with good local beer and the warmth of family reunion after some twenty years. How did he suddenly go from being a mere youth to having two daughters, one of whom is 20?  Have I been hibernating?

Which reminds me; we need all positive thoughts turned to warmth and dryness for Saturday evening coming as we are having a Birthday BBQ here at château Newman-Legros. Mopping up (ha ha ha) friends and family in France for a late celebration of my recent landmark as well as getting to know the neighbours a little, especially, we hope, our new next door neighbours, Sylvain and Gaël. We're up to 15 definites with a possible additional ten. The Bopes are officiating over the main grilling station and I am knocking up salads and a couple of fishy/veggie options. It's going to be a challenge to deformalise the event as the French don't seem to do relaxed and laid back and may expect to sit on chairs if not at table. Not going to happen! Still; we can rely on Les Oncles to inject a little levity into the occasion and I can always run away with Rab, who is staying as well as the Bopes and their pooches, till everyone has buggered off home!

Summer visits started last week and recommence this week, on Thursday with only two whole days of breathing space till 7 September. Looking forward to it.  And to some summer. Not least because we are reaching the peak of our half marathon training. More to come after, fingers crossed, the successful running of the latter.