Scarily it’s the first of August today. It’s scary because we’re nearly two-thirds through the year now, and there are a lot of things still on my to-do list! It’s scary as it means we now just about halfway through the school holidays, and we haven’t given a thought to la rentrée yet.

A summery sunflower (courtesy

A summery sunflower (courtesy

It’s also scary as it’s my birthday, not my 67th as Ruadhri put on the first draft of his birthday card, but twenty years less than that. Caiti has made me a wonderful cake, and Benj gave me a large assortment of goodies made from blueberries (he’s working as a blueberry packer this summer, hence the pressies!). Ruadhri and dad found me some lovely blue espadrilles so it’s a good day.

I’ve been going through some of the old magazines we found in our attic when we moved in. These included a lot of copies of ‘La Prosperité à la Campagne’. The issue for August 1932 gives us a list of sayings for this month:

Quand il pleut en août, Il pleut miel et mout.

When it rains in August, It rains honey and wine-making.

Par un août sec, gros nuages en l’air, C’est la neige de l’hiver.

If August is dry but cloudy, it’s storing up snow for the winter.

Si la lune de St Louis Se fait en beau, sois réjoui.

If there is a beautiful moon on St Louis’s day (25 August), rejoice.

Ce qu’ août n’aura cuit, Septembre ne le rôtira.

What August doesn’t cook, September won’t roast.

(I take this mean that a cool August is followed by a similar September.)

Quiconque se marie en août Souvent n’amasse rien du tout.

Whoever marries in August often doesn’t accumulate very much.

(Oh dear, we got married in August!!)

Things will be fairly quiet in France for at least the next two weeks. It’s still traditional for many French people to take their holidays in August. Today was ‘le grand départ’ i.e. traffic jam day, as the biggest surge of people heading off in their cars takes place. In fact, every Saturday in August means delays and congestion. We’ve been caught up in a few in the past, never again. Traffic’s slow, the services are heaving and everyone seems to be hot, cross and bothered as they set off on holiday to enjoy themselves!

August is starting hot and dry, and set to get hotter next week. But we don’t care, we’ve got our pool. Which you’ll find out more about in my next blog …