Giverny at Summer’s end.

It all happened so quickly, sandals and shorts to jackets and wellies. At least that’s how it seemed. Weeks of enjoying the baking sunshine and in a day, to be suddenly aware of the morning chill. The days are still warming up, into the mid-twenties for the most part. It’s the morning dogwalk that makes it feel so Autumnal though – out at just an hour after sunrise – 8 am but equivalent to 5 am only a few weeks back (I’ll leave you to look up actual sunrise times, I’ll leave this blog subjective). The chestnuts are just starting to fall, blackberries ready to gather for my morning porridge and hazelnuts at last left over after being squirrel-snaffled. The leaves just showing a hint of turning, especially where the dry summer is having an effect.

ivyDelia’s mum (Fran) arrived at Summer’s height and is now leaving just as it cools, back to the beginnings of the Australian spring. We all enjoyed a visit to Monet’s garden at Giverny. Being in the southern edges of Normandy this was farther enough north that the ivy is reddening well.

Delia and I had visited here last May and the differences made it well worth repeating. Though we had missed the wisteria that was in full bloom in our own garden last May and, during this visit, long gone, the water lilies were blooming in the pond. We still didn’t get to see the bridge as its immortalised with its swathes of wisteria blooms the gardens were still beautiful. Fewer people too, as well as being dry helped.


This visit I focused on close-ups, if you’ll allow the pun. Delia helped Fran with her new camera (since she has the same model) and between them they took some great shots. Below I’ve montaged the close-ups I’ve worked on so far. A journey home through lovely open countryside and into the Limousin woodland. 5 hours is a long drive!


After having previously burnt her chips, undercooked her steak and served cold green beans, I think I was able to salvage some of my culinary reputation with a Moroccan rice-stuffed shoulder of lamb as the parting meal with Fran. We skipped the opportunity for her to trounce us yet again at a game of sevens for an early night to prepare for the early start to get Fran to the station in time. It’s hard to remember how we used to get up at 6am every morning for our commute and 12 hours out of the house, as we were doing the last time Fran visited us. This time I feel we were much more able to make her a part of our much more enjoyable daily routine.

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