It's bright and calm here this morning but there's something about the clouds across the horizon that tells me that weather mischief is on the way.
We walk down to the little waterfall which is just that - a little waterfall. The stream now shrivelled to a three foot wide strip of barely moving water. A month ago the waterfall splashed and trilled like a mini Niagara. Now it dribbles into the water pool below. The dragon flies seem to like these conditions. A flock of them ( swarm surely not the right word for these lapis lazuli beauties ) congregate in the shade of the willows. Sophie watches them in silence. Bob looks - unsuccessfully - for minnows.
Into the little market town. I load up a print we bought in New Orleans as impoverished students in the 70's. It's been in the garage with a broken frame for the last five years. Amazing its survived. The PONs leads are held in one hand, the rolled up print in another.
Sophie likes the framers workshop. She wanders off to explore dark corners. I order her to sit still. She feigns total deafness. Bob settles down on the mat at the front door. I suggest the framer phones me with a quote. Being French he wants to measure everything and give me a quote ( and take a deposit ) while I'm there. Dogs and master wait.
Afterwards a trip along the street to the cafe on the square. En route Bob dethreats a variety of car tyres. The cafe owner greets us. Bob ignores him. Sophie, who has learnt that the owner sometimes dispenses biscuits, wags her tail and looks uncharacteristically angelic. Today, the man falls for the charm offensive and she is given a small portion of croissant to share with her brother.
Back at home Bob settles down on the front door step in the muggy sunshine. The weather forecast says there are going to be 80 mph winds this afternoon as a storm front moves across the frontier with Andorra.
As I take down the garden umbrellas the man with the Yorkie drives by in his two cylinder 1962 Panhard sports car. I wave at him. He takes this as a cue to stop for a chat. The man speaks with the French version of a Arkansas tobacco farmers accent. A mixture of heavily accented bar room Spanish wedded to the local language of these parts - Oc. Everything he says I have to translate into French or Spanish or both and then into English. This means I have a 'measured' response time. This 'measuredness' may be why the villagers treat M'Ongoose as if he's a sandwich short of a picnic and repeat everything twice. '' What a lovely car " I say by way of opening the conversation. 'Lovely ! It's magnificent ! ' he replies. He then repeats himself.
Here's a story with a happy ending : http://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-thursday-edition-1.4173147/they-were-not-very-happy-says-man-who-helped-remove-nearly-100-000-bees-from-ontario-home-1.4173150