2017: The long hot summer

Too long. Too hot. It’s almost September (28 August), but the temperature on our balcony in the shade is 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees F). There have been far too many days with this sweltering heat, even reaching 38/100 a few times. We have learned to live like the locals, shutting all windows and shutters early in the morning. It is like living in a cave, but it does keep things a bit cooler.

I long for the coolness of the mountains…. Soon we will be off, not to the mountains, but north to Germany where far more pleasant temperatures await, alas some rain too. That’s Germany! We need that rain in Provence. No precipitation for weeks. The garden plants are sad, drooping, very thirsty. I am so sick of watering, but I must prevent my precious roses from perishing. My geraniums and petunias have given up – no more blossoms.  Grass — what grass? Nothing but a rock hard brown surface covered with the parched remains of what long ago was lush and green.  It’s strange. We are suffering from excessive heat and drought in Provence.  In  Houston they have Harvey and devastating floods.  Climate change is real.

Following are some photos of summer chez nous. We kept cool, sort of, at a mechoui (lamb roasted on a spit) picnic in nearby Cereste. That lamb was tasty. We had visitors, friends Regis and Britta from Germany with their friends Tobie and Allan from Tucson.  Tobie scoured the antiques shops, finding many treasures which Allan had to squeeze into the rental car trunk.  We are not sure how all that loot made it back to Tucson.Our only trip of the summer was to Paris to see our fabulous American dentist, Dr. Jane. We made time for a visit to the Fondation Louis Vuitton, an architectural wonder.  

summer4We had a cute, tiny Airbnb apartment in the Marais which offered this view (below) from the mini balcony.  This time we did not get locked in (see previous post, “Prisoners in an Airbnb Apartment,” 2016/11/13)I took a cooking course, The Art of Cooking like Chef, at the renowned Cordon Bleu. I failed to master carre de l’agneau  and ended up massacring a beautiful hunk of meat.  More on this sorry tale to appear soon in an article on http://www.travelsquire.com

My rack of lamb looked nothing like this. I failed Cooking like a Chef, but I loved the course anyway.

We were happy to lighten our load at a flea market in Reillanne, our town. It is therapeutic, and we need to part with much more. 

Friends David and Mollie did very well, with many takers for their bargains.

More visitors, Tom and Lisa from our Stuttgart days came with daughter Remy who is named after that town in Provence.  They now live in Middleburg, Va.

More Paris.  Dinner with Leonard and Claudine at an Israeli restaurant where the Shakshuka is excellent (see Shakshuka recipe under Recipes, Meat and Mains, column at right).

Bob bids farewell to Paris, quenching his thirst with a beer at Le Train Bleu while we wait to board our TGV back to Provence.

We had a celebration a few days ago to mark the end of this scorcher of a summer, but no end in sight.  We had fun nonetheless, and delicious food thanks to chefs Victor and Ishmael.

Today’s Taste is a different and tangy take on summer squash and/or zucchini.  Click on squash photo , upper right, for recipe, and scroll down for more recipes.

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Please feel free to comment.  Click below, scroll down to Leave a Reply and add your thoughts.  

16 thoughts on “2017: The long hot summer”

  1. Hi Leah, So glad to read your most recent (I think I was a bit behind in reading your posts) description of your travels. Always enjoy them! I don’t envy you the heat. I’m definitely more a winter person than a summer person. We had about 7 inches of snow the other day, and it was absolutely beautiful. Luckily the snow plows took care of it pretty quickly , so I didn’t have any trouble driving. It’s Christmas today. Merry Christmas, Leah!.


  2. Love this month’s (well, September) column. I’m happy to report that we in Ohio have not had a summer that was too hot. And now blessed fall is coming on. I have started volunteering at the Tiffin Humane Society. I go in and take one kitten at a time out of its crate and play with it and snuggle with it. My own cat Pippin is 15 years old and I don’t think he would take kindly to having a new occupant in the house, so I am sharing my cuddles with others. Hope you are both well. Cheers, Jane

    Liked by 1 person

    1. we just returned from almost a month in Germany where we had gray, dismal days and some rain. Very little sun. It was depressing. Maybe the heat is not so bad after all. Have fun with those kitties. My four plus visitors are a joy.


  3. It’s so wonderful, Leah — even the worst of
    heat doesn’t stop your enjoyment of friends,
    food and travel! As always, c’est tres
    bon! Merci!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So you two are also living like bats during the day?! Our BBC English weather lady is predicting rain for round here thie thurs/fri, but a depressing local I spoke to said “no, not for a month…”. It will be interesting to see what happens -let’s hope the BBC are right!!!!! Take care, b

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It got a bit depressing, living like the bats. But, we escaped and are now in Germany where the weather is fine. And, I understand it did rain back there, so the BBC was right. Maybe the long hot summer is over.


  5. Enjoyed the recap of our summer. Always makes me step back and appreciate my quality of life here in Provence. Although wishing for much-needed rain, I personally hope that the heat never ends. Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Leah ,thank you so much for your ” Summer Tales”” brings us the sights and tastes of a Provençal summer ,as always a joy to read , Tony & Hazel

    Liked by 1 person

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