We had Scots guests for a couple of days and the weather was usually good enough to sit on the terrace. The chateau currently provides great entertainment as the bits we can see are covered in scaffolding with three and sometimes four workers stripping tiles from the roof and re-doing the bits that have rotted away. Health and safety does not seem to be an issue. The favoured way of getting up there is being hoisted up in the bucket of a yellow machine with an extendable arm. Otherwise they monkey through the scaffolding or use a ladder. Nobody wears a hard hat. I suppose the employer has insurance in case of accident but it all seems refreshingly casual.

Carpenter bees are impossible to miss. I was admiring one foraging for nectar on some lambs ear when it took off, performed a couple of dizzying spirals a few inches in front of my face before it crashed to the ground and waved its legs in the air. I took a closer look at the plant and found half a dozen bees on or around it in a similar drunken condition. They seemed to recover after a minute or two and beat an uncertain path out of the garden but either they soon returned or else there are an awful lot of carpenter bees round about. Perhaps a few flowers added to a stew would make for an interesting meal.

I live in an information bubble. I don’t read anything favourable about Trump, or anything positive about Brexit. It’s lamentably obvious that those who disagree with me have their own bubbles. Otherwise they’d know my opinions were right and theirs shockingly wrong. How can this ever be reconciled?

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