Summer in the Mountains


On Wednesday the cloud hung so low that it hid the mountains and provoked an intense discussion among the children about the difference between cloud, fog, mist and steam.

On Thursday mist lay in the hollows and valleys waiting for the sun to rise over the clear rocky ridge. Once touched by the warmth the mist dispersed.

By Friday the children had left. I breakfasted to the sound of a heavy rain and then Debbie and I went for a walk in hot sunshine and shaded woodland lanes before returning to dig out weeds as dark ominous clouds came and went. In the night the thunderstorm broke out fierce and long and next morning we found a pile of giant hailstones piled against the wall on the terrace. We certainly get interesting weather in the mountains.

Three things had conspired to prevent our getting to France for a full eleven months. The first has been described as the most extreme self-harm to be performed by a country on itself, and I shall say no more about it; you already know my views. The second was the Covid pandemic which seemed to put the UK and France into lockdown alternately. The third was a slightly alarming episode when I fainted while at the wheel of the car on our way to Alistair’s. We came to no harm, but it was worrying, perhaps particularly for Debbie, and until we had satisfied ourselves as to what had happened I didn’t drive. There are, of course other ways to travel to France, but we have found that by using Eurotunnel and driving without a night on the way we have been able to minimise our contacts with people and so for the time being that has been our preferred route

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