Dispatches to Sir Kev Dutton from the Tarn et Garonne

Cher Kev,

As you are aware Kim, Asta and I are in south west France.  The journey was arduous and difficult. So much so that our first meal en France was a MacDonalds.

It has been very hot. Today is the first day when the temperature permits the wearing of long trousers. Believe me, has been insufferable. Fortunately the heatwave – in the high 30s – broke last night with a dazzling thunderstorm that went on all night, the lightning illuminating the countryside for miles. Thankfully Asta was unperturbed. She’s a brave pup. The air is much fresher today and I for one feel sensibly attired. With luck tonight I’ll be able to accompany my slacks with one of the two blazers I packed: I favour the powder blue linen. We’ll see.

the harvest is in

the harvest is in

The house is charming. Very basic and ever so hippie. There are horses, that Kim thinks might be Arabian, at the foot of the garden. The owners are Dutch farmer/bakers. Hubert is charming with a beard, and she, her name Anke, is leggy, and gamine, with skin the colour of tobacco, and very gorgeous. They are vegetarian of course, which is making me a bit worried about the inevitable aroma from our lamb bbq this evening. Yesterday Hubert rushed to harvest the corn  before the storm and I assisted, shoveling corn from the back of a truck that I am assured was built in 1957.

The tastiest tomatoes around here are oddly shaped, but the wine is excellent and, as you ask, I am down to my last three Havanas, which is a concern.

We swam in a river the other day and local French people (with an excellent wine cellar the husband dug himself (!) below the cuisine)  invited us to dine al fresco. The food was divine; Toulouse sausage and beans and cherries soaked in Eau de Vie with ice cream for desert. My host introduced me to a fabulous white wine from the Jura region.

You ask about music, of which I was prepared. Current play list includes The Basement Tapes, soundtracks Blade Runner and One From The Heart, Daniel Melingo, the Esbjorn Svensson Trio, Lady Day, and Exile On Mainstreet – the digitally remastered version that is excellent. As I write I am listening to my latest, Way Down Low by Kat Edmonson. I can’t stop playing the track Lucky. She is American but looks Swedish.

I have done some writing, but not enough. Friends arrive today and tomorrow.

I’ll send another bulletin in due course.

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