As I write this blog, Mike Vickers’s theme for Press for Time is playing in the background. The reader may be forgiven for wondering what, if any, is the connection between high summer in the Loire Valley and Norman Wisdom’s last mainstream film, unless I am aiming to create an alarming form of performance art. In fact, the plagent notes of the score – one of the finest of the 1960s – perfectly coalesces with the mood of a warm evening. Perhaps it is the quality of the light or the prospect of days without duties but the music and the atmosphere at the Chateau conspire to allow my cares to slowly escape from their moorings,

And this is the month for relaxation if, like me, you are middle-aged, beset with responsibilities and totally at a loss to comprehend much of contemporary life. When you are in your late teens, this is the month of fear and trepidation; the time of the year when GCSE and A-Level results arrive. But if you were born in the year of Abbey Road and the Moon Landing, there is time to enjoy the fauna and the flora. Sun flowers may be seen across France, but they seem especially radiant in this part of world. The ancient Greeks believed that they  followed the path of Apollo throughout the day and at times it is pleasant merely to observe them, as the day drifts by.

Next month is the time of the harvest and for many of us, September is the time for a new beginning; a new term at school or university or perhaps the commencing of a training course. But for now, it is good to feel a sense of unburden on a day in August, when the sole concern is selecting the most appropriate  music….