As I write this, I am listening to One-Way Pendulum by The Johnny Scott Quartet and watching the start of a thunderstorm. It is one of those August evenings where the gaps in the clouds illuminate the sunflowers, and if I were feeling even more pseud-like than usual, I would say the atmosphere is positively Pre-Raphaelite. But I decided not to.
Of course, the Chateau has diversions aplenty – and for all ages, to use a popular cliché. How different it is from the holidays of one’s youth when wet days meant card games, arguments, and, worst of all, a screening of Carry On England in the caravan site social club. I am still convinced that some guests/inmates were caught trying to dig an escape tunnel under a 1963 Hillman Minx.
But the Chateau is a place to accommodate all moods and seasons. Some guests celebrate, and joyously too – a birthday, a graduation, an anniversary. Others need time to reflect, for life cannot be so much frantic as frenetic. When the sun shines, it is pleasant to lie in the grass and watch the insects dance, oblivious to the sounds of domesticity from the main building. It is often only when you feel the cool of the evening and the faint sight of Venus that you realise you have been there for hours.
And that is important as staging a barbeque or taking a trip into the village.