On Thursday morning while I was still asleep my boyfriend made the aquaintance of a visitor who was enjoying the refreshing atmosphere of our pool.

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He was not intending to tell me about the pool intrusion, thinking it might put me off future swims, but of course the pictures on the camera revealed the truth. But if I was squemish about sharing a pool with a friendly, if rather ugly, toad, I would never be able to swim in lakes or the sea. One can only imagine what lurks in the depths of natural bodies of water.

That morning dark clouds hung in the air unwilling to budge, but the temperature was still pleasantly warm, even after the previous nights rain. I finished the book I was reading and begun another, sitting on the terrace with a view over the lake. For some reason I was feeling very sleepy, and finally decided to have an invigorating dip in the pool, in spite of the weather. Without the incentive of the heat, it took me half an hour to pick up the courage to actually enter the pool, but once in the water it was not too cold. Loki did not see my being in the pool as an obstacle for a fun game of fetch, so my swim suffered some interruptions.

Loki interruting my swim

As I had hoped my sleepiness was chased away by the cool water and afterwards I thoroughly enjoyed some well deserved cake and tea on the terrace.

Tea and cake in Darnius

During our dinner the sun broke through the clouds bathing the terrace in light and warmth and in the evening I enjoyed some sunny reading, before retiring to the fireplace.

Reading in the evening sun

Loki in front of the fire

Our final day was not only cloudy but also rainy and cold. As usual I took my breakfast on the terrace, but soon had to escape inside when drops of rain began making wet patches on the pages of my book. My boyfriend proposed a theory for the increasingly bad weather. It was meant to prepare us for the return to Brussels. We had the chill, the uniformly bland grey sky, the drizzle, all that was missing was the people, the pollution, the houses and the traffic. A short while later an infernal noise broke the silence of the valley. Bikers were passing us on a road which had seen traffic density of less than one car a day until then. The theory seemed more and more plausible.

Greyest day by far

Spending the day inside caused some mishaps. We broke a candle cup and Loki wagged his tail eagerly, toppling a cup of coffee onto the white rug. Adding this to the plate and electrical orange press we broke earlier in the week, I was wondering if we would be welcome back for another holiday. I also managed to throw Loki’s toy over the hedge necessitating a recovery operation among hostile Mediterranean vegetation. Adding to these small disasters we discovered a tick buried in Loki’s neck in the evening. Our attempt at extracting it involved the supreme effort of holding Loki in place while we struggle to pinpoint the exact spot and push aside the fur around it. Eventually we managed to remove the bloodsucking little insect, but not without pulling of some of Loki’s fur in the process. He looked at us with wounded eyes and escaped to his pillow. Unfortunately this was not the last tick we discovered that evening, and most of the extractions did not go smoothly.

All in all, our final day in Darnius was not the best one of the holiday, but I guess too much perfection would have made our return to rainy Brussels all the more sad. And the air was still fresh and the birdsong beautiful. The chilly weather also gave us the excuse to enjoy the fireplace all day long! So the silver lining did decorate the bleak sky of Darnius on our last day.