~ ' I do like hearing the kids next door' says Tom.
Marcel and Michel, the francophone Dutch-Thai métissés infants next door are squawking at about average levels, not quite the tantrums of about 10 minutes earlier, nor the rather infectious giggling of ten minutes later. I am immediately suspicious; as far as I'm aware, Tom's subscription to the Friends of Herod has not been allowed to lapse, yet his tone sounds sincere.
He continues 'because it reminds me that they're there and not here.'
~ I sit in the shade of the laurel hedge and write an e-mail, it's good to be able to do this without being cooped up indoors and tied to the computer desk. Out of the open French doors ( and no, not all doors, or windows, here are French, exactly!) floats a Vaughan-Williams symphony.
~ You can hear them cutting the second field of barley in this hot dry spell. I take Mol down the road, and find Gwen and the children, our former next-door neighbours, watching their dad working the combine. They left over two years ago, but the house is still empty. We've missed having them around, Tom included, Friends of Herod notwithstanding. We chat for ages, and it feels quite like old times. I ask what they'll do with the house. Gwen says they don't really know, they could sell it, but Sebastian, the 10 year old, won't hear of it, he wants it for when he grows up. He loves the house and has good memories of living here, she says.
The gateway to the Manoir de Vauclair, the only listed heritage building in our commune. Once part of a long ancient perimeter wall, only this arched entry way remains. A 'pinhole' setting this one, of a number taken in response to a departmental competition for photos of these listed structures. Not sure whether to submit any of them. They stipulate no edited images, not sure what that means nowadays, and the pinhole might be ruled out. But the lonely leftover gateway in the middle of fields and nowhere is an intriguing spot.