Searing heat this morning and by 9.00am it's too hot to walk Biff en plein campagne, so I take him down to the river instead and indulge in the lazy person's approach to dog walking: I sit on a bench in the picnic area, while he scampers around chasing birds, and occasionally diving into the water in pursuit of ducks.
'Il faut faire attention, eh,' cries my neighbour Claudette, from the road on the other side of the river. 'Il y a des vipers.'
Beating a hasty retreat in my flip-flops and taking care to stomp the ground as I go to warn off the vee-pers, I head back up the hill, where I bump into my next door neighbour [not the Portuguese one].
'It's time to take action,' he says, shaking his head regretfully and pointing towards the house of les portugais.
It turns out that my neighbour and his wife have not slept for the past week because of the noise. 'I've had enough. I am going to see the maire this afternoon,' he says. 'And he will have to do something about it.'