On every single ex-pat table, at this time of year, you will find something similar to this (below). A big vase of Sunflars, a bowl of Olives, and a glass of Petrus or The Widow. The braying classes have temporarily quit their extensive Hampshire, Gloucestershire, or Dorset Estates for their little pile in Juan-les-Pins, Perigord, or Tuscany.
The wives all wear obligatory long silky diaphanous dresses and wide brimmed straw hats. They visit local markets where they speak in exceptionally loud voices whilst buying local delicacies at outrageous prices, and taste dainty samples of 'oh how delicious' Absinthe flavoured Alpaca Milk 'Brie'.
They exchange news about little Piers at Dragon, or Tarquin at Harrow. They talk of the new Georgian style extension to add another few bedrooms (only they're not sure how many) to their already enormous old manor houses. And they discuss tiny out-of-the-way, and still unheard-of, restaurants in darkest Gloucestershire where one can eat vegetable-foam for as little as £150 per person.
Yes, it's The Silly Season. The children have all been away in the Glasto' mud; Mrs Mop is looking after the house, whilst Mr Mop sees to the lawns and trims the topiary. Veronica pops in to feed Constance's horses and Penelope's ponies, the 'plumbing chappie' has been asked to service the boiler, and the 'roofing chappie' will look at the flashing around the main chimney on the Gate House.
They'll be back in a few weeks time, and life will continue as normal; all is well with the world.