In years gone by I have learned to be careful about who I told about losing a dog. There are those that understand and those that think that it’s only a dog and the answer is to go straight out and buy another one. A conversation with either is likely to find me in tears. It helps that, at last, summer has finally arrived here in Sud Touraine. Long, hot and sunny days and plenty of the usual activities to distract me from the constant feeling that I have forgotten to do something, of expecting to see her lying in the grass soaking up the sun, or lying in just the right spot to be in the way on the cool tiles when she’s got too warm.
Two weekends ago we went to two outdoor musical events, one an Irish night on the Friday, with fish and chips – some local musicians playing Irish jigs in the square behind the church in the village, fish and chips being served all night by local people, and very good they were too, popular with both French and English customers. It was a great evening and we had a good time but my mind wasn’t quite there as it was too soon, and the photos of the event are poor.
The next evening we went to an annual do called “Les Barroudeurs”, an outdoor music festival down by the river in the next village, Barrou. This year the music was exceptionally good and much more to our taste than in previous years. We had a lovely evening in the company of friends and I began to feel a little bit more like my old self.
Some friends gave us this lovely rose which we have planted in Lulu’s memory next to her favourite spot in the garden. Other friends gave us a climbing plant which we have planted so that it climbs the wall overlooking the same place. How kind people can be when it really matters.
We are trying not to let the loss of Lulu spoil our enjoyment of the summer whilst at the same time not wanting to forget all about her. We just have to get through the first few weeks so that we start to recall the fun part of life with Lulu, not the sadness of her last days.
With that in mind, we at last got round to tidying up the picnic area and bringing it back into commission for the summer. It’s a great place for lunches outdoors, barbecues and long lazy evenings. The house faces south so is in full heat of the sun, but this shelter always provides a shady spot to sit. When we first looked at the house we had no idea how useful it would be.
We have more or less finished the changes to the garden. We have enough flower beds to provide a bit of colour without having to spend hours watering every day. There is a small veg patch where we grow a few beans, cucumbers and lettuces but not so much that we don’t know what to do with them all. There are two rows of tomato plants that we more or less ignore. The biggest job is the weekly mowing of the grass and transporting the sacks of clippings to the déchetterie.
All in all, we are feeling settled here. There are places all around the house where we can sit to either enjoy the sunshine or escape the heat if it’s too hot. As a last resort we can sit indoors, where it is always blissfully cool. And with so much happening, life goes on and is pretty good.