Ah, the French summer is in full swing – the Tour de France and Bastille Day.
There was a huge military parade in Paris this morning, and this evening everywhere in France from the smallest village to the capital itself, the French will be out marking the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille and the start of the French Revolution on July 14th 1789 – there will be drinking, dancing and firework displays.
Of course it might be a public holiday, however there are plenty of small shops and supermarkets open today – we are right in the middle of the summer sales. I guess French public holidays are getting more like the British ones – they are national shopping days. And at the hypermarket this morning, there was a long line of people at the checkout, all laden down with meat and wine – guess they’ll be firing up the BBQs tonight.
Public holiday or not though, life goes on, the neighbours were out early this morning in the garden, tending their vegetable patch.
« It’s a bad year for veg » muses my neighbour Michel – scorched earth and puny veg. He doesn’t so much put it down to the weather. No, this is the fault of the ozone layer – or the lack of it. « Earth’s to dry for water » says Michel. « You can Water the plants all you want, but the earth won’t retain the water and the water won’t get down to the roots. »
Michel’s magnificent vegetable patch is looking pretty misérable – puny pumpkins, miniscule melons, tired tomatoes and all the plants have dried or burned leaves.
Seems like even in the garden, we are finally reaping the results of global warming.
« No point watering then » I inquire.
« Not really » says Michel, so we crack open a ciuple of beers and sit down to watch the Tour de France on TV.