Monday, October 8, 2012

Old and new in Oppedette


As we headed into the village of Oppedette, I heard the pop of a wine cork followed by a gale of collective laughter behind a garden wall. It was Sunday, somewhere between noon and 1pm and clearly a group of friends were making the most of each other's company. My heart gave a little tug.


For nomads like myself, as much as we love the hunt, there are moments when it would be wonderful to be settled, to be a part of the casual gathering rather than always looking on from just outside. Such occasions are rare but they do arrive from time to time. When those feelings stir, I focus all the harder on seeing and remembering how lucky I am to be discovering something new.


A heavy iron cross marks the entry to Oppedette. A tiny one-car only lane separates it from the former village café... 


...where a sundial continues to capture the slow passing of the Provençal sun...


...one that is burning away the last traces of the sign above the entry. How many men had gathered here for their daily pastis...


...while the women gossiped over the washing in the lavoir...


...raising their voices to be heard over the chimes of the bells in the main square?


But as I turned a corner, I was snapped back into the present. For unlike the other villages of the Luberon that I had seen so far, something modern was clearly a foot. Here, was a renovation in many of the homes that used traditional materials in a very contemporary way. Such as steel casings for the windows...


...wide wooden beams as the stairway to a front entry...


...and iron to create one of the more gorgeous terrace railings that I have ever seen.


And yet the charming spirit of the village remained palpable...


...and behind every other corner...


...were glorious traces of the past...


...and of all of the possibilities that are still to come.



As we prepared to take our leave and prepare a Sunday lunch of our own, I was attracted to a beautiful home on a slight rise over-looking the valley. Doesn't it deserve to be loved? 


If only I had the means, I would bring it back with care and make its garden grow.


Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead filled with hope and a fair smattering of joy...


38 comments:

  1. What a lovely, lovely town! Thanks so much for the tour - my favorites were the sundial and that blue door but it's all gorgeous and so delicately charming - what they do best!

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    1. Absolutely, Barbara--and they make it look so effortless too! That blue door that you mentioned was no accident, that patina had been worked on to be achieved... ;)

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  2. Such a lovely walk through a charmingly unique village - love the blend of past and present. I think that sometimes the most amazing experiences come with some of toughest trade offs. Now is your time for amazing adventures and someday the road will turn a bit and it will be time for roots and community. The trick is to love what you have when you have it - which is not always easy! The next time we pop a cork out of a bottle of wine, I'll raise a glass to you, Heather and to the beautiful life you are creating! XO

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    1. Jeanne, how I have missed your wise words and always spot on perspective! Thank you for this. For sure our lives are still a Work in Progress...
      Bisous,
      H

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  3. What a beautiful town full of charm of the past and promise of the future. I love the collision of past and present in design - the window and terrace railings are wonderful examples!! I was just speaking yesterday to a friend who just returned from a wonderful 10 day trip to Provence - hopefully sometime in the not too distant future for me!!

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    1. Oooh! If you do come over, I would love to meet if you are interested, Stacey. And please let me at least send you my generic list of suggestions if you do come, no matter what. I have been chiding Tracey at French Larkspur for being literally in my neighborhood without letting me help...

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  4. Oh, beautiful town -- and I love its name, too! Thank you for sharing your wonderful, brilliant, bright and sunny afternoon.

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    1. Merci beaucoup, Ann! Et oui, je suis d'accord--Oppedette, ça sonne bien, non? (I am trying to keep up your French for when you come back :)

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  5. Oh dear Heather,

    Thanks for taking me along on this lovely visit....
    I would like to be with you for the lunch too!
    Love from Sonny

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    1. Yippeeeeee!!!!! You registered! Oh this made my day, my beautiful Son. Although please don't feel pressure to respond all the time. I know that we are in your thoughts, just like you are in ours.
      With so much Love,
      H

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  6. Heather, a great point in case by showing the renovations being done, that the old and new can work together and still maintain the integrity and charms of these old homes and towns. I can feel your vision for this lovely old stone house. Maybe one day...who knows, you may have a gathering of friends in this lovely place or a similar place, and the sounds of gaiety from behind your stone wall will tug at the heart string of another traveling nomad...:)

    Happy Monday! Columbus Day! Glad he sailed the ocean blue and discover this Great Land!

    Amelia

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    1. Amelia, that was brilliant! You gave me something to think about for certain...And yes, I know just what I would do with such a house and it certainly involves mixing the old and the new!

      Wishing you a wonderful week ahead...
      xo,
      H

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  7. Viewing the absolutely incredible collection of images you post to your blog I feel so underexposed, H! Just stunning. Thank you for taking the time!

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    1. Underexposed how, Suze? I know that I would love to see your corner of the world--one that I don't know at all!

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  8. Some parts of this village reminded me of a place called Cittadella on the neighbouring island of Gozo. I always look forward to seeing your beautiful corner of the world.

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    1. Just as I look forward to learning about yours, Loree!!!

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  9. I noticed in your photo that the Lavoir was filled with water. Was it still being used? I hope so. What a great way for women to gather and share village news, same as they did centuries ago.

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    1. I know! That surprised me too. But because of its color--it kind of looked like a pool!--I have a feeling it was more for show than anything. Pretty though.

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  10. It's wonderful that this beautiful little village is making itself updated while keeping an eye on its past. We have to do that with everything we do to our home too, never forget your roots. If you buy that wonderful home may I please come help you wake it up and make it sing? It's a beautiful home.

    XXX
    Debra~

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    1. Of course you can come, Debra! I would need your wonderful eye! And Dylan would be welcome too of course... ;)

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  11. Thank you dear Heather for taking me for a walk. A charming place where people live in style. I love those terrace railing modern touch integrated so naturally as if it always was there. Quite unusual contemporary renovations you're right.
    "...to be a part of the casual gathering rather than always looking on from just outside"...
    Being a happy nomad is a talent and luck.

    It's a Thanksgiving in Canada today.
    One of my little Thank You is flying to you too Heather.

    Natalie

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    1. Thank you so much Natalie. Much needed and much appreciated.
      Gros bisous,
      H

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  12. Aren't the sounds of cork popping with laughter some of the best sounds ever!
    You were SO CLOSE to the original LPV! You're going to have to come back this way so I can give you a tour :)

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    1. Ah, who knows--maybe we DID pass through the original LPV. I am far, far from finished with my photos (unless everyone gets too tired of them). Viens, Vacheres, Sault...

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  13. Don't feel sad Heather - you have gathered us all together and we pop corks with you all the time!!

    How wonderful are your Blogs - it makes us feel like we are spending a lazy afternoon just viewing them!!

    Can you cast any more light on this amazing story of Pierre Cardin and his restoration and summer festival use of the Marquis De Sade's (Grandfather's I believe) original chateau?

    http://wynvogel.blogspot.com/2011/06/lacoste-marquise-de-sade.html

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    1. Unfortunately, I can't Wyn. That is a place that you have been to that I haven't! One of these days though...

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    2. I love what Wyn says here. He is right! You have brought us all together with your posts.

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    3. All Good Heather - you will make it one day and it is always great to have a new spot to plan 'one day' - but if you do share with us - I would love to know the true story - I have Googled as much as possible!! The day we were there they were setting up for one of these conferences with all the lighting and staging and wouldn't let us near the entrance - so we just had to wonder!!

      Cheers Judith - Heather has bought us all together - only thing I am woman - maybe why we identify together!!

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  14. Oh how I enjoyed your tour around the tiny streets in Luberon. Although I live in France, my few days visit to the Luberon area will always stay in my mind. The strong colours & the perfume of the wild herbs growing on the side of the roads, I will return if I can persuade my other half to re-visit, which is not on his list of to do things. He always says we should never go back, & I should always keep in my memory the things I loved about each place we visit. I will now follow your blog & enjoy all the places you visit.

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    1. Oh thank you so much and welcome!! Now, I don't want to start trouble with your other half but I really don't agree!!! Because in Provence and especially the Luberon, it is different each and every time I go--and I mean drastically different based on the season, the weather, the light. And it is such a rich region for discovery too.

      How right you are about the scents--we were so crazy for the lavender that still hung in the air even though it had already been harvested!

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  15. You've captured this place so well with your photos. It reminds me of some of the Tuscan villages we've visited this week. Will put this one on our next time list for sure. xoxo J.

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    1. I think that list is beginning to get mighty long, J. ;)
      Happy trails!

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  16. Heather....we really need to meet one day. I just love the way you look at life...with such a curious eye. Your images are wondeful...they just make me smile for I think if we were side by side...we would be pointing in the same direction with our cameras. I have never been to Luberon...I have never been to many of the places you have shown us...I feel especially lucky to have found your blog Heather...oh, the places we go!

    Warm wishes from Saigon....

    Jeanne xx

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    1. Thank you for the kindness, Jeanne and I couldn't agree with you more. I would be so delighted to meet on day! But I know that if we do meet we would need hours of talking before we could get anywhere near the cameras. :) And I am so happy to return the favor a tiny bit for all you show us. I love seeing the world through your 'eye' too!
      Gros bisous,
      H

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  17. This is my favorite village in provence. I was there with my parents in September but the fierce Mistral chased us . I keep visiting this village, summers and winters, climb up the narrow paths to the very top, and dream of one day becoming a full member of this charming, idylic town.. we do follow similar path, still hoping they will cross one of these days...

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    1. Francine!! I took these photos in September when we were there! Let me see, that would have been on the 16th. My goodness, our paths have come so close, several times now. Hopefully, one day soon we will manage to be at the same place at the same moment. I would love that.

      And I have to agree that Oppedette is just about perfect. Did you see that there was a house for sale right on the square by the church? Very tempting...

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    1. Thank you so much for the compliments and for stopping by!

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