The light is changing here in Arles. The softening of that harsh winter white into that lovely Provençal gold is more than welcome, it's desperately needed! And as is befitting with the arrival of warmth, the town is preparing, primping for "the Season" when visitors from the world over wander and ogle at all of our old stones and stories. As Arles counts on tourism to supply a whopping 70% of its income, you can well imagine how so many here are looking forward to the possibilities that this time of year brings.
On the fabled Place du Forum (so named for the traces of the Roman Forum that once stood on this very spot), the tables have been brought from out of storage. Already a few brave folks huddle in the direct sunlight believing in the idea of Summer long before its arrival. A note to the wise, if you are ever in Arles, do not even think of eating on this gorgeous square, no. You will regret it and pay dearly for it as well. A glass of rosé? A morning crème? Fine. But even for that better to join the rowdy locals at Mon Bar or who knows what you will be served.
As a little update on the real estate situation, we decided to definitely abandon the house for sale in the Roquette because you don't buy a home simply because it is well-priced. That is even more idiotic than buying shoes that aren't quite your size because they are on-sale. So the searching continues and we are keeping our options open. I am also looking at other rentals because frankly, I am starved for light, the one thing that our current apartment, glamorous though it may be, lacks entirely. And truly, I don't know if I can pass another winter here with the lights on to keep me sane. I found an apartment near the Arena--with a bedroom window even looking out onto its arches--how lovely would that be to wake up to?--that was absolutely drunk with sunlight. Alas, Remi gave it a no, wisely noting the terrace directly below a bedroom window and the ramshackle quality of the kitchen. We both were also so frustrated to see that the gorgeous stone had been covered with wallpaper (what is wrong with people?) and the two Napoleon III fireplaces blocked up. More to come. The hunt goes on and on!