Sunday, February 2, 2014

Quiet streets

For a little village, Argeles-sur-mer has many moods. In July and August, it's tourist mood when ASM transforms into the "camping capital" of Europe and the population swells by 100,000 - all of whom seem to descend on southern France's biggest beach while renting RVs or bungalows by the week or month. During Christmas and Easter, it's holiday mood and plenty of parties when we're likely to see some friends from the UK who have permanent homes here and use them whenever they get a few days' break from work. During "shoulder season," June and September, there are some vacationers, but only enough to liven up the twice-weekly marche without choking the pedestrian-only streets of centreville.

In winter, especially midday on a Sunday, ASM seems almost a ghost town. There are very few residents in residence, and because the shops are closed most of the day, almost no one walking the streets.

With D-L in Geneva for a few days, I went for a walk to take an exercise break from writing. I was about the only ghost on the streets. The weather website claimed 12 degrees centigrade, but the wind made it feel much colder. So I walked rather briskly, thinking of maybe turning on the bed warmer on D-L's side of the bed and crawling under the covers to read for a bit (at 5 in the afternoon). And, as I thought about it more, thinking about buying another bed warmer for my side.

Only saw three others on my quickened pace down the steps to la poste, up the street to the river, still flowing steadily from recent rains (sorry, California friends), then back up the slight hill that is Rue de la Republique. On the other bank of the river, there was a dog owner ghost throwing sticks to a couple of canine ghosts.

There are times when I appreciate solitude mood.  Put on some easy listening music mood and do some research. Experiment cooking my own chicken noodle soup mood. Finish reading a book on Kindle mood (though a bit predictable, and the writer was too enamored of his own technical knowledge - more than the reader needed).

But I like the other times during the year too. The social mood of meeting new people and hearing their life adventures and opinions over a cup of hot tea and a chocolate biscuit. The walk to the beach in 15 minutes mood - because we can - and I wouldn't live in any of the other towns around, lovely as they are, since they all require hopping in the car to get to the plage. The time to plant some flowers mood by which our street is annually voted the prettiest in the village. The it's warm enough and not a tramantane wind so we can sit outside at La Noisette for lunch mood and watch the people go by.

And yes, I'm writing this in bed - on D-L's side with the bed warmer on.

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