During the summer months we let out our holiday cottages. The French call them gites and they face a swimming pool where children splash happily and adults snooze in the sun.
But now that autumn’s here and the avenue is lined with leaves we are faced with the annual challenge of dragging over the winter cover – a great rubbery beast measuring 10m x 5m.This has in the past been met with fiasco.
The first year my husband thought he could tether it to the surrounding fence with those elastic cords you use to hold down debris in the wheel barrow. The first windy day it transformed itself into a parachute and was ready to float off, fence attached.
Year 2 we enlisted friends and tried to drag it lengthways from one end of the pool to the other. With a sense of inevitability we watched it sink under water, pulling us with it.
Now of course we’re dab hands at it – yanking it across sideways and tethering it to rods in the concrete. So today we fished out seven crayfish before we began, hefted the summer cover out of the way and spread it out confidently on the paving stones. How come by the time we finished the men, though exhausted, were dry while we women looked like we’d been competing in a wet T shirt contest?