I’m back…
I went to see my eldest son and his family. Unfortunately little Camille, my granddaughter, had her first fever. Worrying and tiring for Ben and Berengere too. But despite feeling very under the weather Camille still tried her best to smile, laugh and engage us.

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We spend time catching up, chatting, laughing, eating delicious meals and relaxing in the glorious weather.

A supper of fragrant, fresh garden pea risotto; the palest, palest green dotted with emerald green peas and rose-pink prawns – silky textured and light, yet full of soul – washed down with glasses of chilled sauvignon blanc. To follow we have Berengere’s meringues; golden spangled and tooth-crisp, melting into snow-sweet softness, topped with strawberries and cream…

Nights are unsettled as Camille struggles with the uncomfortable feelings in her body. Generally so serene, no one is used to her disturbed feelings.

Lunches in the garden of salty, pungent salamis, creamy, nutty cheeses, warm bread and leafy salads dressed with a piquant concoction of walnut oil, crème fresh, mustard and lemon. We drink icy cold cider in stoneware beakers.

Berengere and I spend a hot, sticky, girly afternoon looking for jewellery and a bag to match her new wedding outfit…engrossed, absorbed, talking and gossiping, we have a time consuming success in choosing exactly the wrong thing (we had only bought the sash of the outfit). It didn’t matter. We just laughed!

We have a barbeque; the food is grown by all of us. We sizzled tender, succulent slices of Ruby Red topside, brushed with a drizzle of olive oil and a twist of pepper; grill cobs of pale corn that turn deep, buttery, buttercup-yellow. There’s a large bowl of lightly steamed green beans which we eat with lemon, pepper and a hint of garlic. Artichoke dipped into creamy dressing, and a spicy salad of broad beans, tomatoes and parsley tossed in oil flavoured with cumin, coriander and pepper. Pudding is a simple dish of luscious, honeyed plums (from their tree, groaning with fruit) stewed with a drop of water and a dash of sugar, eaten warm, with fresh, creamy yogurt.

It’s time to go. Camille manages wet kisses and a watery smile.
Not long before the end of September..

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