Friday, July 24, 2015

les affiches de l'été


This poster board places you firmly in Cathar Country. But the big news here is the appearance of a national celeb in our neighborhood, with Patrick Sebastien himself giving a performance in a parking lot in Estagel next month. There was once a day when we would not have missed this for anything, but, well, those were the days. Now we're content to just know that it is happening, which means that, in a very real sense, much (if not all) is right with the world.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

on dirait de la pluie . . .


On our walk this morning, the sky was looking rainy. We are skeptical, though. No rain here for a long time, but they've got sure-enough drought conditions in the eastern departments of the Languedoc-Roussillon, where they've instituted water use alerts.

Otherwise, a normal July day. As I write, a helicopter flies over, headed for the gorges. The village air raid siren screams. Ambulance sirens on the main road. Vacation is not easy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Another casualty


Another casualty of the heatwave. Seen on an early, early walkaround, taken for health's sake.


Friday, July 17, 2015

Balcony humid and cloudy


Balcony midsummer cloudy humid morning.

A welcome surprise in the Fenouillèdes today: humid, cool breezes from the south. Of course, this brings toxic clouds from Barcelona, but we're glad for the relief from the heat. A little rain would be nice, to wash away the dust and birdshit. Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


After a vacation from bloggery, it seems like a good time to return to the story. When we last saw our characters, they were wrapping up 2014 with their usual energy and style. Then came a fairly gentle winter, with little frost, no freezes, no snow. Then came spring, with the usual cycle of rain and wind, rain and wind. And now we are deep in summer. This year we have already had a bruising heat wave, which has passed, and a warmer and drier time of it otherwise.

The P.O. is overrun with summer visitors, and the toll of injury and death has been high. We've had two drownings in the Gorges already. In fact, the most recent was just the afternoon before last. We were sitting on the balcony around nine in the evening, cooling off before closing up (except for the one porte-fenêtre we leave open for the fresh air), when off in the distance toward the Gorges we heard a helicopter, maybe two. The chopping sound did not fade away, so we suspected the worst, that somebody was lost. We learned the next day that indeed a hiker had drowned. Elsewhere in the P.O., the story is no different. A tourist bus-train overturned, with a number of casualties. Last night a deepfat frier caught on fire in Argeles, causing quite a conflagration. Swimmers have been lost at sea.

Meanwhile, we follow the advice from Mme Royale and stay close to home and don't exert ourselves. This morning's outing to the Carrefour and Mas Peyre was easily done and we were home and not exerting well before ten.