A canicule is a series of hot days, derived, I’m told from “cane” for dog, as in “Dog days.” When the French weather service announces la canicule, everyone panics, there are alerts, etc.
Normally I don’t much notice the difference between the canicule and all the other hot days. But for the past 5 days I have been in the country, staying in a rustic cabin without, naturally, air conditioning. Or WiFi for that matter. It did however come with a lovely pool, so I stuck it out until I couldn’t take it anymore.
The house was in the hills above Menton in a family compound. Menton is the last city in France before crossing over to Italy, which I did on Tuesday to buy groceries and wine. My other major activity, other than lying motionless like a lizard in the heat, was to visit a national monument in Roquebrune. This was a house built by Eileen Grey, à well-known Art Deco furniture designer. Next to her house was a campground built by Le Corbusier. I thought that there was a connection between the two, but apparently not. The French state bought the site and has been slowly restoring both to their original condition.
The problem was that the site was very difficult to reach and once there, required climbing up and down steep stone stairs. And it was 91 degrees. I will say that it was worth seeing, but wish I had chosen a more suitable day to visit.