Nero Fiddles While Rome Burns

A weather report from Europe.



7/26/20232 min read

Whether it is true or not that Nero fiddled during Rome's great fire, that is certainly what is happening now throughout Europe. The series of wildfires that began in Greece have since spread throughout the Mediterranean , and are now burning furiously in Croatia, Portugal and North Africa. Whilst firefighters are battling valiantly, airlines, always keen to maximise their profits , are slow to limit their flights to these regions . Moreover, most tourists are still keen to leave behind the mist, rain and lower temperatures of Northern Europe, in search of the sun, however intense it may be. Politicians throw the problem of climate change around like a hot potato, too afraid to commit themselves to taking the necessary drastic measures. Meanwhile , those who do take it seriously enough to protest, like the Stop Oil campaigners, risk prosecution and even imprisonment. Are we all crazy?

Domaine des Rochers Weather Report.

So what is the weather like here in the Languedoc?

Full sun icons stretch for as far as the eye can see on our regional fifteen day weather forecast 'meteofrance.' Meanwhile, fires have been raging around Arles which is not so far away from us. These are now under control, but the whole of the Buches du Rhone region is on red alert for fire risk, because of the dryness and strong winds. Should we be worried?

Well...yes...and no! Inevitably every year I feel uneasy about the risk of forest fire. The grass that was once green and dotted with purple orchids is now the colour of dark straw. Moreover, along with the sunshine we have had some strong winds. But then temperatures have remained in the low thirties, and should remain at that level for the next two weeks. We feel fortunate not to be experiencing temperatures in the forties as we did last summer, and have even had a sprinkling of rain to keep the forest 'damped down.' I pray that this weather pattern continues.

Dry grasses
Dry grasses

Meanwhile we act with caution. We only walk when the mornings or evenings are cooler, which is not always the case. Sadly we do not visit our boat, which is a heat trap in these temperatures( No doubt those 'millionaires' yachts enjoy air conditioning.) And of course we have learned an important lesson from our French neighbours to keep the house cool at all costs by leaving blinds and shutters firmly closed. Tourists may flock to enjoy the sun, but we have learned that it has to be enjoyed with extreme caution. As for the risk of forest fire we have done all that we can to keep our vegetation trimmed, which is a legal obligation . But the greatest risk of forest fire comes from humans , who may toss a cigarette into the undergrowth. Indeed nine out of ten fires start this way. The hunters are due to return on August 15th for the start of the season, which makes me wary. Unlike my erstwhile British self, I shall be praying for rain!

Let's keep our forest safe
Let's keep our forest safe