Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Ballantine of duck

Ballantine of duck, wine-soaked pear and an apple and apricot chutney
Our meal at Lou Peyrol ( was as good as we’d hoped and the wine Fiona recommended rendered me unfit to drive back to the mill! We didn’t notice until the bottle was two thirds consumed that it was 14.5% proof. Dh had already consumed a Kir Royale, too. Just shows what a hard head he has. We’ve booked again for next Monday – same day, same time, same table. Next time I shall drive us home.

We slept late next morning, and were not the brightest sparks around camp for an hour or two. By the time we were really awake, it was too hot to go out on bikes, or walking, or even to stay in the sun. We did a bit of gardening in the shade under the trees and soon got hot and sticky. After 5pm we tried a short bike ride along the valley to the old church, but it was still too hot, so we cut the ride short and came back to eat dinner on the bolly. The only strange thing in the whole day was that I found half a mouse. Just half a stride off the bolly, little grey hind paws pathetic in the air, a small grey mouse had been neatly severed. If I’d done it with a cleaver, I couldn’t have done a neater job. But what would attack and half a mouse? The head half I never found.

Wednesday is, if anything, even hotter. The forecast is for 31 degrees today and 37 tomorrow, then thunderstorms on Friday. After my long sleep last night, this morning I was awake around five. I finally got up at five minutes to six, when it was just beginning to get light, and re-edited a chapter of the first Matho story. I’m adding more oomph wherever I can, and it is really pulling together. Certainly I’m more certain of Matho’s character than I was when I first wrote the book, so I know how far I can push him now. I'm also finding little inconsistencies of plot. A'hem! Always, always edit your work half a dozen times!

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