As we entered meteorological autumn on Friday (1st September), the weather decided to become exceptionally summery! Today has been in the low 30s and one of the hottest days we have had this year, certainly since June.
Since we moved here in 2015, we have found that the late summer / early autumn period tends to be more reliably warm and dry than the height of the holiday season. It is certainly the ideal time to travel here if you’re not tied to the school holidays as everywhere is quieter and the countryside takes on an amazing character as the trees change colour. Perfect for woodland walks.
The exception to this was last year when July and August were blazing hot, to the point that the Monts D’Arrée were literally blazing at times, and September was cooler and damp. With this July and August being disappointing – literally to the last day – here’s hoping this is a return to a ‘normal’ autumn and the start of an Indian summer period.
We have been able to make some progress where we need on the old veg patch and on Wednesday, when David is available to assist, we chain-sawed all the poorer quality bits of wood that we will keep to use in the chiminea and firepit. I have started to move the chopped bits into the serre to keep them dry but today it was like a furnace in there so wasn’t pleasant to stand in. Hopefully there isn’t much more than a day’s effort to have the whole space cleared and I can focus on demolishing the perimeter wall.
The only other useful task I managed to get done was the biannual hack of the wisteria. We planted this in our first couple of years here and it is evidently happy as it has grown rapidly and looks amazing when in flower in the spring.
As it likes the spot it is in, it puts on a lot of summer growth and many of its tendrils find their way between the slates and under the roof tiles so these need to be removed. As you can see from the picture before the trim, the whole front of the gîte is covered including Priory’s windows and the pigeonnier.
Having cut out all the unwanted shoots and tied in some leaders so it continues along to the kitchen end of the gîte, it looks a lot better.
During the wetter days of the last couple of weeks David has been working hard on our marketing. It dawned on us earlier in the year that next summer will be our 10th summer season so we are thinking of a couple of things to mark it and one is a re-fresh of our ‘corporate image’! Many years ago Dave started training in graphic design so he has responsibility for our website and some publicity and has created us a stylish new logo which you may have seen on the header of our webpage.
The forecast is looking pretty good for the next week so hopefully lots of progress.