And now, how have things been dans cette petite partie de la France? Since the very hot period last month, September has brought lower temperatures and some stormy weather .... not altogether unwelcome, given the dry conditions; and there have been some dramatic touches to the landscape:
Tomatoes have been very prolific this year - a bit late in ripening, but now we have loads to provide tomato sauce and soup to freeze and last over the Winter, triggering little memories of Summer on any dismal days.
In the fields around us we have noticed that the walnut trees are bearing a lot of noix - so, we may have a go at picking them early (in fact we may already be a bit late, as the shell may have started to form) and pickling them ... one doesn't see pickled walnuts so much nowadays, but they can be very tasty and especially good with cheese:
Hedgehogs aside, there have been a few changes in the commune recently - with one particular event attracting interest. The biggest house in the commune, La Ferrudiere, has been sold. It really is big - well over 1000 square metres, enough space for ten 'starter homes'! It was owned by a farmer who, we are told, bought it just for the barn storage areas it offers - but he has never lived there and the house has remained empty for over 10 years. It contains some gites, alongside the main house and the massive barns. It has been a source of interest for us (and for some of our guests), because of its size and being empty and because you can see it quite clearly from our garden, sitting high on the hill across the little valley - the view in Summer is partially obscured by trees, but in Winter it is fully apparent. It is also a bit of a mystery, as we cannot get a clear 'history' of the house from any of our neighbours, we're not sure why.
Finally, 'how is Oska?' we hear you ask. He thanks you for your interest - he has been very well, losing a little more weight to put less strain on his back, and although the condition remains 'what it is', he seems rarely in pain and is in good spirits ..... greeting our frequent guests, going on a couple of short walks each day and, as ever, enjoying a reasonable quota of adoration ..... speaking of which we had a request a little while back that we provide a close-up of Oska's eyes, as all the shots of him were rather too distant. So, for those of you who would have asked for the same, but were to shy to request it ... here we are: