Things that go BANG in the night

Sunday 28thJuly

It is hot in Eymet.  And if you think it is hot in London, think again – it is really hot in Eymet.  Especially at night.  I arrived on Friday, landing about six in the evening and it was really warm. It must have been over 30C and stayed that way till late in the evening.  We went to Gambetta for dinner and live music; a rather eccentric jazzy lady singer who played double bass and cello, not quite at the same time, but recording her rhythm section live then playing it back and playing over with cello.  Very clever and I really liked her.  Home about eleven and I was tired so I had a shower and lay on top of the bed-clothes and dried off ‘au naturel’.

Maybe it was a bit too much alcohol, maybe the heat, but I slept fitfully.  I was woken at three in the morning by voices, seeming to come from just outside my window, male voices speaking in loud French.  A lot of shouting, happy sounding.  Then footsteps running past.  A car starting and driving away.  Another car – key turning the engine, whirring whirring electric motor spinning but no ignition.  Stops. Starts again, whirring whirring but no ignition.  Then a bang, then an almighty BANG.

I honestly thought it was kids letting off fireworks, I could even smell the smoke.  But wide-awake now it was smoke.  I looked out of the open window and a few yards away in the cow-shed car-park a car was alight.  We were parked at the other end, so we rushed into clothes and moved it.  The fire brigade were dousing the car, but it managed to catch the cars either side.

Commotion, neighbours all out on the street, gendarmes, fire-men.  Then the fire was out and we all went back to our homes and beds.

To a petulant sleep, hopefully undisturbed by things that go BANG in the night.