Saturday, 10 April 2010

55. Shorts weather..!

8th April 2010. A big 'plus' for this region compared to many others in France is the almost complete absence of the mosquito or, worse, the dreaded horse fly. In the summer months we generally sleep with the bedroom window open and I'm seldom woken by that annoying musical whirring hum of mosquito wings around my ears. I remember a holiday in the Ardèche region a good few years ago that was ruined for me by biting horse flies during the day and pesky humming mosquitoes by night. These large horse flies (some the size of a B-17!) would settle on me while I'd be drying off after a river swim and the first indication that one was on me would be the bite. The bite area would discolour over the following few hours to the size of a dinner plate and would be hot to the touch. Aaagghh! I must be an insect magnet as they ignore Madame and focus all their attentions on me. Here, though, in the Pays Basque it's a rare event for me to attract even one bite (touch wood!). I'm not complaining..

Saturday, 10th April 2010. Eric spent yesterday fitting the new garage doors and we're very pleased with the result. Another job ticked off. Only a few left to do now.

Today the skies were a cloudless blue, the temps were up around 21 and after finishing painting the new garage doors, I set up the table on the terrace ready for our first al fresco lunch of the year - sangria to start with then smoked duck breast salad with a few drops of balsamic vinegar, then cheese. I found the last of my Christmas cigars and I enjoyed it (feelthy habit!) over a Turkish coffee.. (for any smoking nazis out there I smoke about 3 a year!) (Yes I know - that's 3 too many..) There was hardly any traffic noise, just some bird song and the sound of a light aircraft somewhere.. Summer's coming. At last. When the heat of the afternoon faded, I cut the grass and then gave the dog a medicated shower - he's picked up a few fleas - and then I lay in the sun while he dried off. We're thinking about a trip inland for tomorrow - maybe up in the mountains.. have to see what the weather's doing.

Thought for the day: I once read of a British motorcyclist who was riding up the length of Norway to visit Europe's most northerly point - North Cape. On his way up there he met up with a fellow motorcyclist coming the other way so they stopped for a chat to compare notes. The other rider was an old American guy who'd taken 12 months off to explore Europe. The Brit asked him, "How can you afford to do it?" to which the old guy replied, "How can I afford not to..?"

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