Yesterday afternoon Saufiene visited with his brother-in-law, an humidity expert. He confirmed Saufien’s judgement that an humidifier is need in the cellar and that, fortunately, the water extraction pump just needs a new filter. The humidifier will mediate the inside and outside temperatures.
In the evening and through the night a spectacular thunderstorm cleared the air. Somewhat. It is still warm and muggy here. A gentle rustling soon developed into a cascade of stair rods splashing off the garden surfaces; dripping off the bracketed outside light, and every other projection, especially the roof tiles; a deafening clattering on the landing skylight; and a trickling into the fireplace. We had established a couple of days ago that the persistent damp patch in the sitting room is the result of there being no cover on the chimney.
I have heard that supermarket carrier bags disintegrate after five years, and are thus biodegradable. Shreds of white material at the foot of the bin in the shower room are evidence of this. The bag lining the inside has not been changed since being inserted in 2009, although the contents have, of course, occasionally been decanted.
Passing through the empty market square on the way to Carrefour this morning I noticed that the horse chestnut tree was laden with fruit, their shells splitting, soon to release lovely brown conkers to hit the ground beneath. In my childhood, had that tree been on Wimbledon Common, there would have been very few conkers on the tree and empty shells and an array of sticks on the ground. The throwing sticks were taken to the trees by countless boys, including Chris and me, over the years. We would chuck them at the nuts that looked ready to fall, thus aiding their release. Whoever threw the stick that brought some down, a mad dash ensued for the spoils bouncing off the grass. I read some years ago about an English head teacher who had banned the game of conkers from her school playground, on the grounds of Health and Safety. Given that the object was to smash the other child’s conker with yours, and that would result in flying bits; and maybe some children wouldn’t have the sense to keep their knuckles out of the way, I suppose she had a point. But it did rather sadden me. I don’t know what current UK policy is.
Although it was to return with a vengeance in the late afternoon, the rain desisted after lunch. This was fortunate because, having fed on a four egg, onion and tomato omelette that looked more like a heap of colourful building rubble which would have graced the Tate Modern, supplemented by a slice of Carrefour pizza, I had a bit of a clean up. Beginning by washing the filthy mop which I could then stick out of the kitchen window to dry, I made the ground floor habitable. The task was hampered somewhat by the need to search for the dustpan which I eventually found protruding from a bucket of dirty water in the attic.
As I sit outside the bar entering this post, I am grateful to my friends who manage it for leaving the awning up. I simply hear the spattering of the deluge, and the cracking of falling conkers on the canvas above me. Given that Fred knows this is what I do on a Sunday to make use of the Wifi, I wondered whether he had left the shelter up for my benefit.