I DON’T think Las Molieres has ever looked more beautiful than now as all reaches full maturity in my parc and on my house.

Last year, the jasmine that climbs up the wall by the main door, failed to flower.

Now, as if to apologise for that oversight, it has erupted in a profusion of white flowers and an almost overpowering perfume that hints at somewhere far more exotic.

Yellow, red and pink roses vie to compete, but it’s necessary to bend to smell their far gentler, old world scent.

The cliched geraniums so beloved in rural France, are splashed in pots striving for symmetry all around; some intermingled with lobelia and nasturtium.

The circular and demi-lune beds, filled with Mediterranean plants whose names I forget, have grown up in less than two years and plumped upwards and out, settling comfortably as if always at home there.

Many, such as those in the blousy, overblown mound that now so richly rises from a once derelict plot, have been grown to attract butterflies, bees and hummingbird hawk moth.

They’re already pulsing and breathing with life as they gather the precious nectar and I feel at least I’m trying my best to preserve this vital life.

New lavender has again been planted to replace the dying and the dead. Lavender is tricky here as it prefers the more arid plains of further south but I refuse to give up on it.

The rich green of the Virginia creeper now enfolds LM in a possessive grip and reaches its way up to infiltrate the tiles of the roof, soon to be cut away before any damage can be done.

Plum, apple, fig, almonds and olive trees are overloaded and more prolific than I’ve ever seen them; the grass seeds, planted in the ugly scar caused by the new drains, has already flourished to obliterate the necessary damage of the diggers.

Hedging from laurel cuttings has grown to provide a half-screen by the pool and is helping to hide its over-ground ugliness.

In its sparkling depths there is no pretence at creature conservation; that cleanliness maintained by chemicals and regular ‘hoovering.’

All it needs now is the constant high temperatures we’re used to, to heat up its still, to me, icy waters.

I, or rather the pool man Ian, keep it pristine, even if, these days, few climb the shaky ladder into its refreshing pleasure.

My left leg, with its plate and nails holding it together, has remained an unstable, rather weak limb and the wide threads of the ladder could be Mt Everest, such is the effort to reach step two.

Rosemary Goring: All the chat these days is about the rattle of wounded knees

But it is there for guests and on open invitation locally to any who wish to use it. I gaze longingly into it or lean over and move my arms in imitation of a breast stroke.

In my first years here, the joy when the canicule (heatwave) hit, of climbing in and floating, singing to myself, was beyond compare. I would laugh out loud as I lay looking up at an impossibly blue, cloudless sky.

At least, thank God, I lived enough in the moment to relish such pure happiness before the troubles came.

But that’s all our lives, non, if blessed to live long enough? There is no easy, unscathed way through this helter-skelter which has only one outcome for us all.

Learning to adapt, to switch course, to still the now unreasonable yearnings of flight, is the gift of our humanity.

It all though comes at a cost we have to pay both literally and mentally and physically.

I could, and should, make my life financially easier by having no need for gardener, handyman or cleaner, by living in an apartment with, say, just a balcony.

All take every centime I have but I eat little (wine is not a luxury); no longer need stylish clothes; well any new clothes; can’t fly any more and go nowhere much.

So, such thoughts are easily dismissed, particularly when I look out and see Cesar, the size of a Shetland pony, cantering around in glorious freedom. He could not live such a new life.

Portia, another Afghan and my initial companion in this new existence, was also my excuse for not leaving for an easier time further south by the sea. "I’ll move when she dies," I told friends.

She died and my door to freedom and a glitzier life was tantalisingly open. I knew I was never a country girl.

Within months I had closed it again with the arrival, against all advice, of another Afghan, Cesar. And we know all that happened next….le sigh.

Tomorrow and over the next month or so, friends will visit and all will look with joy and a touch of envy upon my life. I think.

And then they will return to, actually, a far simpler life in their cities.

Life isn’t simpler or cheaper here – it just looks that way. Or we make it seem so, so as not to tread on your hopes or dreams.

Perhaps, subconsciously, on buying Cesar, I made my choice. Bizarre. I still don’t understand why.

Rosemary Goring: All the chat these days is about the rattle of wounded knees