Safety was often a priority for fire eaters within the refinery

Just had two days seeing a new garden near Toulouse. Great place with wonderful white stone.

Oddly my clients bought it from a very old friend of mine with whom I shared a beautifully scummy flat in about 1980. The lights would fuse if anybody used the toaster inappropriately (ie by trying to warm sliced bread rather than just for lighting cigarettes when short of matches). The water would come through the back door and slugs used to graze on any food left out overnight. On one memorable day I found a live cat in the kitchen cupboard.

We were all a bit short of rent as a result one of us used to sleep in the cupboard under the stairs (known affectionately as the cockpit) and at one moment we had someone renting the bottom shelf of the welsh dresser.

The picture on the right is an attempt by us to remove the engine from a Ford Zephyr – I think it may have ended up in the sitting room. Aaaah, days of wine and squalor.

Anyway, garden will be fun although there are yards of stone walls that are being steadily destroyed by a very invasive (and quite attractive) tree whose name I cannot quite lay my hands on – I think it is something Japanese (paper tree?). Young leaf looks like this if anybody can help.

I am not very fond of Toulouse airport at the moment as they have a prominent sign saying Station de Services (which, even with my very elementary French, means Petrol station) which leads the unwary hire car driver into firstly a wasteland, secondly an industrial estate and thirdly MacDonalds before surprising you with another sign (also saying Station de Services) pointing back in the direction in which you have come.

I am listening to Eskimo Lament by the Coral and the picture is of white French limestone.