July 2011

A week of three halves. The first: Miserable, wet and depressing like the previous week with a mix of heavy rain and drizzle. The second: Sunny and warm with some clouds and temperatures in the highs 20s. The third: A cold lager in the square in Lalinde, watching one of the bands in the free annual Tradigourdines two-evening festival.

I looked up the ‘normal’ weather for the region last week and temperatures are supposed to have been in the 30-35C region for the whole of July. Those 10-15 degrees really make a difference.

Packing suggestion: A mixed bag, with stuff to keep you warm when cold, and other stuff to keep you cool when hot.

Unrelenting rain, day and night, almost all week. Without doubt the most miserable weather we can remember. And unheard of in July, according to our retired neighbour who has lived here all his life.

Damp, depressing, and disastrous for one family who decided to head home on Tuesday (it wasn’t a total washout for them – they’d been in Provence for a week already – but nobody wants to see their guests leave early).

Suggested clothing: Jumpers, waterproofs, wellies, umbrellas and everything else you’d need for a holiday in the UK.

Some of the heaviest rain we have seen but (thankfully) not all the time. A few days of fine weather with enough sunshine to make a trip to the lake at Lanquais worthwhile, though not especially hot.

Very unlikely this was a typical July week, unless you mean the British usage of the word, as in: ‘Wait all year for my holiday, go to the South of France and it rains – typical!”

Suggested clothing: Everything you’d need for a British summer’s day, including shorts, T-shirts, shades, long trousers, waterproofs, sweater, all-terrain shoes and a dry sense of humour. Needful to say, the guests loved it.

Dry and hot all week (high 20s to low 30s), though frequently overcast, ending last night with the loudest thunderstorm for two years and about an inch of rain.

Suggested clothing: As light as possible, and appropriate swimwear for trips to the river in Le Buisson. Long trousers and hoodie for the evenings. Some kind of waterproof for the rain forecast today.

After a staggering amount of work, with a couple of tweaks still to do, we have become a two-yurt campsite. Here’s the second yurt platform before the frame went on…

And afterwards…

Needful to say, we are having a relatively lazy day today and looking forward to that ‘relaxing French lifestyle’ we came here to enjoy. (A lifestyle that evades everyone we know.)

Unrelenting blue skies and sunshine. The highest temperature was Monday at 44C in the shade, but there were plenty of days from the high 20s to the mid 30s. Something for everyone who likes it hot. A distant, rainless thunderstorm one night.

Suggested clothing: As little as possible. A jumper or hoodie still needed for the first hour of the day (depending on when you get up, obviously).