Thursday, August 17, 2006

Rain, rain, welcome rain

Mist is swirling past the windows. Above the pinewood on the hill outside the sky is grey and in motion. I am in the South of France in August. I could be in the Highlands of Scotland in October.

What has happened to the azure expanse of cloudlessness I usually enjoy from my window at work? It's the middle of August, that's what's happened. A seachange of the weather from summer to abrupt autumn. We may well get an indian summer in September as all the kids go back to school, and minds turn to serious matters after lazy days of siestas whether real or mental.

For those whose summer holidays start now, however, they have pulled the meterological short straw. Not for them the heady delights of supper al fresco beneath the stars; a soft, warm breeze teasing strands of hair. Bring out the jackets and prepare to eat in. An aperitif out is as much as they can hope for.

My garden is looking happy. Droopy plants have perked up, no longer subjected to the fierce heat of midday and scorching effects of the sun. Flowers look more vibrant in the dingy light, their petals absorbing what little brightness they can to glow in contrast to the greyness in the air.

Friends' pools have lost their attraction and the beach becomes a place to walk briskly along rather than lounge on smeared in protective creams. We sleep better and our skin, in the humidity, is softer and less aged.

It may be bad for tourists, but for us residents, it's a welcome relief. Bien venue la pluie.

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