It’s pouring. Water seeps into the apartment, my clothes feel damp. My car smells like wet wool and rubber, for some reason. Water streaks the windows. The garden is sodden. Birds huddle in sullen silence or flap doggedly through the gray sky. When the sky clears – even if it’s just a minute – sunlight dazzles on puddles. Today is summer solstice. Supposedly there will be a full moon, but with the clouds, will we even see it? Perhaps it will clear up enough to let us get a glimpse of the Solstice moon. 

After the soccer game, we are planning to go out and walk through the village. It’s the music festival here in France, and in Mantes there are bandstands set up in the square and street musiciens on every corner. The music varies from rock to classical to jazz – last year we sat at a café and listened to a string quartet play jazz. The year before we hung out in front of a rock band. You never know what you’ll find.

It’s melancholy weather. Summer is tomorrow, but it doesn’t feel as if we’ve had a spring. The wheat is rotting in the fields here, the rivers and streams are swollen. Usually, by this time of the year, I have been riding my bike down the riverside,  Julia is jogging, and we go for long walks on Sunday with Kalin. This year, I’ve ridden my bike once. The river walkway is flooded. Kalin doesn’t really mind stayig in his field and eating grass – he has his freind Pain d’Epice, a chunky little chestnut horse, to keep him company. But he must miss our long walks in the countryside – I know I do!