It rained today. It was amazing. You could hear the trees, plants, flowers and fields grinning madly, breathing a huge sigh of relief, literally lapping up the joyful soaking. Humans were rejoicing too. Okay, I don’t know that, as we’ve not been out since it rained, but anyone not celebrating the second sighting of rain in about ten weeks, during which time the average temperature has been over 30 degrees by day and 20 at night, must be a camel in disguise. Rochechouart isn’t the only place to have seen nothing but sunshine this summer, and normally a blog about the weather is one to ignore, but hey… if it’s important enough to be headline news, that’s all I need to continue, especially as last summer I wrote this:
“This is getting a little tedious now. The rain. The never-ending, even though it’s now summer, not just any old rain but heavy, torrential downpours that only come in storms.”
I remember the long, hot summer of ’76 as a 10 year-old boy loving a blissful six-week school holiday spent almost entirely on Bournemouth beach. I don’t remember it being too hot, or anyone complaining much, if at all. I remember sand, smiles and ice creams, not fires, frowns and hosepipe bans. But times, and the climate have changed. It has been too hot, not just here but throughout southern Europe where the temperature has regularly been over 40 degrees, triggering horrific wildfires, home evacuations and causing droughts and a destruction of massive areas of forest, and everything living in it. Numbskulls who deny climate change and global warming, or those who see it, feel it, and are affected by it, but do nothing to help and instead choose to ignore, should have a very heavy conscience. I didn’t start writing this with the intention of calling out individuals and businesses who choose to ignore what’s happening to our environment; I see it as similar to many behavioural things in life that have taken far too long to become the norm… except nothing has ever been this important.
See, writing about our own trivial inconveniences caused by the heat seems just that. Trivial. Not being able to walk, lie, sit or simply be exposed to the sun for more than 30 minutes isn’t ideal; especially when we shop for, then photograph our Etsy treaures outside. Pepper loves and needs her walks, but her walks have been preceded by a car ride as we drive to a shady spot at the start of a shady route. We love eating outside on our terrace, but that’s rarely happened in the last two months. One of the main reasons we moved to Rochechouart was to live more of an outdoor life, but when the outdoors becomes somewhere to avoid then that lovely blue sky and sunshine becomes a hindrance rather than an enticement. So, here I am, complaining about the weather. Again. Last year, nothing but rain. This year, nothing but raging sun. Billy Connolly once said, “there’s no such thing as bad weather – only the wrong clothes”. Well, I’ve worn sandals, shorts and a growing range of vests this summer and it’s not really helped, and I’m not doing speedos.
We recently enjoyed a lovely visit from Heather’s daughter and son-in-law who arrived fresh from a balmy 18 degrees in Edinburgh. We purchased powerful fans and Bella the lurcher spent many hours draped in a cold, wet towel, but whenever and wherever we could, we enjoyed the beautiful outdoors. The gorgeous, almost totally shady walk along the Gorre River at Saint Auvent was a perfect place for humans and doggos, and when the temperature dipped below 30 degrees a kayak around the Lac de Lavaud was just the best place to be. Today, and for the next week at least, we’re expecting cooler, wetter weather. Last year we didn’t stop moaning about the rain, this year we’re rejoicing its arrival. Fickle idiots, aren’t we?