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Everyone here has been complaining about the weather non-stop, or, when not complaining about it, apologizing for it. “The weather,” they say, shrugging in that French way, “has not been so nice.”

The validity of that statement depends very heavily on your definition of “nice.” I’ve had to buy a sweater, and R. and I both bought jackets, and it seems like they’re all going to get a lot of wear. And we’ve learned the hard way, no matter how sunny it is out, never to go anywhere without an umbrella. In the last slightly-less-than-four-weeks, I could count the number of days when it hasn’t rained at all on one hand; the same could be said for the number of days with a high of over 75. So summery, no — it has not been that. But nice? Ask my friends in Claremont right now how 65-and-rainy would be received.

We decided to take a nap this afternoon, but instead of sleeping I stared out the window as a thunderstorm rolled in — black clouds, lightning, pelting rain. It didn’t last long, like most of the rain here, but it was gorgeous, dramatic and boomy, with big bolts of lightning flashing sideways across the sky. When we got up, R. said that he had been sure that attempting to nap would be the ideal way to conjure the delivery guy we’d been waiting for. In response, I just opened our bedroom door: while we lay there, and while the storm boomed away outside, I’d heard one of our flatmates come home, putter around a bit, leave, come right back in, and then leave again. And while I wasn’t positive, I was pretty sure that he’d left something for us.

The box of books has arrived, bearing easily twice as much as I can accomplish in the half of the trip still ahead of me. Still, between the presence of the books and the gorgeous thunderstorm, I’m left with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I’m going to make some tea and curl up with my reading, the perfect conclusion to a lovely afternoon.



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