Friday 24th February. I couldn’t have ordered a more perfect day.
Everything has come out of hiding or hibernation – the air is alive.
The first skink scuttles across the terrace, and the doors are thrown
open for breakfast. The hum of a bee; a fly; a wasp – a clear blue sky:
these are the signs of spring as cobwebs float on the breeze – attached
to the coffee pot and even my hair – golden threads in the light,
revealed only when you stare long enough to catch them on their flight,
constantly moving they are now gone from my sight.
I had to pull out a summer dress, packed away in the cupboard for
months it is now in use, the direct rays too hot for Mina as she curls
under the table. I am looking for a thermometer to measure the maximum.
Now it is a buse who cries in the woods, above the sound of the river
coursing through the valley. The twitters are real – beside me in
the tree – there must be a dozen little feathered friends. I am startled
by the low altitude of a giant black flying creature as it skims across
my head – I still don’t know what they are, and they are back – all summer
they visit the flowers, hovering; a cross between a black bee and beetle
they seem too large to fly, too loud and clumsy as we nearly collide.
36ºC in the sun – the gauge is still mounting – a relief after the
‘minimums’ we have been recording…
The official high for Perpignan today was 21º, the same as the
thermometer in the shade.