This has been an odd summer as the weather has been much more unpredictable than usual. However, it has been pretty warm and sunny but we have had the odd grey and even rainy day. Chris and Julia arrived on friday 8 August from London – the usual crack of dawn flight from Stansted. I met them at the airport and we picked up the car, went to IKea in Montpellier for some sheets etc plus the cheapest breakfast in France! Carole and Daisy were due into Montpellier at around 5 on Saturday afternoon but their flight had been delayed in Toronto so they didn’t arrive here until 10 that night. Not a good journey. Sunday, however, we went off to the beach, the ladies by car and Daisy and I by scooter. A very relaxed day and everybody got caught up. Monday Daisy started her horse riding again at Les Trois Fontaines – she only had a week this year and mornings only but she had a great time. This was the year that we discovered Lidl – a sort of no-frills supermarket withsubstantial savings on everything from milk to wine. There is also a real art store now in Clermont called Dalbe which is part of a chain which is much cheaper than Mr Bricolage or Five Magic Fingers. During the vacation we had many tasty meals at home, partially due to my new oven but mainly because of having two good cooks around. We also had some memorable meals out too. One day we drove over to Mont Aigoual north of Montpellier and had a great lunch at La Cravatte and then last night we went to La Palombe which is situated just outside Octon in what was once a deserted hameau. It is miles from anywhere up a long narrow road but the food was superb. Best to check first though as there is only one menu. Chris went back to England last Tuesday and Julia leaves tomorrow morning. Carole, Daisy and I are going up to Paris by train on Thursday and then flying to Toronto Friday. C’est le fin d’été.