You have an accent, he remarks, (which can be a polite way of saying your French is rubbish...) and suggests that English people often like the rousse, the darker beer more like an English bitter, it's even made with English hops, or maybe malt - giving me a name I forget now but which I'm sure I've heard Rouchswalwe, our resident brewing expert, mention - and persuades me quite easily to take a bottle of this as well as some of the blonde which I tend to prefer in summer. They are unpretentiously bottled and labelled, and are both very good. Tom has not drunk beer for a long time, but is rather taken with the idea, and we share the bottle of rousse this evening. It has a good head and flavour, and does taste a bit like a nice British bitter. I think I'll go there again.
~ Having swallows as next door neighbours - they're nesting in the garage again - you begin to understand something of their language. The calls this afternoon are quite different from their usual exuberance, or the histrionics provoked by cat, magpie or even sparrowhawk. They are quieter and more earnest, as if they prefer not to waste too much energy. I step outside and see a couple of them pursuing a hobby, at one point seeming to make contact with it. This is quite brave as the small falcon is very agile, and could turn and catch one of them. It wheels round and they chase it quite low overy the roof, so I can see its streaked breast and Egyptian-looking face. I never see one of these birds of prey without an intense feeling of wonder and privilege, though I would be sad if it ever caught one of our swallows.
Hoverfly shenanigens. Not something you see every day. Perhaps not something you'd want to, but I do like hoverflies, so I don't mind them making more.