The morning mists caress the fields then dissipate. The usual autumnal feel of this time of year is absent. There’s still a warmth in the air that invites you to relax in the light of a benevolent sun. Summer clings on. Laure needs to collect her car from a nearby village. On our way, a full-grown doe darts across the road in front of us. Her large head is erect, almost thrown back, yet her fine legs propel her in front of an oncoming juggernaut. It looks as if collision is inevitable. It’s too late for brakes.
Miraculously she springs to clear his barrelling trajectory by centimetres.
The whole incident takes less than ten seconds, but will stay with me, in slow motion, for life.
We collect the car and return to share a last lunch: a delicious home-made chicken casserole. It is fragrant with the aroma of fine herbs. We enjoy a glass of wine and before I leave, I look at the sweet chestnuts gathered yesterday at the Château d’Orion.
Everything gleams in the early afternoon sunshine, rich with the promise of adventure.