Sophie has a lengthy drink of water and then wanders into the office to bestow a kiss on me. The Miele washing machine man arrives at first light in a little red van. Whoever would think a service engineer would show up at 6:15 am ? He was supposed to be here yesterday. He gets the Miele working again which means we are now a three ( two human and one dog ) washing machine household. The PONs are delighted to see him.
A mother, a three day old calf and four aunts look at us as we wander down the hill. Before she died from cancer the farmers wife ( finished off in her early 50's by an unrepentant three pack a day habit that she maintained until the very end ) introduced natural birthing to the farm. The mother wanders off, gives birth, returns to the herd and recovers while the other heifers guard the little ones. Both mothers and calves are happier and in the case of the young ones put on weight more quickly. Birthing problems are also substantially reduced. The routine keeps the young male steers on the farm, lazing in the sunshine, until they're five months old. The separation at two weeks simply too stressful for the herd. The mothers would try to be reunited with their calves and would bellow all through the night. The farmer has kept this practise going which is - for so many reasons - the way it should be.
Sunflowers in full bloom . Some already passing their peak. Other fields, planted late because of the rains, only now starting to grow. It's going to be a colourful and extended season.
Back to our usual baker. We do get a bowl of water this morning but try as they might the PONs don't seem to be able to convince the holiday stand in staff behind the counter to dispense croissant slivers. They share mine. The cake decorated with two cherries makes a reappearance. The young lady has no idea what it might be.
On our way home in the car it becomes obvious that today is going to be hot. The broad plain that leads down to Spain already shimmering in the heat. Madame Bay is at the house to borrow the MagiMix ( when you live in a French village what's yours is theirs and what's theirs is theirs ). Today she is wearing what 'The Font' calls the Madame Bay POP outfit. Layers of clashing Peach, orange and pink chiffon over Mamma Mia style flared trousers. Bob hurries to hide under the library table before he can be clasped to our octogenarian visitors ample, Lily of the Valley scented, decolletage.