"Savourez l'été indien" is a headline on the front cover of the October issue of my French gardening magazine and all French gardening books include a season l'été indien between the chapters for summer and autumn. I have loved this stretching of the summer later into the year since we came here - Autumn is all very well, and I know lots of people who love it, but for me the longer we can put off the retreat indoors the better - last year visitors used our pool at the end of October!
This year however it has been different, September arrived bringing cold,damp and miserable weather for days on end, summer seemed to have left early just as it had arrived late. (The wet weather finished off the tomato plants so part from a large trug of green fruit at least my "tomato problem" is behind me.) There has been much frantic scrabbling to find long trousers,jumpers and even socks for heavens sake, and also a sudden urgency to the need to find someone to sweep the chimney. For the first time since we moved in we are having to buy some wood for the fire as most of our stocks from garden clearing here and at our ex holiday house are too fresh to use. We've had some delivered but will have to get more now we've got some idea of what a "stere" of wood looks like (not a lot is the short answer).
But we shouldn't be using wood yet - a French friend told us yesterday she never lights the fire before the first of November - and panic over, apparently the indian summer is going to happen after all. Yesterday a dull morning was followed by a sunny afternoon and I got to enjoy sitting in the sunshine beside the pond with a book ( I needed to recover from a morning spent lumberjacking in time for our dancing workshop in the evening). The forecast from tomorrow and for the next week is for sunshine and warm temperatures - perhaps the water in the pool might even warm up again, I bet TC goes in anyway!