Hello Dear Reader. I’m not talking about the song by Earth Wind and Fire, but the month. At least it’s being an ear worm and I can hear you hear you singing it in your heads. I’m talking about September, the month, the return. We have accomplished our re-entry into our everyday lives, and the routine that was missing in August is back. The days are slightly cooler and have become more agreeable. Instead of 33°C, we are back down to 23°C. The nights are slightly cooler too and we no longer need our fans on all night like we did in August. When it’s hot, some people are in their element. I, however, am not one of those people. When you’re cold, you can always put a jumper on, and have a cup of tea and go inside. But as contradictory as I am, as one friend recently pointed out to me, I do enjoy sitting outside on a Summer’s eve having a beer or three…
I love the holidays that August is famous for, but the obligation to enjoy yourself every day during these days of relative freedom is a pain in the arse. I don’t want to be melancholic, but this forced enjoyment of a good time is too much for me. Club Med would be a nightmare! I like my routine back. Back at work and happy to be there. We still have our weekends and can still enjoy them. The jumpers are still in storage, but you hear the word “mi-saison” as the announcer of a more bearable climate. The French news has gone the rentrée clips to showing how our Dear President has not been as good at selling submarines as other countries that can offer different and possibly more desirable options… The Voyages à Nantes is over, and we will look for those works of art that have become permanent. You can see grapes in the supermarkets, and other more autumnal products. Soon we’ll be talking about the wine harvest… In the UK it will be words like “chilly” making their return to everyday usage. The merits of a “nice cup of tea” which will warm you up will become an object of conversation once more. Biscuits or cake?
My daughter was born in September and this week is her birthday. She will be twelve going on thirty. I think she should run for President, as she seems to know everything already. Let her fix the country. If people go on strike, she could always sulk in her room and go on her phone… That’ll show them! At least she takes the dog out for walks around the village. As any doting gather, I think she’s brilliant and can be hilarious and despite hating and eye rolling at my dad jokes, she still seems to enjoy them. She can also turn into a she-devil at any instant and I’m trying to work out whether this is traumatic for me or just making life a little more interesting than it once was.
Molly, I think I’ve introduced her to you, is now a deb at the grand old age of 10, and has made her grand entrance in the pub, where I can be found from time to time, enjoying a pint of overpriced Guinness. Me, that is, not the dog. That dog of ours is one clean living dog, or a total abstainer! She attended a Saturday night at the pub, and was noticed and loved by everyone. She received strokes galore, was made a fuss of, and even had a couple of chips as a treat from the chip shop down the road. My major concern was that I would lose her, but my hand stayed firmly on the lead, and the only trouble was her getting tangled in chairs. I was amazed by the reaction to her, and she might be allowed to come out with me more often. She’ll keep her canine eye on me, making sure I don’t get into any trouble. It’s amazing how that mutt has worked her way into my heart and is a real doggie dog, and always seems happy to see me. To be honest, she’s happy to see everyone, but she knows how to make you feel special, in a way that only a dog can. Unfortunately she can, with time, and dirt on her, become a little stinky-poohs, and on Tuesday I came home and gave her her cuddle, discovered a dog that had been to doggie hairdressers and was now as soft as you wish, trimmed up, and smelling lovely. Maybe not as pleasant as finding a banknote hidden away in your wallet, but not half bad anyway!
This is supposed to be a photography blog, or at least from time to time, so let me tell about where I am on the photographic plain. I’m still there. Last weekend was the Journées du Patrimoine. I could have gone into Nantes with my camera, and visit all those places not usually open to the public and get some more “exclusive” photos, but went to Clisson instead. I never got there. I had the Mamiya and a couple of rolls of film with me. Exploring some of the local villages near where I live, I even managed to go to the Château de la Preuille, a local castle that has been a favourite of mine since arriving in St Hilaire in 2001. With Medium format film, you get 12 images with each film when shooting with the Mamiya C220, and the amount of detail that is captured on the negative is amazing. The project was to take pictures locally and see what I could get, and the restriction of 24 shots was interesting too. It obliges you to make that little extra effort when composing your images, as you don’t want to waste that special film. If this article has photos, then it means that I have developed my film before Friday at 17h. Otherwise, they’ll have to be added later on. UPDATE: It appears that you will have to wait for the photos of Château de la Preuille but they will be put on here. For the moment, you get a bit of Saint Hilaire.
I shall continue to revel in this comparatively cooler weather, with the sunshine, and not much rain forecast for the next ten days. I look forward to seeing you in my next article. Until then, be good, and if you can’t be good, then be careful!