Friday, 22 February 2008

Drifting days in the Languedoc


It's been the most heavenly week. Half term is with us in the Languedoc but anyone hoping for serious snow for ski-ing is disappointed this year, apart from the odd cold day I'm still waiting for winter to arrive. His Lordship and I have just stood on the terrace, steaming mugs of tea in hand and watched the sunrise. It would be impossible to tire of the changing seasons and the view but I'm not sure I have to take a picture EVERY morning. 'Days a wasting' His Lordship bellows.

We went on the most idyllic cycle ride ever. It was one of those calm late afternoons when you've just enough strength left from the day's chores to push the pedals round. Seconds later we're leaving the village and heading towards deserted roads to the next village. Along the way I see a carpet of violets interspersed with aconites. I ring the bell to signal that I'm taking one of my numerous stops with my camera. Heading on towards Montreal past fields that are neatly ploughed and cultivated for sunflowers the neighbouring village lies nestled in a gentle fold, a single wisp of smoke curling upwards to the still afternoon sky. The pruning of the vines is progressing well and the almond blossom is out in full. As we head downhill a gentle breeze sends the petals scattering over our heads.

I arrive home feeling extremely virtuous, cheeks glowing slightly with the effects of the sun. The house is full of the scent of mimosa thanks to a neighbour's vigorous pruning of her tree. Every window in Lasserre de Prouille seems to be filled with the vibrant yellow flower.

We seemed to be forever backwards and forwards to Carcassonne this week. Yesterday the waiters were laying up tables in the pretty main square whilst people sat and chatted and enjoyed glasses of pastis and kir. It was only eleven o'clock in the morning, the starkness of a similar setting in England never fails to illicit a comment from us even after all these years. Are you allowed a drink before midday in the UK or would you get a real po faced reaction whilst everyone sneaked a quick worried glance towards the obvious alcoholic ?

We stopped at one of my favourite thrift shops. We are big on recycling and I personally would much rather support a worthwhile charity rather than visit Ikea. Lying seductively propped against a wardrobe was a rather fetching carved mirror. Piled nearby was a heap of heavy based frying pans which after a quick inspection passed muster. His Lordship was sorting through a box of carved wooden ends for antique curtain rails. There was one other woman in the shop. I made the mistake of turning my back for one moment, took my eye off the ball so to speak.

Of all the hundreds of items in the shop she took the frying pans, 'can you believe that' I said to His Lordship slightly exasperated. 'You don't need them' he replied.

Why does he always say that to me ?

9 comments:

Elizabethd said...

Sally, it sounds idyllic this morning! I'm laid out with acute cystitis and 12 days antibiotics, so can only dream of your lovely area...but oh, would so love to be there!
Sorry about the bargain!

Frances said...

Bon jour, Sally.
Good to hear that you are giving that new bicycle lots of touring practice
As always, I thank you for your immense skill in transporting me to your lovely neighborhood. We have the remains of yesterday's snow and sleet, so your flower report was very cheering.
xo

Milla said...

that just always happens. But bet you that if you had had the chance of buying them, you wouldn't. Make yourself feel better that way. We had great snow, en passant, for our skiing (ALpe d'Huez) and marvellously blue skies. It threatened to be icy in the morning and slushy in the afternoon but just about got away with it.

snailbeachshepherdess said...

That sounds wonderful Sally...when ever we have been in France I have spent hours in the antique/junk shops ...but I kept getting reminded ...'how the hell are we going to get that home' did rather put a damper on things ..shame about the frying pans....

LittleBrownDog said...

First point: you can never have too many solid-bottomed frying pans. Second point: but there's bound to be something even better there the next time you visit - and make sure you hang on to it!

Can't think of anything better than spending a morning poking around in a French thrift shop.

Pondside said...

Mmmmm lovely day! I can't think of anything I'd rather do on a warm winter day than to poke through bric a brac in a village shop.

Grouse said...

Sally I just love the way you can capture the beauty of everything, no matter how busy you are......seeing the value in things and the beauty in things is the same gift: that's why you are so good at 'shabby chic' scouting. It must always add that 'certain something' to a stay at Le Chateau that other establishments lack.

Westerwitch/Headmistress said...

Ok - but how would you have got the frying pans home on bikes . . . and what about the mirror - did you buy the mirror.

It feels as though you are on a different planet . . . it is cold and windy here and we are having snow showers!!!

Sally's Chateau said...

I never make the mistake of going anywhere near a thrift shop on a bicycle ........ what a brilliant idea Grouse, Thrift Shop Tours as only Sally's Chateau knows how !!

I didn't buy the mirror in the end, I already had one, still you can never have too many can you ? the beautiful large white shabby chic whicker chairs and sofa look great on the terrace though ......