Les matins de Septembre

Even though we still have the most fabulous weather (sunbathing last Saturday at La Grande Prairie in Angouleme) and the days are sunny, there’s definitely an autumnal nip in the air. The aspens (and their French name, which I love, les trembles) are losing their leaves. Blackberries have been and gone. I had to put a cardigan on this morning! Heaven forbid.

But how beautiful it is. I wake up with the skies beginning to lighten – my window is north-facing, so I watch the night disappear as the sky lightens. I woke up at 6:30 this morning. It’s a Sunday. Somewhere, there’s a law against waking up on a Sunday at 6:30. But I knew it would be another beautiful day, so it seemed a waste to stay in bed. Basil and Molly had been cuddled up, one on each side of me, for the last hour and it was warm under the eiderdown, but not so warm beyond the confines of my bed.

After that, I sat in the front room and read. The front room is amazingly warm – we have only had one fire yet, but it retains the heat (and the cool on summer days) with an effectiveness modern engineers could probably not mimic. Who needs air-con and central heating??! The sun comes in through the front door, streaming on to the settee, and I sat and read until it was above the tree line, Basil curled up on my lap and the Moll snoozing on the other settee, bathed in sunlight.

I went to let the chickens out at about 8 – they give a ritual ‘Good Morning’ cluck of cheer when I talk to them. Apparently, I read that you have to warn chickens when you are about to appear, so I always start my usual dialogue.

“Morning, ladies!”

And I get clucks of delight in response. Patty leads them out, closely followed by Marge. Then Selma. Lisa is always last out.

Molly and I ran down to the bottom of the garden, she likes to smell everything, check things are where they should be. With a garden the size of ours, it’s almost like a walk. She’s in fine spirits these days, having killed a coypu yesterday. At least, Steve said she did. I think, personally, she found it dead. She’s far too noisy and clumsy to have sneaked up on one and although she might outrun one, she probably wouldn’t get near it. Mind you, all the pent-up frustration of not being able to chase Basil, as is her wont, or the chickens, is probably taking its toll.

I checked on my carrots. Okay. My spring onions are fine too. And then back in for a coffee and a quiet hour before the boys wake up. We’re off to Angouleme today for the Circuit des Remparts, which is the classic car rally. Last year, the cars did a circuit including La Rochette. Not so this year, disappointingly.

But, half way through September and the skies are bright blue; temperatures are still in the twenties. Autumn is upon us. I love it. I love it even more than I loved bright autumnal days in England.

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