Sophie is up at six thirty. She sits in the garden watching the early morning rush hour - half a dozen tractors on their way to the fields in the valley. Four of the farmers wave at her.
At seven thirty we're in the barbers. Bob settles down under the sickly aspidistra. He pretends to be asleep but keeps one eye open. Sophie settles over my feet. She's not entirely sure what to make of the three retired gentlemen sitting on the moth eaten sofa by the front door. At times like this it's best for a girl to stick close to her family. In between reading the morning paper the three old farmers talk to her. Sophie pointedly ignores them.
The barber fills me in with all the local gossip. The local primary school headmistress is having problems with her new Mazda. Serves her right for not buying a French car. The petrol station owner is moving to Nantes. Just as well. He's a miserable so and so. Comes from Marseille. Monsieur Lopez was elected to the town council but didn't even know he was on the ballot. Angus lets the gentle mood music flow over him. From time to time, to show interest, he utters a 'vraiment' of astonishment.
Earlier this year we planted a dozen or so ceanothus bushes to attract the bees. A combination of heavy rain and bright sunshine has had a miraculous effect on them. Can anything add on a metre in a month ? Perhaps I should check to see just how large they're going to grow.
Just another sunny Monday morning in deepest, deepest France profonde.