Friday, September 6, 2013

Ritual Rentrée Review

Why is it that in spite of not having to run my life according to a school calendar for many years, there is still something about the first of September that changes life's rhythm? It's a bit like New Year's Day but more pronounced in so many ways. When September 1st arrives, all the things I've put off for the summer are all set before me in a row. It's time to get to get those tedious work projects done, get back to the gym, eat better and avoid all that Rosé!  I want to do some sewing and make a new handbag.  I've got to make some plum jam and must get the lavender hung in bags so it doesn't harvest itself all over the kitchen floor. I've got to get my two guest blogs written and geez, I have to write my own!

Yes the Rentrée, as it's called in France, has arrived. I've explained the rentrée before here, so I won't do it again. And here in the south of France it's a most exquisite time. It is true that the fingers of autumn are gently tugging on the dangling toes of summer but our days are still deliciously warm and our nights have cooled off so that sleeping is a dream. Unless you're under constant attack by killer bats which is, again, the case chez moi. But I'm not going to let this particular recurring nightmare interrupt my reverie. The temperature of the Mediterranean is perfect and the sea is clear and blue. The grapes are fat and purple and the afternoon light has taken on an intensity that is breathtaking. I am not exaggerating when I say that I sometimes have had to just stop my car while driving to admire the way the light enhances all the colors around me.

This year I was able to spend the entire summer in Provence.  Some say the summer is too hot here in the south but I say, "Bring on the heat!" It allows us a certain a slowness of movement; an intentional laziness if you will, that is so delicious. It brings the fruits of summer to us like I've tasted nowhere else. My visitors are always remarking about the taste of the vegetables here, the sweetness of the fruit, the smell of the rosemary or lavender, which is released by the constant heat of the sun. Believe me, even my little sister, who detests melon, would be eating one Cavaillon melon each day if she knew what a REAL melon tastes like!

Between visitors and with visitors, I tried to take in all that I could, in spite of all that laziness. I've explored beautiful villages and contemplated expansive vistas...

I swam in Calanques and snorkeled with an Octopus at my favorite beach
(sorry, no photo of the octopus but man, was that cool!)

I've been to a country music fest and a Calisson festival

And the Transhumance.

At said country music festival I got this priceless shot while perusing the motorcycle line-up. ONLY in France!

Home shows

and light shows…

The Opera and a musical review on Cours Mirabeau…

The Tour de France and its subsequent, mind-boggling festival...

See that mobile in the background? That is, in fact, and orchestra of real people!

I ate like a queen. 

Drank like a king. 

The vines of Chateauneuf du Papes. 
Yes, they grow in a "soil" of stones, which is what makes the wine so tongue tingling.

And tasted the most orgasmic mint ice cream in St. Remy. Seriously. I'm satiated! Who needs men with ice cream like that?

Brocantes and braderies…

And the daily life that is mine here in my hood…

the tango dancers who are, each Sunday night, at the Place Richelm

My terrace during the blue moon

the flower market down the street in a lavender explosion!

Yeah I know…my life is good, ya dah, ya dah, ya dah!  But in whatever life, wherever it is, a little gratitude goes a long way toward making the next day even better.  I'll be happy to do a little complaining as well, which I've done ad nauseum. But today, I'm still basking in the glow of a wonderful summer. As I prepare to get down to business! 

Bonne Rentrée à tous,