Well, was that Summer? Today is quite a bit cooler than of late, pale blue/grey sky and temperatures warmer inside the house than outside! For the last couple of weeks we have had glorious weather, temperatures here on the North Brittany coast of 28ºC in the shade. It has meant that the flowers in the planters on the terrasse have needed watering in the cool of the evening and also I have had to set the height of cut on the ride-on mower to 3. Any lower and I think the grass would have been toast!
Friends from Albi in the South of France, not far from Carcassonne stayed at the weekend on their way for a 'holiday' in the UK. Weather was kind for them and their two daughters ran themselves ragged of an evening playing on the Xbox. I was exhausted as a spectator! Large, cold beer required! Dogs are not allowed on almost all the beaches here from 1st June to 1st October. Poor Truffle (our black Lab.) has firstly been missing the beach and her dip in the sea and secondly, wearing a black fur coat in hot weather is no fun. We do take her to a local beach (tide permitting) around 10pm when it is cooler and she enjoys her tennis ball being thrown. When she gets too hot she just goes to the shoreline and lies down, letting the cooling Atlantic flow around her.
When it is floor to ceiling grey skies here, I often think of moving further South....that was until our Albi friends told us that the temperature in Albi has been generally 35-37ºC and hotter! In their house it has been a fairly constant 30º during the day only dipping to 25º at around midnight! Note to self, next time you get the idea of a move to somewhere warmer....don't even think about it! They told us that they waited for 2 hours in 39ºC for the Tour-de-France to pass by. Doesn't bear thinking about!
Motoring here in France is an event / extreme sport rather than a mode of transport. In Morlaix today the standard of driving was getting towards the top of the list of French
driving insanity! Just coming back towards the N12 and home, approaching
a traffic island I see a mini (new BMW sort) with its nose out waiting to join a
roundabout I'm approaching. I can only see the mini and not the traffic
behind it as there are small shrubs on the approach road. As I am far
enough away for said mini to join the roundabout, he does.....and the 5m
caravan he is towing!
loud shout of "Whaaaaaaaaat???" fills our car. I think I must have been on best behaviour as the car is usually full of expletives when bad driving occurs! The caravan is a full
size, 4 berth job, not a tiddly pop-up thingy. Clearly he was waaaaaaay
beyond his braked towing capacity. Being a little a-retentive, I came home and looked at the towing
capacity of a mini.....750kg. Said caravan must have been well over
that! Looking at the size of it, it must have been well over that
unladen never mind all the holiday gear inside!
The risks some
folk take! I have seen a few quite bad caravan accidents over the years
coming down from the North of the UK to get to Plymouth. Caravans upside-down and
totally destroyed, stuff everywhere, cars flipped and caravans sideways.
These folk don't just risk their own lives.
Enough grumbling from me! Had some good news this week, I had a CT scan of my liver done and it was fine. My tri-glycerides were high and as I don't drink a lot, my French GP wondered if there was a liver problem. all the liver chemistry seemed OK, he was just wanting a peek to check for any physical abnormalities. Fortunately, none were found but sometimes these things are a two edged sword! I have a meeting with the doctor. He confirms that my liver is OK......but.....it's fatty. He reels of a fair old list of all the things I can't now eat. Basically anything that it high calorie. He wants me to lose some more weight. I have already lost 10kg (22lbs) since coming to France. So, the diet starts and I will lose more weight, it is for my own good and if I wan't to avoid anymore stenting or heart attacks, I NEED to do this.
Well folk, enjoy the rest of the Summer, we have family coming over in mid-August for a week so I may have a weak off the diet and quaff the odd glass or two of Champagne. I will try and post more often but the call of a new Sherlock Holmes story beckons. I already have the outline of a story from a real historical event, I now have to re-tell it, weaving in the contribution of Holmes and Watson. Damn, there goes a trade secret!!