Angus returns from the airport. The Manitou is still parked in the courtyard. There is no sign of the young man . Late in the afternoon he returns with his boss and a small grey van. '' This is my boss " he says introducing me to an older man in grey sweat shirt, grey shorts, grey socks and dark grey sandals. The epitome of grey. After an hour precariously perched on the Manitous extendable arm , the gutters are repaired. New sections safely welded in place. ' I''ll drop the bill off tomorrow ' says the boss displaying a hitherto hidden sense of urgency .
Boy is it hot. Baked by the sun the plane trees are losing their bark. The lawn covered in large sheets of crinkly parchment. Another week of this heat and they'll have shed it all. Much of it manages to fall , annoyingly, into the swimming pool.
The pepper patch a home to a family of toads seeking shelter from the unforgiving sun . I think of shooing them on but leave them in peace. These must be adventurous toads. Most of the others sit on the bank of the village pond dozing in the heat. They don't even bother hopping into the water when the old farmer wanders by. Judging by their numbers and the noise they make 2012 is a bumper year for toads.
Out early. Hugo, the malevolent Maltese, and Brunhilda, the German billionaires dog are patrolling the village. Hugo ignores me. Brunhilda pauses briefly as if to say ' didn't you once know a small white polar bear ?' . They wander off past the war memorial, heads down, important things to be done . The pressure of life in a two dog village.