I worried that I might hit a week where I have nothing to relate, apart from ‘gosh, it was hot’ and I did some gardening, but actually, things have a way of filling your days, so I think there will always be something to write about.

My head is still full of smokey tendrils from reading A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara. It was an intense, painful book to experience; I felt bereft when I finished and keep returning to it in my thoughts. I rather think it is not a book for everyone as it can feel overwhelming and relentless and I can indeed imagine one friend hurling it into a metaphorical bin, with a snort of ‘How bloody depressing!’ but for me I believed in the writing so completely that the characters are almost people I might have known. There is merchandise, t shirts and the like and I am quite tempted, just as a way of keeping them with me a bit longer.

Anyway, back to the South of France. My little tiny village of 326 people was swelled by loads of party goers with a night of fabulous gypsy music:

and the day after, in the next village, there was a Fete of ancient times, with people in costume, recreations of a school room and lots of art and tat:

And sunbathing fat geese:

And really furry chickens:

And old vehicles:

I couldn’t resist this photo of old bikes:

We’ve been swimming in the municipal pool, which is just down the road. It is now packed with brown smiling bodies of all shapes and sizes, as kids are on their grande vacances.

Oh, I will just mention our favourite cake shop, in Saissan. Each time we walk towards it we think it will be shut; its not that it’s unwelcoming, it just has a very quiet aura, very relaxed about attracting passing trade. Its just near the pizza emporium on the corner. Anyway, you cautiously push open the door, see it is open, then smile and drool. Its very simple fare, but delicious:

My current favourite is the coffee or chocolate religieuses (├ęclairs). Actually, my phrase there, ‘ its simple fare, but delicious’ sums up all my foodie experiences so far in France. For instance, yesterday in Toulouse, we had veggie and also salmon burgers at a place opposite the market and they were so tasty: perfect chips, nice salad and brioche buns and moist salmon. No apologies for talking about food in this blog and no simpering about weight worries. Its good food here in la belle france and I intend to delight in every mouthful ­čść

So, critter of the week award goes to this guy:

Award for gadget of the week goes to this petrol generator. It means we can finally cut back all the brambles at the ends of the gardens ( yes, the plurals are deliberate )

We spent a happy morning chopping down our poor old fig tree, that collapsed in a storm. The smell was pure Jo Malone, peppery, exotic and fragrant. I roasted some of the baby figs, chutnied some and pickled some:

Can you believe this? A car pulled up and a very tidy, middle aged pair got out, with shiny glasses and ruffles and high waisted beige trews. They wanted to talk to me about God and were Jehovah’s Witnesses! In rural France!!! It turned out I was very busy, so they tootled off, but how surprising!

Another surprise was how gorgeous Toulouse is. I previously associated it with the airport and being very stressed by the motorway, but, the very pink, beating heart is really lovely. We simply wandered around, popping into dark churches to cool down:

The architecture is stunning:

I loved all the views of roads going off to exciting places

and look at this door knocker

I recommend this ice cream Parlour:

and I loved my lime and basil sorbet, which was like a mojito in food form. Mmnnnn

I’ll leave you with this goofy picture of Luna, with one of her favourite humans.