M. Chateau did a bit of toy throwing and will not be coming here until there’s a phone line and wifi installed. Orange work at their own pace which means that Mme Chateau could be here on her own for weeks, living in some vast dusty room with nothing but a single light bulb and a microwave for company. At least four natives feel sorry for her and are taking it in turns to feed her.

A few days ago I watched a kite hunting over a well-grown field of barley. When it dived for prey it raised a splash. The field was still covered by 6 inches of floodwater and the bird was catching frogs.

In one of the recent storms, a neighbour lost a poplar that came down, crushed a shed and ended up across the swimming pool. To remove it and refurbish will be expensive. We have a spruce that now looms over the house. It’s valuable because it casts shade on the terrace but when the squalls hit it during storms it thrashes alarmingly. I consulted with local experts. The one who planted the tree thirty years ago thought I should cut the top off. Another said that if it fell, it would fall away from the house and it would not look nearly as pretty if decapitated. Google says that spruces like a good thrashing and that the wind goes through them rather than knock them over. That sounds like the cheapest option and I’ll go with it for the time being.

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