Patrick, one of our neighbours, arrived at our house yesterday afternoon with a box piled high with sun warm mirabelles that he had just picked from one of his trees. He’s not a man of many words but the words he has , in my experience over the last 10 years, are good kind words. The plums were in payment for pictures that I had done of his vintage tractor which I think is a very acceptable fee. Mirabelles become eau de vie, jam, tarts and compotes and the smell of them cooking creates an atmosphere of “convivialité” which is real currency. There is a feeling in the air that tells me that high summer is already preparing to set off to the south. It’s a feeling that I remember from my teenage years when the last days of what I had hoped would be endless summer holiday were clearly in sight. The sun is lower and the nights are beginning to close in. Market stalls are beginning to fill with the warmer colours of plums and the russets, golds and reds of pears and apples. Today I’m going to cook some of the golden mirabelles with a few dark plums to make a version of a Nigel Slater recipe, “Plum Crumble Tart”, that I saw on Gourmandistan, a well written blog that is packed with good things to cook and which I avidly follow. In fact the two writers of this blog are coming to France very soon to spend a day with us at Camerahols to learn a bit more about their cameras, Photoshop and photographic technique. Have a good Sunday.