Bordeaux summer strikes again

 It's been very hot recently and time for my antihistamines. I went to the pharmacy and asked for enough cetirizine for two weeks. 

"Do you want eye-drops? Nose sprays? Sea-water to squirt up your nostrils? Homeopathic stuff guaranteed to stop you feeling anything at all ever again? Look! We have this!"

The pharmacist indicated a lovely purple box. I took some homeopathic hay-fever stuff once. Then I read the label. It said "Contains silica".

"No, these will do." I paid for my pills and left.

I'm not sure the pharmacy gets my approach to things. I don't aim to remove every symptom of hay-fever by squirting stinging drops in my eyes or foaming waters up my snout. I aim to get things to a point where I can cope without sneezing, sniffing and snuffling every two seconds. If my eyes water a little or itch slightly I can cope with that.

Anyway Bordeaux summer. Well, they say an English summer consists of two nice days and a thunderstorm.

If this is so, then a Bordeaux summer consists of forty English summers in a row.

Here from our lofty perch (fourth-floor balcony) we watch the gardeners moving vast quantities of earth and modelling ponds, troughs, terraces and hillocks. We gaze up and see Kevin our black kite (fr: Milan noir, like the city. "Vous venez d'où ?" "De Milan." "Tiens, ça fait long temps.") making lazy circles in the sky. We watch nasty magpies trying to intimidate a prowling cat. We listen out for ducks and geese in the day and for frogs in the evening. And all this before a single plant is planted nor any tree treed. It's so exciting to think of those future torrential downpours falling on the leaves below.

I scuttled into Bordeaux this afternoon. I wanted to accompany Pat on her walk to her stint in the bookshop, to go into the FNAC, my favourite shop, where I hardly ever go, and then to call to see a friend and arrange a coffee-date. 

On the way back I bought some more socks - I do seem to run short of socks - and then as I headed off to get the tram home some women were walking along with their umbrella up. Everyone was looking at them crazy, but they had the last laugh when sure enough, ten minutes later, the raindrops started. By the time I got home a full-blown thunderstorm was in progress right overhead.

I had neither coat nor umbrella, so I ducked into the multi-storey carpark to get some cover at least, then scampered through the courtyard to the entrance to our building. 

Home and ... sodden.


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