September 14: the eve of the final date for a payment of income tax. Even my magnificent dog (adjectives fail me when I evoke Sophia) sensed that there was urgency in the air. In fact, Sophia senses everything in my existence. So, I invited her to jump into the car and accompany me down to the post office at Pont-en-Royans. Taxes are less painful when you pay them with your dog.
On the way back, we were halted by my neighbor Madeleine, who had been waiting in the middle of the road to give me a plate of figs:
She suggested I might make jam. I replied that her figs would surely be devoured within a few days, before my thinking about jam. In her usual unpredictable, totally random but lovely style, Madeleine (by the roadside, alongside my automobile, with Sophia awaiting impatiently our return to Gamone, a hundred meters up the road) started to tell me the history of the silver plate upon which her gift of figs was placed. I'll spare you the complex details about something overflowing, long ago, and eroding the silver plate. But I know already that, because of this fuzzy tale, the figs will taste all that much more delicious.