Today marks the end of our fourth week in France for this trip. In those four weeks we have enjoyed just five days of sunshine and one of those was the day we arrived. The last week has been a complete wash-out and today, once again, we are inside sheltering from lashing wind and rain. Other than the fact that there are leaves on the trees, it feels and sounds like winter outside. The middle of June in the south of France and I’ve put our heater on. Fans of France as we may be, Francine and I are both getting pretty cheesed-off with it now.
In Provence the forecast for tomorrow, the summer solstice, is for a high of 21°C. It’s almost unbelievable. We know that parts of Spain have also been suffering from poor weather and we were told that Greece has had unseasonably low temperatures also. Together with the fact that it is the southern half of France that is being battered, it sounds as though there is a particularly nasty weather system positioned over the Mediterranean. It seems to be stuck.
Several years ago we realized that we could buy the occasional Aujourd’hui newspaper to follow the weather prospects; it carries a weather forecast from Meteo France for today and three days hence. Being a realist about we humans’ ability to understand and forecast weather systems, I tend to regard the third and fourth day as a complete guess but today and tomorrow are normally a reasonable guide. The forecasts for the past week have been cruelly tantalizing. We’d buy a newspaper showing the day after tomorrow as having a little improvement in our meteorological fortunes with even more improvement on the fourth day. Two days later we’d buy another paper and, lo and behold, more rubbish today and tomorrow with the situation improving thereafter. When we arrived here yesterday, we were told that the weather was expected to start improve this afternoon but it has completely collapsed. Today we bought a paper that shows it improving in two days time. It’s a lot like waiting for Godot.
As I recall, Godot never showed up.