The milky but nevertheless strong sun as late at five in the December evening creates shadows not there in the summer months when I usually find myself perched above the Lot on some affleurement deep in the hills. And what joy of colour, silence and warmth with an autumnal scent of ever so slowly rotting oak leaves that dance up in whisps in the breeze.
And just down the valley the pre-Christmas market around the large church in Praysaac is packing away its local cheese, soiled and knobbly vegetables and taking back the lucky caged capons to live a little longer with its mates back home. In an hour the bustle and chatter has evaporated and the shutters on the cafes come down and Christmas is upon them with celebrations with oysters, magret or extraordinarily decorated patisseries and the time is punctuated by small slices of warm foie gras on toast with sweet white wine from places like Monbazillac a few miles to the north.
and so we walk home amongst the walnut groves in the clear strong air
and the scraggy pockets of sheep with woodpeckers drumming aloft all with deep shadows from the low angles of light that become so obvious at this time of year.