Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Morning in Centre-ville
There's something serendipitous about reading Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence while sitting outdoors at the neighbourhood cafe, watching the village awaken to the new day, much as it has each morning for centuries. Backpack-burdened schoolchildren, shouting at one another to wait up. The green grocers arranging the morning's fresh fruit. The husband-and-wife jewelers on the way to open shop at a civilized 09h00. A succession of smallish cars hastily exiting the parking lot behind the gallerie, the rushed faces of the drivers dreading the oppressive timeclock of the type of regular job I've so gladly bid adieu. Worshippers exiting the door of the church across the way, not necessarily uplifted in spirit but duty done, their minds shifted to the next box on the day's checklist. The street sweeper making his swirling rounds through the narrow streets. Lying by one of the tables, a dog so ugly I wasn't sure if I was looking at his front or back.
Though Mayle's book was first published 25 years ago, it is timeless in that the pace of life in the south of France has not really changed. The only visible signs of 'progress' are the parabolic satellite dishes attached to the stone chimneys so the wave of summer vacationers can watch the news from back home in their native Anglais or Allemande.
I had been early by half an hour, forgetting that La Noisette does not open at 7 as on the weekend, but the sun was bragging at having finally overcome the interminable weeks of rain clouds, the Tramontane winds had abated, and the temperature was just right for strolling around without working up a sweat. So I went back to the Nest, all of 50 metres down Rue Vermeille, grabbed my camera, and set out in search of some fresh angles on the village streets I am beginning to learn fairly well.
I've had my eye on a vacant and gutted property (fire?) at the end of the street, which is currently owned by the Pigeon family. Looks like the top floor might even have a view out to the Med. So I decided today to specifically look for houses à vendre. Someday, though not anytime soon, I think I'd like to buy a fixer-upper in the village and hire local craftsmen to transform it into a living space for us and our guests, perhaps a little B&B or rental income property.
Well, enough real estate speculating for now. I've posted some photos from my morning walk on FB - http://www.facebook.com/rick.adams.39589.
Now it's time to get a few things done. Right after the day's Rosetta lesson. And some chocolate.