Milder this morning. A layer of cloud wrapping the ridge in warmth. Sophie and her master wander along the lane. We stop to greet the horses who look at us , unblinking, and hope we've brought carrots. Then it's onto the storm drain. Sophie sits next to me and leans in as I discuss the state of the world. She has her ears tickled and is told, as she's told every morning, that this is her home. Some days she acknowledges this with a quick lick of my cheek but not today. She's off at high speed in pursuit of a young deer that's popped out of the shelter of the walnut trees onto the lane. The family diva pauses to absorb the audacity of this behaviour then throws her head back, howls and chases after it. She goes all of twenty yards then stops. Sophie belatedly recognizes the deer has gone and that further pursuit is hopeless.
The village completely quiet. The local restaurants and bars once again closed. The schools on Halloween holidays. Another 42,000 cases reported yesterday.The unsmiling woman who owns the little restaurant near the power station is giving up the uneven struggle against the lockdown. She's closing for good despite it being the best restaurant in twenty miles. The curfew rules means she has to close by nine. Here that's the time most French are thinking of going out to eat. The man who has the shop that sells lawnmowers and garden implements kept going through the first bout of the virus but has now laid off his staff and opted to stay at home and excavate a swimming pool. This second 'autumn weather' wave will have a deeper economic impact than the first. In Scotland there are some signs that the spread of the virus is slowly starting to tail off.
Back at The Rickety Old Farmhouse I check the garden for fallen branches and discover that the deer have helped themselves to the recently planted cyclamen. The builder is due this morning. 'The Font' thinks it will be most unlikely he'll show up on a weekend. Sophie fixes me with that PONette stare which makes it quite plain that the garden can wait. Curly croissant ends are a more pressing priority.
The accents are what you'd expect to go with these pictures : https://youtu.be/ENHPE8kZcf8