The Indian summer is over. This morning I walk Biff through fields of fog and drizzle and then go to cafe on the square for a coffee. Everyone is looking glum. The reason, it transpires, is that René the baker is closing down for good at lunchtime as the banks have foreclosed on him. So the rumours I heard were true.
On my way home, I pop next door to buy a final pain au chocolat and sure enough there is a sign saying 'Fermeture Definitive' pinned to the window.
'It's sad. We're going to miss you,' I say and the baker's eyes well up with tears.
It's doubly sad as René has worked so hard (16 hour days and 3.00am starts), is an excellent baker, and has a loyal clientele but has not been able to make the business work. One thing is sure: the village is worse off without the corner bakery with it's twinkling lights and chandeliers.
But it's not all doom and gloom. My (former) Portuguese neighbour is dropping by this evening for another aperitif.