Monday, January 23, 2012

Faded elegance in the Luberon



We are heading into the time of the year when I get quiet. I am more interested in looking than in speaking as if I need to take in fuel for a fire that will burn in the spring. Or maybe it is just a state of mimicry of the sleeping land around me. Also so very quiet. A faded form of flânerie.

Yesterday was one of those afternoons where dear friends pulled Remi and I out of our hibernation to spend the day in the Luberon. Originally, the excuse was to buy wine at the truly excellent Chateau la Verrerie but alas, they were closed as is so much during this "off" season. Fortunately for us, our friends had reserved ahead at a charming auberge in Curcuron. We tucked Ben under the table as best as we could and then spent the next few hours talking until the cheese trolley was rolled away. Yes, of course, we needed to walk after and so off we went. I held my camera low and tight, looking for scraps for fuel. Happily, I found enough that this day will be stop-watched into two or three.




















32 comments:

  1. Bonjour Heather. It looks like crisp but gorgeous winter weather in le Lubéron... What a nice stroll this must have been, after a long leisurely lunch with good friends. I can picture Ben running around while you took these beautiful pictures. ;-) Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

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    1. Yes, Ben has it down to a science, Vero, he knows when either Remi or I are shooting and will stay out of the way. If it gets a little long, he will plop down next to me with a sigh. :)

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  2. Ah those crisp blue skies of provence, such a special light. Sounds like a great day
    Sharon
    x

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    1. Sharon, I never take this light for granted but sometimes miss the dramatic side light that you have in the North!

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  3. Magical photographs Heather. You are on fire with this new camera! Such clarity and contrast of light and shadow, which makes the building details come to life as if I were actually looking at them right now. And oh that little chef, with his leering eye...just too fabulous for words! He looks like he has been tucking into the wine himself.
    It's one of the lovely things about living in a place with 4 seasons, I think: being able to emotionally and physically respond to the changes. When we lived in the tropics, with only two seasons, I missed that dreadfully. So I reckon revel in your quiet time, it is a repose for the soul time, in readiness for a busy spring yet to come. Virginia x

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    1. Leave it to you to love that wacky chef. What's up with his thumb? But I am so sad that it was closed (I think just someone's house really) because the flavors of jam were insane! Including one called "the old boys" that is banana, lemon and cinnamon!!!

      And yes, the seasons are so important--I wish that they were even more exagerrated here--bring on the snow!

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  4. Hi Heather. Beautiful crystal clear images with crisp water reflections, dreamy scenery. Thank you. Natalie

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  5. Heather,

    I want your life! Wine and cheese and lovely France!

    Thank you for your visit. Hope to see you again!

    ox, Mon

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    1. Mon, not sure if you will see this as I know that you are having family time but you will definitely see me again as I finally signed up to your lovely blog--I don't know what took me so long but Ally (FTRB) finally gave me the needed push.

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  6. I know just what you mean about this "quiet" time of year.
    It seems natural to observe and reflect on the winter landscape. The angle of the sun and the shadows that are cast are truly spell binding. The adobe walls here in Santa Fe offer a similar shadow play that the stone walls of your area display. Beautiful photos, thank you for sharing them.

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    1. Laura, yes, that is exactly how I imagine Santa Fe--and that like here, it must be as lovely in the winter as the rest of the year in its own way. As you know, I am still hoping to get there...someday!

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  7. Why would you ever want to go quiet when you write so beautifully? My kind of afternoon with friends, wine and cheese. Dylan would never be as good as Ben under a table he likes cheese to much. Gorgeous scenery love how the sunlight casts shadows about.

    XX
    Debra~

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    1. Debra, a man came over to the table while he was leaving and said "I normally don't approve of dogs in restaurants or at the beach but this one is a charmer!". I was so proud of him!

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  8. 8th photo down........thats my dream home.I could be very happy in that block of stones.Of course, the door you photographed a few more pictures down would be a nice addition!OMG HEATHER...........do you know how lucky you are?!!I'm pee GREEN with envy one more time!

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    1. Are you sure you don't mean "pea green"? Heeheehee...

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  9. Oh the Luberon is so beautiful as toys your writing, you've captured the mood in words here quite wonderfully.

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    1. Thank you Tabitha, coming from you, that made my morning...

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  10. Wow. These images are amazing. And the colors there seem so much more vibrant than here in Massachusetts. Our sky doesn't seem quite so blue, but maybe that's due to the layer of snow on the ground.

    I was also intrigued, Heather, by your comment that this is the time of year you tend to "go quiet." I'd love to know more, because I realized yesterday that I definitely go into hibernation mode once the weather turns cold. Except for my morning walk in the woods with the dog, there are days when I don't leave the house. Maybe this isn't a bad thing... but these shorter, darker days definitely make me feel more melancholy....

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    1. Well, I think that is just the body reacting to a lack of light! I didn't really get it until I did a theater festival in St. Petersburg, Russia in the middle of winter. Absolutely zero light and EVERYONE took a nosedive and were drinking crazy amounts of vodka (well, also to stay warm but that is another story). I know that I need sun and these shorter days put me in a different place. Not necessarily a bad one, just different.

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  11. Flanerie! One of my favorite words. :) Leave it to you to find the perfect use for it. I'm feeling more quiet lately too. I love that Ben could join you for lunch.

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    1. Thanks Ally. I actually did a franglais and originally typed "flannery". Oops. Know you understand that! And as for you feeling more quiet, I certainly couldn't have guessed if you hadn't said so...Bisous.

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  12. Hello Heather:
    These days of shorter hours of daylight are conducive to seeking solitude and hibernating from the world at large. It is a natural rhythm and it is good to go with the flow rather than fighting back. And, what a wonderful invitation from your friends, just the sort of long, lazy, lingering lunch which feeds the soul and restores the spirits.

    How beautifully you have captured the essence of the place. Those flashes of ochre, catching the rays of light,are surely heralding that spring is not so far off now!!

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    1. Yes, it was definitely what it felt like--especially as it was so warm that we could have eaten outside! In the meantime, I am happy curled up with my books and Ben.

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  13. I have an awful hard time in January getting out of the house, even though this January has been mostly sunny blue skies.
    The photos are beautiful, it looks like nice weekend :-)

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    1. Yes, as Jane and Lance said above, I think it is just the rhythm of things!

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  14. What a beautiful place! Its hot as anything here in Australia and I so want your cool weather at the moment :)

    If you go to Paris the Frederic Malle perfume shop is there and you must try Portrait of a Lady and , if you love roses - Une Rose is another beautiful perfume by Malle!
    Yes - Jicky is one of my favourites too!!! LOL
    Love your blog!

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    1. Thanks LJ! I have been wanting to get to the Malle shop but there is always too much to do when I am in Paris. Have to make that a priority! I'm a redhead and have really acidic skin--perfumes either disappear or change so I have to try them. I know that Malle uses a high concentration of natural essences over synthetics so it could be a good bet for me. The house of Guerlain is the same--unusual for such a big house--hence my love of Jicky!

      Do you know my friend Virginia's blog Glamour Drops? She is in Melbourne and her blog is one of my favs.

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  15. I do not know of that blog!
    Its Australia Day today so I must try to find your friends blog - I bet she is having a BBQ!
    We did today :)

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    1. Oh I forgot to wish you Happy Australia Day! Oh my a BBQ sounds pretty wonderful right about now...

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  16. i was just about to cancel my trip (sick as a poor dog...) ...but these images are calling me. I guess I will brave the flight, Paris, get my health in order to take in the amazing cites of the Luberon. Would you like to get together in avigon after the deballage. i will get a chip for my international cell phone and will get in touch. hat is the best way to reach you?

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    1. Oh my, it seems like everyone is sick right now! And you know very well that will be other deballages if you are too unwell to travel. :) We are still planning on going and would love to meet up if you make it.

      If you email me at robinsonheather@yahoo.com I will send you my contact info. Do you need suggestions for hotels or where to go? I am assuming not but if so, don't hesitate to ask, I love to help.

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