Our house is heated by old cast-iron radiators, which are heated in turn by a fire that I feed with brush and logs collected from the surrounding forest. (I didn't do the collecting.) Rather than the simple business of adjusting one single little well-designed electronic dial like I used to in Amsterdam, I find myself going through the house twice daily loosening and tightening all the overly sensitive knobs. It makes me notice the changing weather more. The wind blows, and some of the rickety shutters groan on their hinges. In our bedroom, the northwest Tramontaine--the less famous cousin to the Mistral--moans and howls through a side crack of the window. Max points with delight at the scudding clouds (which race like in that Madonna video, where she goes all mystical and witchy, with her hennaed swerving fingers). Same wind slices through Sophie, that little person who barely ever willingly wore a coat far further north. She wants to find her heavy woolen scarf. Let's see, which unmarked box would that be in? I refuse to put on gloves just yet! We live in a place where the long parched summer can be followed by a monsoon of an autumn. The degree of moisture makes you consider taking up boat-building. On the way to the village, at least three stone walls have crumbled into the road. There is now a gully going through our "drive"-way... The wisteria has given up the ghost, the terrace is barer for it. The seat cushions are back in the attic. The lemon treelets have been hibernating in the orangeraie. What are we still doing here?
Oh, yes. We've got that view. Just have to enjoy it from inside the kitchen for a bit.