Here is it, the first day of autumn and it’s +33 C. Provence has certainly delivered a full summer season, and one might think it will never end. I am certainly hoping so.
This has been the sunniest, warmest and most amazing September I can recall. It’s normally a lovely month with lots of heat throughout. But not usually with this consistency and typically there is some rain. This year it’s bone dry, no precipitation in the forecast until well into October. I know this doesn’t bode well for the state of climate change, but I can’t help wish it was toujours l’été.
It’s been a hectic week since Jason left, and it feels like he’s been gone ages. I wish every day he was still here to enjoy it with me, but it’s also a time for me to hunker down and get some things done.
This year I’ve met a whole new group of winemakers and I am trying to get around to see them all, get some projects off the ground and learn as much as I can from them. It’s exciting and fun, but it does take time. As does my work, visiting friends and getting a bike ride every day. So, the time is rushing by without hesitation, and it’s impossible to make these last weeks stretch any further.
This past week my lovely friend Didi came all the way from Chambéry to see me with a trunk full of treats from the Savoie. The weather was spectacular, and I had planned to take her on a beautiful bike ride with a stop for a drink in one of the most picturesque villages around here. But as things go, this is not what happened. Earlier on the day she was arriving, I was out for a cycle when 20 kilometres from home I broke my shift lever. I had one, very difficult gear to ride home with, and a lot of hills to climb. It was hot, and it felt like my legs might explode. When I arrived home, I found the part online and while waiting for it to arrive, I decided to rent a bike for a few days. When we picked the bike up I assumed I could lower the seat to the correct height when I got it home. After putting on my pedals and getting ready to go, I went to adjust the seat, but it wouldn’t lower. There was something stopping the seat post from going any further down. Exhausting our options with nothing else to do, I rode it back to the shop barely able to reach the pedals for six kilometres. Didi came along, and when we arrived, the owner was less than helpful. He is truly an unpleasant person; he looked at us as though we were annoying him and said there was nothing he could do. Tant pis. Here we were six km from home in bike shoes, two people and one bike. Didi immediately said for me to take her bike and she’d start walking back. She had regular shoes and I awkwardly rode her awesome electric bike with the wrong shoes. It was a gong show, and not how we imagined our day together.
2018 has been like this for so many of my close friends. It’s been an ongoing struggle peppered with occasional good moments. While I am desperate to hold on to my time here in this summery place, I will also truly welcome the end of this year with the hope things will improve next year. The moral of the story? Even if it seems like paradise and the weather brilliant, life is never perfect, so make sure to recognize and appreciate the amazing bits every time they arrive.