Monday, 24 August 2009

Summer Holidays in the Languedoc



Here we are then, the back end of August, gulp. The summer holidays have flown by and the great Rentrée (back to school) is nudging its way to the forefront of every one's minds. The countryside is resembling a washed out watercolour painting. The fields and ditches are tinder dry, the earth cracked and parched whilst the sunflowers are shrivelled and brittle.

And this year it's been a scorcher. Days on end of undiluted hot sunshine, the village shuttered up against the heat with just the sound of the dead leaves now whispering amongst the cobbles and dust. The sound of my own voice bouncing back at me like a needle stuck in the groove of an old gramophone 'close the windows to keep the heat out' 'most shops close between 12-2' and so on, and so forth. And then, WHAM, its almost all over with only the memories of the happy families that have spent their summer holidays here in the Languedoc.

But it has been a terrific summer nevertheless. The Grand Duchess has been privileged to transport beautiful brides (and bridesmaids) and be followed by a long trail of guests blasting on their horns as the newly weds are taken to the reception. People stop and stare and break into wide smiles and wave gaily. We've taken guests to local Domaines to sample the wines, wound our way through the tiny streets of the Medieval village of Fanjeaux, resting at the highest point to survey the whole valley of the Aude laid out before us.

We've met people from all over the world who are enchanted by the history that seeps through this ancient landscape taking snapshots of a completely different life back home with them.

For me however a 'Staycation' beckons, and who on earth invented that absurd word, some smart politicians PR machine urging people to stay at home to boost the flagging economy ?

I'll give it a go, if I must.

10 comments:

Pondside said...

After a summer as busy as yours, you deserve to stay in your beautiful chateau, at peace and in (semi!) solitude to sample what your guests so obviously enjoy!

LittleBrownDog said...

But, Sally - I thought it was always summer at the Chateau?
Sounds like a wonderful place to chill out and relax, whatever the season.

Tattie Weasle said...

Oh this is definatley for me - just getting in the mood to drive over to France at the end of the week - not down to the glorious Sally's Chateau this time but once we've given it a go - you know the going abroad lark with kids - they'll be no stopping us! Have a wonderful staycation!

toady said...

Have a nice rest and enjoy the fruits of your labours. I've forgotten what hot sun feels like.

Frances said...

Hello Sally,

I just know that all those folks who had splendid vacations and weddings in your chateau and environs, had the vast benefit of your efforts.

Now ... I hope that you will have a great time relaxing and pampering yourself as you deem best.

(Funny that our NYC corner market flower stalls are now offering sunflowers. We actually have bought some for the the front table of the shop. The golden yellow and strong green of their stems really accents the golden yellow scarfs and the green coats and sweaters on display.)

Hard for customers to consider alpaca, cashmere and wool in the current temperatures, though.

xo

Brian said...

Hi Sally,

Just like you I am happy with a 'Staycation'(that really is a silly word, must have been a politician that made it up), because I also live here in the gorgeous Languedoc Roussillon running a holiday gite.

It certainly has been a scorcher, but as I write we have had a little respite in the form of a day of rain. Don't hold your breath though it is due to be business as normal again starting tomorrow.

Just like to say what a fabulous place you have and invite you to have a look at my blog Life in the France Lane which I have recently revamped.

I am looking for a nice header photograph now so that it looks as good as yours.

Pipany said...

Oh I would rather experience the sunshine vicariously than not at all so thank you Sally. Agreed with your rant by the way x

Maddie Grigg said...

So it's you who's pinched our bloody summer.
I was sure that was His Lordship in the car until I read on. x

ChrisH said...

I hope you've enjoyed the staycation. Out holistay has been one long wet wash out - tongith we even have the heating on!

annakarenin said...

Okay I knew it was a mistake to come and read this.

We opted to have a staycation this summer. Big mistake and had me longing for southern France more than ever. Certainly not intending to repeat mistake next summer! Oh that we could afford the Chateau but maybe one day.

We are finally having a bit of a summer at the mo but typically the children are stuck at school. Atleast we can eat and relax outside when they come home.