My friend decided he couldn’t make it up from Montpellier after all, so paid for me to do the reverse journey instead. Therefore, I put things on hold on Wednesday while I was away. It was all a bit last-minute. I didn’t know I was going until around midday then got a 4pm train to Paris and then a TGV to Montpellier. Due to some miscalculation and cancelled trains, I didn’t get to eat in Paris as I’d hoped and my TGV had no bar. So all I had to eat on Wednesday until I arrived was two Fisherman’s Friends and a bottle of water. My friend met me at the station in Montpellier with a plate of barbecue left-overs.

The town where I stayed was a little town not far from Montpellier with narrow streets and narrow three-storey stone houses. The houses are conceived in such a way that the ground floor stays cool and enjoys a cellar, there’s a kitchen, bedroom and bathroom on the first floor and a covered terrace at the top that enjoys a permanent supply of cool air.

It was very hot.

The first thing I noticed was the little beds of organic vegetables which people could help themselves to or water or contribute to as necessary. People leave their houses open to their neighbours and on the Thursday evening everyone got together in the street to have apéros and a barbecue. I’d already been bought quite a big lunch (rillettes de sardines are worth a mention) but we all brought something in the evening; I contributed some nibbly things, wine and some black olives that were close enough to a fiver.

I hardly ate on Friday because it was so hot, but did have a bit of a quiche and quite a lot of water and a crafty Orangina in the afternoon heat. In the evening, my hosts cooked a Senegalese chicken and vegetable dish that was glorious.

The pot balance will need to be adjusted to account for my time away. On the 17th, the pot stood at 90,81€ which was more than the 75€ that it would’ve been had I spent exactly 5€ a day.

I adjusted the pot to 15,81€.

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