Monday, September 18, 2017

Perfect September weather

French Village Diaries September sunrise Pays Mellois Nouvelle Aquitaine
September sunrise

This morning was a perfect September morning. A misty, cold start, it was still dark when we left the village on the school run, but once the fog lifted we were treated to clear open skies, with the wind turbines silhouetted against the orange sunrise. It was still and calm, so the steam from the power station cooling towers, 88km (55 miles) away on the River Vienne, sat dark like a bruise, the only imperfection on an otherwise perfect sky. Weather wise, it was day full of promise.

This is our fourteenth September in France and over the years we have come to recognise that foggy starts will produce warm, blue-sky days. However, never in our fourteen years have we had to wait until 18th September for a day like today. It has been a summer of water restrictions and doom concerning the drought conditions, but looking back it hasn’t been a good summer in terms of heat and sunshine. We did have an official heatwave in June, but it seems that peak of heat so early on was all we were going to get and since then it’s been unsettled. We even had rain on four of our six days on our cycling tour and not once did we feel too hot or fatigued from high temperatures.

French Village Diaries potager fruit vegetable harvest gardening
September garden produce
The garden, however, has loved it. It has been a real bumper year for crops, fruit in particular and despite the dull, damp days of August, we suffered no blight on the tomatoes. My kitchen this afternoon is littered with grapes, peaches, pears, apples, quince, figs, squash, tomatoes, peppers and aubergines, all freshly picked. The only thing I have been disappointed with is the courgettes, but then there is never enough of those in my opinion.

Fruit is being served with every meal and I’ve even surprised myself with the quantity of pears and peaches I can put away daily with no unpleasant side effects. Dinner this evening was roasted vegetables, quince, figs and chickpeas in Moroccan spice and tomorrow I’ll be busy roasting and preserving more of the same. I feel a week of chutney, jam and jelly making coming over me, with hopefully some warm sunny afternoons to walk the dog and tend to the garden. September weather, please be kind to us for a little while longer, we have missed you.

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