It’s the allergy season. Poor Caiti and Chris are sniffling and snuffling away and chomping anti-histamines. Mind you, the freezing gale force winds we have today should disperse the allergens nicely, at least for a while. (We have a roaring fire in the grate today too. You wouldn’t think it was mid May!)

At the moment no one actually knows just how much pollen is out there in the Limousin air. This is because we’re the last région in France to get a pollen counting station. ARS, whoever they are and the mind boggles, haven’t yet stumped up the cash for us to have one.

I’ve warned you about about French abbreviations before, and here’s another one – RNSA – but at least I know what that one means. It’s the Réseau national de surveillance aérobiologique. They’re getting together with Limair (not an airline, by the way), the faculty of pharmacy and Allergolim (le réseau des allergologues du Limousin) to finalise the pollen counting station project which is, they all admit, running a little late. So, give them a few  years and perhaps it will materialise!

When we do get it, all the pollen that is picked up on the station’s filters will be identified. Then the RNSA will leap into action and produce a weekly bulletin which its partners will publish on their respective websites. The main benefit will come when the station picks up the most allergy-producing pollens and so can warn members of the public that they’re about to start sneezing.

And Limoges is also to get a pollinarium. Your guess is as good as mine really as to what this is about. I think it’s a collection of anti-social plants with annoying pollen that can be observed so as to pinpoint when they start producing their pollen and when production reaches its peak in another attempt to keep hayfever sufferers apprised of when things are about to turn bad.

But we don’t have either the pollen counting station or the pollinarium yet, so until then, I’m afraid you’ll just have to keep on sneezing in Limousin.