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 ?