24 August 2009


Just back from a long weekend in France - another trip involving freeloading with some very generous friends. I stayed in Martha and Matt's place once before (strictly speaking, Martha's parents' place) a couple of years ago and knew what to expect - a few days in a lovely old farmhouse hanging out with a couple of their friends and M&M's exceptionally cool kids, Hope (my very pretty god-daughter) and Ferdie. As anticipated, we also ended up eating and drinking like locals and, this time, with locals, since the village fete was on. This involved losing at boules to some grizzled pétanque veterans, followed by dinner in the school playground with a few hundred French types, who entertained themselves and us in truly inimitable fashion. God knows where they all came from - French Wikipedia suggests that Castéra-Lectourois only has a population of about 300!

Along with the other highlights, I went running. Unfortunately I was a couple of days late for the 40-degree heatwave that had just swept through the region and which had left the sunflowers looking somewhat dehydrated - though I think the flowers are so heavy this late in the season that they do tend to droop even in normal years. Still, my first sortie gave me some time running on the hills that I have been so sorely craving and my second, of about 10 miles, combined them with 35-degree temperatures. Suffice to say, the last 20 minutes or so were not an enormous pleasure but I managed roughly 9-minute miles so I was fairly satisfied.No more holidays planned for 2009, for anyone who's getting envious! It does seem as though I've been away a lot this year for some reason.

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