Summer has well and truly arrived . The mercury soaring past 100 for the third day in a row. All the small French villages we drive through on our way home lost in a dreamy , lavender scented, lethargy . As we turn along the lane towards the house the sound of Abba's " soo-per-troo-per" can be heard wafting , jauntily, across the village green . In our absence , Madame Bay , the saintly housekeeper, has been busy . The floors washed and polished . All the unused dog medicines taken to the vets and the old dog toys and bedding to the animal sanctuary . The rugs from the hallway aired in the sun . With everything in its correct place the house now looks , and smells, pristine . Somehow, without randomly scattered squeaky toys and water bowls , it's strangely characterless.
The same cannot be said about Madame Bay. Today she is in her summer outfit. This consists of a white turban held in place by a large ruby coloured brooch and a seemingly endless length of white chiffon wrapped, toga like, around her Rubenesque figure . She greets us , passionately, feather duster in hand . '' M'Ongoose. I'm so glad you're safe ! The roads are so busy ! " . This is repeated a second time in case I didn't understand it the first time round .