Wednesday, August 10, 2011

After the rain

Isn't it gorgeous? We had a bit of rain, most unfortunately the evening when our friends Frederique and Mathilde stayed over (with the owner's permission of course) but it was lovely to huddle under the umbrella on the terrace while the first pats came down. We stayed up talking until 2am, literally burning the candle down low. I would have imagined after such a night to awake to zephyr skies, but no, still a hulk of gray. That didn't stop my girlfriends from donning their bikinis to plunge in. And they were right, yes, the difference between the water and air is less shocking on a cloudy day. Real Provençal girls, these two. Certainly wakes you up quicker than a café!

The odd weather lingered after their depart, trilling on until late afternoon. But when it started to clear--below while still wearing a black cap, what a light! Normally, I think of it as so Paris, that side swipe of gold. How lovely to see it tumbling over, knocking against the Braquesque surfaces of the Alpilles. Shattered into a million pieces at a glance.

In the midst of this, I am just observing. Somehow I found the password to just let myself be here and do nothing. Truly, I don't leave. My last post was the right post and there is nothing more to tell. Save that tomorrow is my birthday. Forty-two. Oof. While I am not ageist, somehow this one seems to be on the other side of something but maybe that is just how my heart is feeling these days. 

Birthdays are a rather big deal in my family. Yes, your day, you decide and do what you like with it. But do you know what? Rather than make a big plan and wallow in a bit of hoopla, I think that I am exactly where I would like to be. I can't imagine anything nicer (well, I can, but it involves taking the plane and spending exorbitant amounts of money) than, for once, just staying still! More yoga, another walk with Ben, salmon on the BBQ and considerable attention from my honey and I think that I am good. I am trying not to over-think the future, what is the next step but just be grateful for all that I have in my life and that includes the wonderful many that I have met here. Thank you--you are all a true gift! 


  1. What extraordinary images of what is obviously the most extraordinarily beautiful place. I love your philosophy on being grateful for what you have at this very minute, for truly, even if we were to know what would happen next, would we want to? It is the surprise and anticipation of not knowing which makes life such a grand adventure.

    And I hope you have a magical wonderful birthday tomorrow Heather! Much love, Virginia x

  2. Take it from 45 (almost 46); 42 is a baby!!! Wish I could be there in Provence bliss with you tomorrow; what a novel idea for us - the laid back birthday!! I know it will be as wonderful as your beautiful writing and photos - thank you, Birthday Girl, for your gifts to us over the past year!
    Sending you lots of love! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! : )

  3. Have a wonderful the rain has returned but the sun isn't out yet to create those splendid fresh pictures you have!

  4. Wishing you a magnificent birthday, Heather! I simply adore your photos... oh so dreamy.... sigh.

    ~ Clare x

  5. Sister, Clare, Heather and Virginia--birthday wishes from incredible ladies from all over the world! Thank you for them.

    And Virginia I so agree. Occaisionally, a gypsy will approach me in Arles (yes, there is a prominent population of Roma) wanting to tell my future and I always recoil--I don't want to know!! And even if I did know...well, if you had told me fifteen years ago that I would one day be living in Provence, I would NOT have believed you. ;)

    Much love to you too!

  6. 42 is GRAND!Believe me.I just turned 51.The body doesnot hurt for no reason at 42.Seize your day.Indulge.Looks like your in a good spot for celebration.I will be thinking of YOU!

  7. it is a blessed place to be when you are grateful for what is. your perspective and outlook is so appreciated and admired, thank you.
    many many good wishes to you,

    kim xo

  8. SO beautiful. I'm so pleased to hear you've allowed yourself permission to relax and soak it in. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Just enjoy - it a gift of the best sort!!

  9. Thanks ladies! All in all it was up there as one of the nicest birthdays in ages. And to top it off our friends have invited us to stay the night that they come back as well (we'll cook them a nice dinner) so we get to stay until Sunday! Whoohoo!

  10. You are living in a magical place. I wish you great happiness there and a wonderful birthday.

  11. Wishing you a wonderful day and continued joy and happiness in the coming year. For some reason in my reading I find frequently the quote "it is the journey; not the destination" and I truly believe this is what it is all about.
    You are truly blessed with all the goodness in your life.
    Helen xx

  12. Your sky looks wonderful after the rain. Happy belated Birthday Heather I hope it was everything you wished for and then some!

  13. I am a little late, but thank you so much! It was one of my favorite birthdays in recent memory. Simple but simply perfect.

    And Helen, I most certainly agree with your quote, especially as I don't have the slightest clue as to what the destination might be!

  14. Dear Heather,

    Well, if i COULD, I'd send you a link to David Wilcox's song "Top of the roller coaster" (best brithday song I know of, written and sung by the man who taught me to play guitar when he was about 25 and I was about 19).

    go to (and spend a good 99 cents):

    I'd send you the link to another highly-apropos song by David, but I don't know what this live-performance sounds like. I'm just back home from three days in Tennessee, and I've just discovered that my new 750-dollar cairn puppy has chewed off all the outer cords between the computer and the "sound system".

    Rather obviously, puppies don't get their asses electrocuted when they chew through sound-cords.....but I'm still very and suddenly pissed off (I've just discovered this, after having driven back here last night).

    Oh well...Morgan (the new puppy is happily sitting in my lap as I angrily type this...)is a BAD BOY (not that he seems to care), but here's a link to another song by David that I think is appropriate to the changes (pleasant and otherwise) which you're experiencing.

    go to:

    and a happy birthday to you, Miss Heather. We'll be in Tours in less than two weeks, will be going down to Argeles and Perpignan to look over yet another house/s inherited from yet another great-aunt (both Herve and I have many great aunts who are dying off and leaving us various, old houses in what might POLITLEY be referred to "various stages of repair"), and we'll try to detour around to Arles to look at the two pictures of Remi's that we want.

    thank you for your good writings,

    David Terry

  15. Hello there David! And welcome home. Yes, why is it that puppies always go for the expensive things? Except Ben. Only dog that I have ever had that didn't touch a SINGLE thing. He is Remi's first dog and so Remi has no idea what a miracle that is. Ben tries SO hard to please.

    I haven't listened to your songs yet (want to listen to them on my desktop) and will look forward to it, especially as I loved the last two. Discovering new music is such a joy.

    Hmmm, as for the inheritances? Score! I love Perpignan--yes, I know that it can be, ah-hem, a little down at the heels in certain areas but that is its charm. Remi and I have been for the Visa Pour L'image festival. And I don't know Argeles--is it just scary 60s condos?

    Thanks for your well wishes too!


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