Thursday, September 8, 2011

Batten down the hatches

Because it's the Feria! Yes, yes and no thank you. For those of you that have been following for a while, you might remember the chaos at Easter that I wrote about 
here and here as well. Now, normally, this Feria is not as, let's just say it, all out pagan as in April when the desperate hordes rip out of their cocoons to suck all of the life out of the air after a long Mistral-logged winter. But then again, this will be the first Feria spent in our new apartment, which is a mere 20 meters (or yards if you prefer to think in football field terms) from the Place du Forum, aka Party Central. Oh my. Tonight is for the locals, so it will not be a barometer of what is to come this weekend, although it worries me slightly that our quiet café across the street is, for once, bolting down its tables and chairs. Ah, what is a little lost sleep you might ask? All too true but my goodness will it get...messy. 

We have our dear, dear friends Sonny and Michael coming for lunch tomorrow (yes, the rosé has already been chilled) and I will be content if they get out before the madness starts, say at 3pm. Our handsome caviste or wine merchant Jean-Michel, admitted that yes, he will be going out tonight "just to get the temperature of the Feria this time around...but not too long...I have three more nights to follow!" "Ah, so it is for professional purposes?" I asked winsomely (or what I hope was winsome and not overly sarcastic). "Mais oui!" Jean-Michel is, needless to say, born and raised in Arles. 

That is also the case for Thomas, the 20 year old who cut my hair yesterday at the hair salon "Cheveux des Anges", or "Angel Hair". Now, I really detest going to the salon with an intensity bordering on dentistisme. Sadly, I have had too many horror-show experiences (the worst a coked up newbie just across from Le Bon Marché who kept cutting up, up until I yelled "stop!") and do not enjoy the chit-chattey pressure in the least. So I took a book and the young man was charming, accommodating while expressing his intense interest in travelling to New York. I think that I convinced him that he should take a round trip for LA with a stopover in the Big Apple on the way back. Something tells me this boy could be thrilled by the West Coast, something that no one aspires to here. At the very least I hammered home the point that it is now that he needs to cast his net far and wide. Can you imagine being 20 again and having so many possibilities in front of you that you have no idea where or what or who?

But perhaps, no, it certainly is, the mentality that we need to keep at hand. So many possibilities. Such a big, wonderful world. Just perhaps not exactly right here, not this weekend...


  1. Hello Heather:
    Yes, surely it must be the sign of advancing years when one wishes the 'Feria' never to start rather than never to end!! BUT, we think you do protest too,just slip on the party shoes, slide into the party frock, slap on the party face and DANCE!!!! Go on, you know you want to!!!

  2. Ah, that this came from you both, well, that is the only incentive I need!

  3. Feria is another reminder that 'One man's meat is another man's poison'. When I was younger, I was never foolish, so I have a secrete admiration for those who are specific circumstances, as long as they don't hurt themselves or others in the process!

  4. I did that "Feria" sort of thing a little too much in my twenties and am now over it since I can't seem to stay awake past ten. I only drink on the weekends I don't have business work the next morning, I've gotten so responsible in age, so what's for me? Ah yes, my nice quiet peaceful existence in the country! Go enjoy yourself you'll have fun!

  5. It sounds sort of exciting and sort of it seems to me the only solution is the old adage "if you can't beat em, join em" and enjoy it for the joviality that it is.

  6. How exciting! I look forward to reading about the festivities.

    ~ Clare x

  7. I like that you said, "Party Central" on Dad's birthday (a very "Dad" expression!). And I love the artsy photo, but love my beautiful, un-blurry, Veronica Lake-hair-styled sister even more! (hint hint).

  8. Is that YOU with the new do in the old mirror!!?
    FABULOUS..................Let the festivities begin.

  9. Hope your Feria weekend turns out better than expected. We have Zozobra and Fiesta going on in Santa Fe this week. Always a lot of people and loud celebration. The best part of the Faria and Fiesta is that they are for the locals. After a summer of endless tourists, I'm ready to see the "locals" have some fun!

  10. Thanks everyone for the support. So far, so good and I'll post soon as my head is a liiiittle achey this morning...

    Anon, I absolutely know what you are talking about. I am very ready for the tourist level to return to normal--actually everyone here is, you can just feel it. If I am forced to wait and wait behind one more clueless person staring endlessly at the ATM in confusion, I am going to pull my hair out! Alas, this is not the weekend to get into a tizzy as hundreds of thousands of visitors arrive for the festivities...but soon. Hope that you are having some good eats at the Fiesta. Santa Fe...sigh.

  11. I’m laughing as I sit here remembering that my mother and I arrived there on the Friday morning of the Féria from Paris. As much as we love Paris, we were more than ready to experience the “quiet French country “. We had no idea about this Féria, and as our hostess was getting us settled into our apartment directly across from the arena, she explained to us what festivities would be going on that weekend. We each just looked at her with this deer in the headlights look when she told us we wouldn’t be able to park less than a half mile from the apartment. We took it all in stride, but I will say, as we were just getting comfortable, the music in the arena began, trumpets blaring, in pre- bull fight hoopla! If we thought we would be escaping the busy buzz of Paris we were indeed mistaken. We just laid there trying to grab a quick nap and instead fell apart in laughter! It turned out to be fantastic, however we did get the heck out of town the next day to see some of the more quiet villages nearby. I’ll never forget that I spent my 46th birthday with my mom, eating paella and drinking sangria amidst the crowds, loving every second of it. So many times our “itineraries” in life can’t possibly do justice to what happens when you just go with the flow and enjoy the present. So many reminders of life’s lessons as I read this.


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