16th August 2010. I've been trying to encourage the lawn in our garden to grow green and weed-free for the past few years but I'm starting to wonder if I'm flogging a dead horse. After a long hot rain-free summer, the 'lawn' is definitely bien cuite.. ie, burnt brown and patchy, despite raising the height of the cut on the lawn mower. After weeks of baking heat with no rain - just the odd shower - we had a torrential downpour at 6am on Sunday morning that was so loud it sounded as though the house was being driven through a car wash. But it was a case of too much too late - the damage had already been done. Needless to say, I'm going to have to try again. There must surely be a variety of grass that can tolerate the climate here.
This evening we walked over to the beautifully landscaped gardens that have been laid out in and around the old ramparts surrounding Bayonne. It was so pleasant to sit there on a warm evening (25C in the shade when we returned home) almost in the heart of Bayonne and yet be in such a peaceful setting. There's clearly an enlightened council at work here.
17th August 2010. This morning I finally loaded up the car with all the junk from the cellar and took it to the nearby déchetterie on the banks of the Adour.
Whilst there, I spotted a nice wooden winebox that had contained Château Plantey 'Pauillac' that somehow jumped into the back of my car.. I must admit to collecting these and it seems I'm not alone!
Rowed this evening.. had a good outing in an VIII. Did 15km.. (Running total: 41km)
18th August 2010. We went for a bike ride this morning along the Adour as far as Villefranque. It must be almost 20km there and back. It seems only a few months ago that the first shoots of corn started poking through and now the fields are a good 8 feet high with a rustling mass of corn stalks, and I believe the corn is destined for animal feed.
19th August 2010. Arriving at the rowing club this evening I spotted the team coach for the Agen rugby club who play Bayonne tomorrow parked outside the hotel nearby. And as I was walking away from the club after the outing, I noticed 5 massively built South Sea islanders with their Easter Island profiles in their Agen t-shirts strolling along the river bank.. (Nos 1, 3, 4, 6 & 8 on the photo in the link) It's not until you see the new generation of rugby players that you realise just how big they are. And as for trying to stop one with the ball running at you..
Very warm out on the river this evening.. went out in a quad sculler and did 10km (Running total: 51km)