17 August 2008

what a wonderful world

As I sit typing this, LB has gone back down the road to investigate an interesting smell. I wouldn’t normally have taken him for a walk today as I have to go gardening this morning, but yesterday we didn’t go and he took himself off for an hour and a half, when we were at Phillippa’s cleaning her house for the next summer renters. Usually I arrive and get straight to work and leave him to his own devices – it’s quite possible that that’s what he usually does and I’m blissfully unaware, but he does come to find me at various times whilst I’m cleaning and he has that air of ‘I’ve been off on an adventure’. As it was, the outgoing renters were late leaving so I had a second breakfast with Phillippa of the knobbly end of a warm baguette I had just bought, green tea and a delicious melon smoothie she had made. LB disappeared at this point and every half an hour I went to see if he was back, getting more and more concerned until Philippe jumped in the car to drive up and down to see if he could see him. Philippe came back – no luck, but moments later his friend Arnaud (who he’d telephoned en route to ask him to look out for him) arrived with LB running up alongside. Arnaud had seen him just at the bottom of the drive, nonchalantly sniffing around, so he clapped his hands to hurry him back. I’d been calling and calling and the little b*gg*r had ignored me, so I thankfully tied him up and returned tearfully grateful to the housework.

So this morning I thought we’d go for a rapid walk – no camera, no stopping to pick up treasures / fallen fruit etc. Not long along the canal path the rustling on the bank that I have heard frequently in the same place over the last few days, turned out to be a loir (glis glis) that hopped out of the water and up and further along the sound of a much larger animal that darted out in front of a startled LB – it was a hare, almost the size of LB and he fled up the road and off back into the undergrowth. LB started to run after it but didn’t go far and turned round to look at me as if to say “what was that ?”. Even if I’d had the camera, these two things happened so fast I would never have managed to capture them, but I regret not taking it – I realised that I have been walking past the most beautifully shaped walnut tree and the sun was shining directly on it like a spotlight and amongst the ever-ripening blackberries a spider, striped like a wasp, lying in wait on her web. As far as not picking up things – how could I resist a perfect piece of Eryngium that had been cut some days ago and blown into my path ? – part of the Christmas decorations; one or two blackberries to eat along the way and a few hazelnuts.

The temperatures have changed – it’s going to be a clear, hot day but the nighttime and early morning atmosphere is refreshing and we think that the brief heatwave canicule is over. Last night Alain told me that one day in Draguignan the temperature was 43°. So, gardening this morning is going to be very pleasant with perhaps a swim at the end and when I got home from our walk, Riviera Radio was playing Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”.

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