Thursday, December 16, 2010

Nipping at your heels


The cold has come on in a way that I don't think anyone foresaw. This morning the market was nearly empty with many of the sellers knowing that it was just not worth it to unpack their wares. Fortified by my mink-lined coat and Max Mara snood, I searched for my favorite stands in vain. No oysters for lunch today then, no 50 cent Christmas decorations either. Just a kilo of clementines, several scoops of walnuts (kept in a bowl by the door so that Remi can take a handful on his walks) and two perfectly rich slices of paté en croute sold to me by a wonderful man who actually called me "young lady". I said that there was no need for him to exaggerate but was delighted. All around me, I could hear folks muttering to themselves--at best exhaling an extended brrr, at worst shouting out unprintable French swear words accompanied by shaking a fist at the sky. As the skin on my face started to freeze, I turned towards home, stepping gingerly over a tiny magenta fish left behind when the fishmonger packed up early.

The mistral wind, which usually clings to the Rhone, was running rampant. No alley, no matter how narrow, provided a respite. How lovely to find Ben wagging his tail at the front door and to pull the club chair up in front of the fire. Here I am happy to stay while listening to the wind whip through the chimney high, high above. Safe inside on a winter's night.

Ah yes, except I still have to take the dog out, no matter how cold. So I snapped a few, um, "artistic" (aka blurry) photos to give a preview of the Christmas lights, lanterns and trees that the town has put up for the holiday season. Tomorrow is the opening ceremony of the official Christmas festival...to be continued...

3 comments:

Didier said...

What? It isn't warm in Arles? Really? ;)

Lost in Provence said...

Ooh! I bet it is still better than in Berlin!

robin said...

Ben looks like a ghost in that picture! Love the holiday lights in Arles - more pics of the Christmas festival, "young lady"! : )