Our wine cuves are still in northern France despite days on the phone and visiting transporters to beg them to bring them to us in time for the vendange - or indeed ever. We're having no luck with it at all. Looks like all our grapes will have to go to the cave co-operative in Roujan. We'd been very much looking forward to having a go at turning some of our Syrah into stuff that turns our tongues blue. But hey ho.
Meanwhile we are having a charmed summer on the guest front. Not only has it been our best season ever bookings-wise, we have had a stream of utter charmers. Everyone's been a complete delight. Ali and I feel very unstressed thanks to having such lovely, kind, thoughtful and easy people to stay. Thank you, each of you. We've loved having you here - and doesn't the old house smile when it's full of happy people?
We have just five weeks to go before then end of our season and as I sit here in lightweight summer clothes in brilliant sunshine it's hard to bring myself to phone the log man to ask for a delivery of 12 cubic metres of logs for the winter. But if I leave it until we actually need it he won't have any - or it'll be sopping wet and impossible to heave into neat stacks. Both Ali and I look forward to winters here. I can't say I felt the same when I lived in England. I love the crisp chill that puts a spring in your step, the bright sunny days that mean you can work outside, even if you have to wear a thick jumper. I'm looking forward to days cool enough to tidy up the garden, giving everything a haircut that will last the winter. Everything smells different as September rolls past. The air fills with the scent of smoke from wood-burners stuffed with fruit woods and oak.
But before then the air will be infused with the sharp smells of grape juice running through the streets. Small tractors will hurry along towing great trailers heaped with grapes, small blackboards on the back marked with the variety of grape. They'll deposit a trail of juice which will leave us in no doubt about how this region earns its keep. As one drives along towards Pezenas great draughts of wine-perfume blast out from the Cave Cooperative and Domaine Bourdic and the Chartreuse de Mougeres and Domaine de Montpeyrat and Chateau Fondouce - and all the other thousands of wine producers here in the Languedoc.
And the great thing is, it just happens.