Autumn is cold and damp. But as the dawn gets later each morning, my morning do walk gets closer to sunrise each day.  Often the misty walk is quite magical.  The sun shining down a tunnel of trees, softly filtered by the mist with Sienna treading very carefully through the carpet of fallen chestnuts. Through the fence a soft snuffle and Sienna raises her hackles in surprise and a small bark – a cow (a calf really but still twenty times her size) stares at her in the dull bovine way only cows can. Looking out, across that same field I can see a few other calves munching away at the dew laden grass. In the distance through the trees beyond the thinning mist curling around the bushes I see a fog bank sitting behind our little hamlet of Beaulieu. The Tardoire valley, normally with nothing to show its presence, from here is now picked out by a winding line of fog, looking as clouds do when viewed from an aircraft. Walking on, and a few minutes later, coming to the other side of the woods the fog in the valley has vanished and the low dawn sun illuminates the just harvested wheat field, stalks casting long shadows. Sienna blunders her way chasing birds she is destined to never catch and the moment is gone. They’ll be others though, perhaps tomorrow.


So why whoops? Well, the living room shelves and all are progressing, and Friday morning I was up a ladder attaching one of the book shelf units. I hit my head against the ladder when it slipped on the laminate. To my surprise and Delia’s consternation it was bleeding copiously and Delia got very squeamish about cleaning it up and dressing it. Not surprising since when I took it to the doctor it needed 4 stitches and my eye is now blackening “nicely”.

Interestingly, the Maison de Santé was being inaugurated that very day by the French Prime Minister and the Minister of Health. Apparently in a France with particular problems of “medical deserts” this new clinic in Chalus is (for the moment) on of the best in France – or so my doctor told me whilst stitching my head back together.

The PM and Minister had left by the time I got there, but the doctor, having been there for the formalities, had stayed behind a little while so I was lucky to catch him before he vanished on the legendary long French lunch break

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