Tuesday, 12 August 2008
Escape to the sun
We've got a full blown Belgian film crew turning up tomorrow at Le Chateau. Something to do with a programme entitled Escape to the Sun or there again it could be called A Place in the Sun or something similar. I'm rather inclined to think it should be called 'I Want Some Sun' as I do believe Belgium has not enjoyed the sunniest of climes this summer. Even worse, or better depending on your point of view it's going to be fronted by some former glamorous Miss Europe which fully puts paid to yours truly being asked to have anything whatsoever to do with the programme apart from work like a donkey all day today 'tidying'. I'm thinking smart freshly laundered bold blue and white check tablecloth laid in a pristine fashion on the lovely long table. Perhaps a Cath Kidson jug with casually untidy sunflowers lolling over the sides, a blue hand turned bowl bursting with fat round garlic, but then what does one do with 'stuff' that seems to breed and accumulate and spread like wildflower as it snakes and coils it's way into every crevice and corner. Lord knows I try, I really do.
On Sunday His Lordship suggested I accompany him on a trip to a nearby village called Cazazils close by to the medieval village of Mirepoix. It was like going back a hundred years in time as we wound our way through hot dusty overgrown lanes, the silence was deafening. On our arrival in the tiny hamlet stood the church, 15th or 16th century it sat proud on the hill surrounded by tall sweet smelling Cyprus trees and springy wiry undergrowth that released its perfume as you walked on it. Wild flowers brushed against my bare legs.
Suddenly Pierre le plombier roars up emitting clouds of dust in his wake. A passionate concerned conversation takes place in the shade with much emphasis and waving of arms. We follow him to his house which sits in a small row. Under the shade of a huge tree sit his neighbours enjoying a leisurely lunch accompanied by cold pitchers of rosé whilst fat cats lazy and slothful curl at their feet. A chubby child splashes contentedly and flashes us a toothy smile.
This is the simple beauty of France that continue to make it such a popular destination with holidaymakers. But you have to know how to look because even though it may be staring you straight in the face you would be surprised at the number of people who miss it completely.