View of a wheat field near our village with rolls of hay waiting to be used when winter arrives.
Along with America, Provence is now hot. We had a cold May, a cool June, July was warmer with some cool days and, now, August has arrived and brought hot temperatures along with it. I usually don’t mind. Our house is really well insulated and in the mornings we open the sliding glass doors to let in the cool temperatures-it gets into the 60’s at night-turn on a ceiling fan and it is very comfortable until two in the afternoon or so when we close the shutters part way, close the doors and turn on the air conditioning until the sun goes behind a nearby mountain about eight.
Of course there is always something to spoil things. About a week ago we got into our car and the air conditioner was blowing hot air. This being August when most of France is on vacation, we couldn’t get our car into a place to have it looked at for a week. So we used what my son calls “red neck air conditioning” and rolled down the windows. It’s not too bad that way, not miserable, unless the car has been sitting in the sun in a parking lot somewhere, but still. We took the car in finally to a dealership and sat in their unairconditioned waiting room for well over an hour. By then it was almost 100 degrees outside. I could see air conditioning units in various places around the place but they weren’t turning them on. There was a fan that they finally plugged in which helped some and I glugged down a Coke which I haven’t had in years to try and cool down. When I lived in the States I remembered that almost always, when there is a problem with the air conditioner, it is usually the compressor which, in other words, means big bucks to fix. It turned out that this was what was wrong with our car. Did they have the parts needed there? Of course not. Could they find the parts in Aix, Marseilles or even Paris? No. They had to be ordered from the maufacturer in Germany. We were told it was rare to need a compressor which I find hard to believe but, whatever. So now we wait for over a week before we can go back.
At least we can go back home and get in our swimming pool, right? Wrong. We have slowly been loosing tiles and Maurice, in a fit of perfectionism, between company visiting, had to empty the pool so he could reglue to missing tile-the whole surface is covered in these small blue tiles-then regrout and much as he could. His obsession, of course, means work for me as well as I was out there helping with the part where you take a wet sponge and wipe off the excess grout. In the process, I now have scabs on my finger tips. We had to get up at 6 AM two mornings in a row to escape the heat and work six hours or so until the pool felt like an oven. Now he is letting the pool sit for a few days for everything to dry well before refilling it with water.
We are so spoiled with our air conditioned cars and swimming pools. I remember not having it, especially when I think about a trip as a child in an unairconditioned car from New Mexico to Houston, Texas to visit my grandmother. All she had were fans in each room. Our house in our home town must have been very hot too-but I don’t think any place can be as hot as Houston- but I don’t remember it being so.
So I plan to take it easy and stay indoors as much as possible. By the way, when you are hot and want to say so in French always say “J’ai chaud” which means, to me anyway, “I have hot”. Don’t say, “Je suis chaud” which means I am hot in a, well, slutty way. Don’t ask me how I know this.