Sunday, October 28, 2012

snapshots from us...

Here's our gorgeous Sablet

the road to Vaison

and pretty Seguret
All with a dusting of snow...

4:22 am

And it's snowing.

The wind is up and it's gorgeous  :)

I've sent Paul out to photograph it just for you .

How beautiful is that?

What that poor man goes through for this blog...

It's come over all Winter, now...

I'm not sure if it means to keep on like this, but we dived from a still-pleasant 15 degrees yesterday, to just under 7 today. The Mistral roared in last night, and blew round the village (can anything be more glorious than this old house with a storm around it?) and this evening the windows have started to mist a little.

Quick note to Anne and Alex: remember to bring your woolliest jumpers. ;)

We haven't turned all the heaters on yet - but the wind made driving tricky: MétéoWeather says it's making the temp feel like four degrees - with a feeling of minus five to come, before the night is over.

If we can catch the roar of wind on the i-phone, I'll try to post it here. For the moment - it sounds like trains, with a stone-wall-and-church-bell overlay. Close your eyes and imagine.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Le plus beau jour

For some reason - well, for no reason that I can see except that this is France and France is generally wonderful - the temperature rose today from a decidedly frontier chilly to the most glorious kind of Australian early spring day.

Except, this being France, the whole lot came with accompaniment of warm breeze - and the scent of  woodsmoke and herbs on the side.

Here's a picture of it. (thanks, Paul)

God, I love France. (Also, Paul.)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The harvest is over -

and the news is very good for lovers of Côtes du Rhône. This has all the hallmarks of being an extraordinary vintage. Small, because of the dry year – but because of the dry year too, full of intensity.

Mind you, it was nail-biting stuff. For a few days the village was talking of nothing else, playing a white-knuckled waiting game, trying to guess what the weather would do. 

There had to be rain – just enough, but not too much; and the rain had to soak in deeply and quickly. And then the Mistral had to blow – just enough: not too much - and at just the right time.
And it happened like clockwork. 

The village was suddenly full of seasonal pickers, the roads were blocked by the tough little harvest trailers; 

the air was ripe with the smell of  must – a smell so rich and potent, it verges on taste. 

And then it was gone. 

And now we’re moving into the shorter days of Autumn: the quick early dusk - 7:30 now (and wasn't it just last July that I talked about light in the sky after ten pm?) The days themselves are decidedly cool, and in the evenings - oh, but I love evenings! - the nip of winter is held at bay by wood-fires and chimneys and shutters. 

Friday, October 5, 2012


is William Tyndale Commemoration Day.

Just letting you know.

And God said "Let there be light and then there was light"  - that was William Tyndale.

"Ask and it shall be given to you: seek and ye shall find: knock and it shall be opened unto you" - pure Tyndale. "In Him we live and move and have our being"; "lead us not into temptation"; "it came to pass" (I love that: think about it. It came - it passed.  Perfect cure for Dismal Days.) "Filthy lucre" : "my brother's keeper"; "the salt of the earth" and "Judge not that you not be judged". Plus the lovely little words  "Passover"; "scapegoat" and probably even my favourite  (see old novel, sigh) "Atonement" - all of them, every one of them Tyndale And a whole lot more besides.

He had as much impact on English, to my mind, as Shakespeare (on whom be peace) and maybe more. And  he was "strangled to death while tied at the stake and then his body was burned" according to records.

Happy Tyndale Commemoration Day.

I'll be  raising a glass.

Monday, October 1, 2012


A dear friend of mine who's a writer of stories and delicate, tender poems created this one - and gave it to me; because she understands about my missal issues.

I love it so much.

Thank you, Beth.


The flowers she pressed here
Were love, laughter, and loss.
The memories she pressed here
Were of her life, grave and true.

I touched the memories she pressed here.
Then they were memories of you.

                                    Beth Long-Meermans