We’re having a heat wave – it hasn’t been so hot in ages, and we can’t water gardens or wash our cars. I actually don’t mind the heat – but it is odd to see the grass and leaves turning brown so soon. Autumn seems to be already here. The sunsets are yellow, dust hangs in the air. The feilds are bare – shaved of their crops, and there is a quiet, end-of-summer feeling in the village. Even the dogs are too hot to bark. Pretty soon the village children will be back from their vacations and there will be shouting, the sounds of skate boards and bike bells, and by then the chestnuts will be ripe and so will the apples. I never liked spring much – but I love the end of summer. The ground is so hard it might be frozen, and the sky, in the afternoon, is a blue teacup overhead. Heat mirages shimmer on the road and rooftops, and the dogs won’t leave the hallway, lying on the cool tiles all day long, only moving to change position – from back to side to stomach – with wagging tails to chase away the sleepy wasps.