Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Palate Cleanser, Part two



I thought that it might be time for another Palate Cleanser for those of us that have had our fill of goose and foie gras, whose ears are still ringing with the jangle of tinsel and the whiz of Jingle Bells.



So, let's close our eyes for a moment and try to conjure a splash of sun on our faces. 


It is a warm autumn day in the village of Vachères in the Luberon. 


Remi, Ben and I have been determined to discover every single village within a reasonable radius of our cabanon rental and so have found ourselves here after a bit of pointing and tracing on the map.


The authentic calade stone paving, a rarity, pulls us along and eventually, apart.


Vistas beckon and I answer.


Ben is eventually sent down to find me, to pull me out of my reverie...


...and vain efforts of trying to smoosh down the light so that it will fit into my little black box.


When I am lead back to Remi, he is doing what he does best...


...transforming a ruin into an imaginary castle, just for two.


The bees swarm threateningly around us, wishing to guard their treasure trove of fallen prunes...


...so wistfully we move on, continuing to steal glances of inner lives...


...and outward barriers of time's warriors as we go.


I wish to also extend un grand remerciement to all of you who left such kind Holiday Wishes. Thank you so very, very, very much.
A lovely day was had by all.
Remi, Ben and I are about to head out for a much needed walk in the country.
Hoping that you are able to relax and find a bit of peace, wherever you are...

29 comments:

  1. Sitting in the rain-drenched Pacific Northwest, this is just what I needed to spark the spirit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Take care, Jackie. And I know that light inside you will keep you warm!

      Delete
  2. Thank you for taking us with you on your walk, and showing us the beautiful village with the decorative stone paving! Can you imagine the time taken to lay the stones in such a way? Glad to hear that you had a lovely day, as did we! I wonder, did Ben receive a Christmas treat? We wrapped up a packet of dog treats for our Labrador and after the rest of the packet was put away for later, the paper in which it was wrapped, was shredded because it smelled so yummy! Fortunately it was a lovely mild day here in Melbourne, not the 40 degrees originally forecast! So much better to eat turkey and plum pud! I have a family of Magpies whom I feed, who have just arrived at my back door, next to my computer, asking for breakfast. I have been feeding them for four years now, and each year they bring their babies, until they send them on their way to find their own haven. Until I started feeding them, I had not realised that they would have different personalities, but they decidedly do! Daddy, as I call him, has beautiful glossy black feathers with a distinctive pure white shawl on his back and a handsome head. He is quietly confident that I will not harm him and is willing to just sit and wait for whatever is offered for today's menu. Mummy, (original names that I have given!) tends to be a little more stressed and impatient and nervous. She is not as handsome as her beau. She has the speckled grey feathers on her back, rather than the pure white. Forgive me if I am telling you what you already know! The baby is as big as his parents, but squawks pathetically, waiting for Mummy to place the food in his beak. When she is not noticing, he will pick up my offering himself quite independently, and even come and nervously peck it from my hand. Minced meat is much preferred to bread, but that's all I had today. When I am lucky they will alll sit and carol to me after they have eaten, and I so love that! Sorry about my lengthy epistle! Cheers, Deborah from Melbourne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my, how could you ever be sorry for such a lovely response?! I loved it and could just picture them all. How amazing but it also says quite a bit about you that you have established such trust--especially in Magpies! I don't know if their reputation is the same everywhere but here in France they are considered very independent rascals that will steal anything shiny.

      Yes, Ben did get his treat. He has a stocking with bells on it and can you believe that when I got that stocking out he immediately came running looking for his treats?! This year I brought him back healthy Omega-3 packed salmon flavored ones--of course he doesn't care that they are good for him just that they are yummy!!

      Hoping that you are enjoying your quiet time at the end of the year and have something fun planned for New Years!

      Delete
    2. Hi Heather, this family of magpies has trained me so well that as soon as they fly down and settle themselves on the garden chairs outside my office, I leave the computer immediately and go to the frig. They watch me expectantly through the glass, his head craning from one side to the other, dodging the window frame so he can be sure that it is the frig that I am going to. They're so smart! He sits on the back of the chair, until I walk quietly out the french doors and sit at the table and that's the sign for him to hop onto the table and walk over right in front of me and looks expectantly at me until I produce the goods. You're right. They have a reputation of sometimes being aggressive, especially in the spring when it is nesting time. They will swoop on people, especially bike riders who come near their nests and they feel threatened. I feel especially privileged that each year they bring their young with them for a free meal! They even allow the baby to come and tentatively sneak some food from me in nervous, but hunger driven bravery! I love their songs, but I also love that there is a trust and a sense of communication between us.

      I loved Ben in his Christmas hat! He has such a handsome and smiley face!

      Enjoy your New Year's celebrations! Peut etre a glass or two?
      Cheers,
      Deborah

      Delete
    3. Oooh or three! I am afraid when champagne is involved...

      And Deborah, your story regarding the magpies made my day, it really did. Have been feeling a bit blue today, nothing important, just the post-Christmas let-down and imagining you and your friends really cheered me up immensely. It is amazing the kind of contact we can have with our animal friends, isn't it? And yes, Ben's smiley face brings me a lot of joy too.
      Cheers to you as well!

      Delete
    4. I think the post Christmas let down is probably a fairly common experience, of feeling a bit flat. I don't know what it is. Whether it is because it is set in our minds as such a goal and then it is all over so quickly, and then what after? I think we all build up such expectations for a perfect experience that little tensions can easily mar it, or feeling lonely and a longing for loved ones who are far away... A little quiet time, a walk while looking for beauty ( which you are so good at!) some favourite music, putting some flowers in the house to enjoy and being kind to yourself while knowing it will pass.

      Have that third glass of bubbles and enjoy! Do you have an email address other than the blog?
      Ciao, Deborah

      Delete
    5. I think the post Christmas let down is probably a fairly common experience, of feeling a bit flat. I don't know what it is. Whether it is because it is set in our minds as such a goal and then it is all over so quickly, and then what after? I think we all build up such expectations for a perfect experience that little tensions can easily mar it, or feeling lonely and a longing for loved ones who are far away... A little quiet time, a walk while looking for beauty ( which you are so good at!) some favourite music, putting some flowers in the house to enjoy and being kind to yourself while knowing it will pass.

      Have that third glass of bubbles and enjoy! Do you have an email address other than the blog?
      Ciao, Deborah

      Delete
    6. Yes, you understand perfectly and I am putting all that you suggested in order. :) Yes, I do, it is linked with my profile, just click email!
      As they say here "Ciao, ciao!"
      H

      Delete
  3. REMI and LA CONTESS would get on just fine!A ruin into a castle for two........cant think of anything that would make me happier!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! Save for a ruin into a castle with a good kitchen. :)

      Delete
  4. Heather it is frigid here with a trace of snow still on the ground. I love the play of light on the stone works!

    Wishing you a wondrous Holiday and All the best in the year ahead!

    Love and Hugs,
    Karena
    Art by Karena

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Karen! Wishing you the same!!!

      And what I wouldn't give for snow, the grass is always greener...

      Delete
  5. Thanks for the little tour, Heather! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas! All the best for the New Year!

    ~ Clare x

    ReplyDelete
  6. Such places do exist, the ones which separate us because we are dreaming different dreams. When visiting San Gimignano, I felt an urge to be alone. And so, I wandered and explored. The place enveloped me in an embrace of good will and I felt as safe and secure as if I was in my own back yard. i would love to go back there and explore those old, old streets once again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is so very true, Loree (not to mention beautifully put, as always). I had a similar experience in Florence on my very first trip to Europe. Maybe it is just the lure of Italy? :) I am actually hoping to make it back to Florence next year to visit friends so I will look forward to seeing if the feeling is the same...I will let you know!
      Bisous,
      H

      Delete
  7. I can just about feel that warm sun on my face and back. Our holiday guests have returned to Brooklyn, leaving behind a refrigerator full of the food we cooked together, and a quiet, empty house. I miss them, yet I treasure this bit of alone time (even Paul is out for the day!).

    It is sunny and cold here, with a light layer of snow on the lawn. Karina and I had the woods to ourselves this morning.

    Wishing you and your readers peace and health in 2013.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Judith. You are such an important part of this little community. I am sure others would wish you the same too!

      Yes, today is the sad "Oh, it really is over day" isn't it? Well, at least we still have much delicious things to eat and Jan. 18th will be here before you know it!
      Gros, gros bisous...

      Delete
    2. January 18? What am I missing?

      Delete
    3. Isn't that when you are going to NYC? To see your son?

      Delete
    4. Aha! Yes, hotel reservations permitting, we will be going to Goldenfest! Forgot that I had mentioned it, and impressed that you remembered the date!

      Delete
  8. It looks so golden and warm there! What a beautiful day! I just saw this post and the adorable one with Ben -- what a sweet pup! Happy new year to you all -- sending you wishes for a golden 2013!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hooray! And to you and yours too, Ann. I am hoping that in 2013 your book will be a GIGANTIC SUCCESS!!!!

      Delete
  9. Hope the walk was a good and invigorating one, H. And happy new year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was! *see new post if you are not sleeping* It is a little too early yet for new year wishes as I am well in my ruminative state until the very end of 2012!!! ;)

      Delete
  10. A beautiful village to dream about in the last days of 2012. Thank you for sharing your evocative images.
    Nicole

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome, Nicole--sending my Best for 2013 for you. :)

      Delete
  11. Well if I had known you were going to be there I would have given you a tour! And I could have told you all about the stones and who had laid them to make them all shiny and new again :)

    ReplyDelete

Your responses are what makes this blog so special to me. I love hearing from you. Thank you for visiting!

*Anonymous comments are no longer accepted and those left on posts two days after publication or more will be published after moderation. So not to worry, they will arrive and again, I appreciate them all so very much...Merci!*

And also, I am sorry to do it but I am asking you to do word verification as there seems to be a bit of problems with the comments for the time being...