Reasons to be cheerful

Wednesday 31st August

We are in France for 18 months so far….

Reasons to be cheerful – 1) The Weather.  Winter was mild but wet and Spring a bit slow but we have just had almost two months of wall to wall sunshine, the temperature fluctuating between high twenties and mid thirties – sometimes it even gets quite hot here.  You wake up and look out of the window, a wisp or two of hazy cloud and an expanse of blue from horizon to horizon, and the forecast for September is looking good too.

Reasons to be cheerful – 2) The Wine.  The local Bergerac wines are superb, and mostly cost 3 or 4 euros a bottle.  Even in the Restaurants it is around 14 euros a litre.  It is always drinkable – we have rarely had a bad bottle.  In fact I am developing quite a taste for the local Eymet rose.

Reasons to be Cheerful – 3) Eating outdoors.  As the weather is so good all through the summer we tend to eat out of doors.  No more dodging showers as the barbeque is doused yet again, all the restaurants have outdoor seating and they are pretty reasonable too.  Often 12 euros or so for four courses and wine.  Why on earth would you choose to pay a lot more – but for just twice that price you can get a very good meal (almost Masterchef quality and presentation) in the two best Restaurants in town.  We very rarely spend more than 20 euros a head sitting in the prettiest square in South West France.

Reasons to be Cheerful – 4) The Night Markets.  For two months the town, and all the small villages around go completely crazy; there are wine festivals, oyster and seafood festivals, medeaval festivals and of course the regular Marches Nocturnes.  Great food, excellent wines, long tables and benches in the squares or parks, great company and live music….which brings me to no 5.

Reasons to be Cheerful  – 5) Music.  Every Friday night at le Pub Gambetta there is live music and it is usually pretty good, songs from the sixties and seventies, all for the price of a meal and some wine.  But there is live music all over, in many of the small bars and towns and at the night markets.

Reasons to be Cheerful….oh, so you are bored now.  Sorry, go back to your boring telly, I apologise for disturbing you.