‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ John Keats
Autumn has arrived in the south of France – I know this because the bedroom window had condensation on it this morning.
I love autumn, it’s my favourite month. I love the way that you can have really sunny, warm days but in the evenings it gets a bit nippy and you can feel cosy indoors, maybe with a log fire. The best of both worlds. I have rediscovered the joys of autumn since moving here because the contrast between the seasons is still well defined – as I seem to remember them being when I was a child although, of course, that could just be nostalgia. I was inspired to take my camera with me this morning when I went out with the dogs to see if I could capture that autumnal ‘frisson’.
It’s been very dry here – we’ve hardly had any rain for ages – and the trees are only just starting to turn colour. However, it’s lovely and crisp in the mornings and the dogs prefer it to the heat of the summer.
Anyway, not satisfied with the autumnal ‘frisson’, my normally ultra sensible husband decided to add a bit more excitement to the day by having a small bonfire and then forgetting about it! Our garden is huge but most of it is on a 45o angle and, alerted by a panicked neighbour who could see the smoke from her house, we went out to find that sparks had ignited lots of little pockets of tinder dry grass and, even worse, little pockets of tinder dry grass on our neighbours’ land. Somebody called les pompiers (bless them) and they came and helped us extinguish the smouldering heaps of grass. Not an easy job, halfway up a small foothill of the Pyrennees. I will give them lots of extra euros this Christmas when they come round with their calendars. (I’ll make up for it by giving less to the postman as he is a miserable sod!)
Anyway, great fun was had by all the spectators who seemed to appear from nowhere considering we only have about 3 near neighbours. They came in their cars and gave advice on how to put out the fire, without actually doing anything to help, whilst my husband (feeling extremely stupid and guilty, obviously, because I told him he was), and our two daughters who don’t normally move from in front of a computer screen, scaled the hill with water and tried to beat out the smouldering piles with shovels. My daughters are still recovering, not from smoke inhalation but from exposure to the outside air during the hours of daylight.
The dogs enjoyed themselves with all the uniformed visitors and long lengths of pipe which looked like they might be fun to play with.
Anyway, we won’t be needing the brushcutter for a little while yet.
Also, do you think it’s a coincidence that they came round with their calendars for sale tonight, less than a week after the ‘incident’ in our garden? I’m sure it’s normally a lot closer to Christmas.