(aka the jog blog – thanks @thewinebird). Having taken up jogging again in the summer of 2012, I thought it might be fun to share some microclimatic observations.
Saint Chinian, Languedoc, March 2013
At 6am it was pitch dark, pouring with rain and blowing a gale. Dark and raining is not my favourite combination. Blowing a gale too was just too much. There was absolutely no incentive to jog in the vineyards – can’t even see the vines.
However, since I started the jog blog, I have signed up for the London marathon – next month (!) – so if it’s a training day, a-training I must go (blogging the journey at http://purplerunning.wordpress.com/ just for fun). I did a few exercises while I waited for day to break. My internal conversation had gone: if only it were dark and dry, I would run. If only it were light and raining, I would run). So running I went in the morning light of 7am, drenched 10 seconds out of the door.
We were staying at the luxurious Château Les Carrasses, just outside Capestang, at the southern extremity of the Saint Chinian appellation. Definitely luxurious for the Languedoc. Actually pretty luxurious in any location.
The rather dishy Turkish émigré, Özgür, printed off an excellent route for me. A 3.75 mile, circular route on tarmac road, partly through the vineyards. This was much needed. Knee-high mud (I’m speculating on visual assessment) would have been the other option. Through the vineyards, along a bit of the Canal du Midi, into Capestang then, oof, up a long – it felt very long – incline back to the château. It felt especially long as I was running into a headwind. Uphill into a headwind … what is that about? Hot core, shivery extremities – an early morning speedy bath (I know, contradiction in terms) was my reward.
I’ve never seen so much water in the south of France. Maybe in Bordeaux, but not here. Flooded patches of vineyard. Mini-torrents running in the gutters and across the small country roads. The vines were looking bedraggled and stoic under this stormy onslaught. Most were pruned, smart, uniform, waiting to burst with the spring. Some were still to be pruned, wearing last season’s seemingly random, ‘sticky’ shape.
… the following morning was lovely and sunny, as the picture shows!