Sunday 24th February
Admittedly it is very cold, bloody freezing actually, but at least the sun is shining. It is one of those really cold and crisp but beautifully sunny days, where it actually feels quite good to be alive. And driving along in the warmth of the car, looking out over the rolling Dordogne countryside, at the fields so recently turned by the plough, the vines all cut right back to the old gnarled and knobbly stems, the little copses with trees bare of leaf but with round balls of mistletoe high up in their branches, the sparrow-hawks circling high up, watching, ever watching, for the slightest movement of a small animal, at the plum trees in their neat rows, waiting for the spring.
In fact we are all waiting for the spring, flowers, leaves, all the animals and us too. We don’t mind a bit of winter, or the occasional rain-shower, but secretly we are all waiting for the spring.
And here in France, we know that the spring and the summer will be much much warmer than in England.
It was almost a year ago that we first saw Eymet, Easter, and it was cold and wet then, unseasonably so, everyone told us. So we have now seen it at all times of the year, and still I am in love with the place; the old town square with with it’s scalloped out arches, the narrow streets, the overhanging eaves, the two or three little pubs, the strange collection of ex-pat English who have washed up here, beached after the torrent. I feel at home here, amongst the yellowy white stones, the little river with the weir and the bridge, the church and the chataeu.
And here on a very cold day, it is lovely. And at least the sun is still shining here