"Who'd have thought that in the middle of October we'd be having a pre-dinner drink "al fresco"? We're sitting on Jean's beautiful canal-side terrace, our internet shopping stowed away, a fountain whispering in the piazza, (yes, we are in the UK) looking back on two years of home swapping.
Our first was in October 2009, not warm enough to sip early evening wine outdoors, but we were in a gentle fold in the Sussex countryside and sat by the window enjoying the view of mature trees glowing gold and orange.
The following March, in a week that was welcoming Spring and we could feel the warmth of the sun on our faces, with our borrowed Devon garden facing due west, we watched its burnished glow dipping behind the hills, setting the countryside alight.
A different experience in Barcelona. No quiet contemplation from this balcony while we drank our delightful, 3 euros a bottle fizzy stuff, but the chatter and bustle of other families preparing to enjoy the evening.
Loving our own garden as we do Linda and Ian's Dorset patch was to be enjoyed at the end of the day, glass in hand, checking the produce as it matured and pottering as we might at home.
And that's only half our swaps. I haven't even mentioned the delights of Dublin, the beauty of Bath."