My last visitors of summer are due tomorrow.
For G, who has never been to this part before, I'm praying that at least one field of sunflowers will still be upright, not mournfully drooping in their final days.
Her dream is to gaze down a yellow valley at the sweet upturned heads so evocative of the south.
Three weeks earlier she would have had her wish in valley after valley in the pastures of the Gers. Now only the late flowerings cling on and I fear they won't last the night.
For my other guest, I'm praying that the 30 degree temperatures will hold for the visit, allowing her to sunbathe and eat every meal outdoors until the last gasp of the sun explodes in a red sky each night.
Some people blossom in France and find their true place.
M is such a person and had a much-loved second home further north, until, ultimately, greater loves and demands had the deciding pull.
They are coming at what is officially the end of the French holidays; last weekend saw the roads clogged with the exodus north.
Not our roads, of course. Only tractors, combine harvesters and cyclists cause hold-ups here. (Oh, and pissed ex-pats driving cars into ditches.)
We are in the winding-down times, the gradual shutting down before, hopefully, a very late autumn and winter arrive and houses and people turn inward and closed again.
There are still fetes, and the restaurants still fill the terraces and pavements with tables and chairs.
But there's the undeniable sense of a show coming to the last weeks of its run; the props a little tired, the actors ready to move on and find different parts; the audiences dwindling after the initial excitement.
The markets are shrinking too. The stalls of North African pottery and leather goods have moved off to storage units; the spices re-bottled, the bags and purses put back into plastic.
The bottled foie-gras at extortionate tourist prices has disappeared to be replaced by the same jars but at a reasonable cost. The locals now buy again.
The enormous van that disgorges steps of hideous shoes never changes though. It will be there even when the snow hits us as it occasionally does for a day or two.
The children also returned to school today, armed with the extraordinary array of books and jotters demanded by the education system, their backs bowed under the weight.
Despite being often derided as a loser Socialist country, it is good to know that large grants ensure that no child returns without the full kit. And that the system still guarantees full education and support right through university.
Even the bored little groups of adolescents who shuffled around the Halle slurping from cans of beer are now back to the strict confines of education.
"Over so soon" is the refrain. How quickly it went.
We've apparently had the hottest July and August in 100 years. We needed it after a long wet winter and a turbulent spring that saw us all plunge into existentialist despair.
At one point in June, as our villages crouched under heavy grey skies and cold, foreign rain, we lit our fires and pumped our heating and even I contemplated "taking up" things.
It was the usual ex-pat merde: watercolours, bridge, OAP pilates, jam bottling, group dog-walking, quilting, line-dancing….arrgh! Nah, not really. Never. Not for one tiny French seconde.I just stared at my beams, noted the spider webs, switched on Corrie, poured out my misery to all of you and opened another vin rouge.
That is the true vie Francaise for a lot of us, no matter what they say.
Anyway, my guests will be here late afternoon. They will be delighted with their drive through the pristine countryside having walked from the plane into that slap-in-the-face heat.
They will, eventually, after the satnav has taken them up cattle tracks and into the drives of scowling French farmers, arrive chez moi.
They will crunch over the gravel and I will be positioned carefully at the end of my table outdoors, a glass of rose close to my hand, a book casually laid down as I stand up to wave them in.
Hopefully the sky will be blue. The sun hot. Their rooms delightful with the bunches of wild flowers by their bed.
A grizzly old farmer will drive by and wave to me as I hand out the olives and Frenchie things to go with their aperos.
Their sighs and smiles and praise for Las Molieres, with her ugly façade now dressed in vine and jasmine, will make me look at her with a kinder eye.
They will envy my life and I will envy my life. And I will keep quiet my thoughts so as not to disappoint their dreams.
When they praise the silence, I will just nod sort of knowingly.
This time, I promise to myself I will not scream: "Give me noise. Any noise. Now!"
I will be a good ex-pat.
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