24 October 2016

sun colour place

AFTER THE SHOCK of two consecutive very wet days, Vaucluse returns to sunshine, brightness and colour. So we are back out there, sucking it up so that the forthcoming winter finds us with batteries charged. Sometimes where to go is a bit of an issue and then we have a bit of a debate. I think we often go on spec and find detail that would usually not attract much attention from others. Of course the colours are magnificent, for all to see and enjoy. Last year was just as good so this sort of display must be the norm, not the exception, it is lovely.

We walk, we potter, we explore. Most of the time your correspondent follows in the wake of Mrs Melling, (we have a disparity of speed) but on a roughly confirmed route, familiar or not-so-familiar. This last week we found a gravel dredger amongst apple orchards down near the Rhône; visited the lower reaches, beaches and bridgehead of the Ardeche, (the river that is, and where the two chattering gulls, seen above, inspired this muse); traced the Canal de Carpentras to the point where it passes under the old town; returned to the valley and olives of the Toulourenc near Veaux; perambulated amongst the vines and groves between Visan and St Maurice-sur-Eygues, not far from the snail farm – as well as local bits and pieces. The vines are colouring up: we can still find little bunches of grapes, too small to bother with at the time of harvest, but delicious refreshment for us as we wander by.

The son-and-heir is sometimes given to projecting imaginary conversations he thinks his parents might have (and even do have) about this or that . . . and very amusing these projections are . . . I can of course assure my public that we never address each other as Mr Smith, Mrs Melling . . . well, we didn't, did we Mrs Melling – until the lad started his play-acting (he really is very funny, leastways to ourselves). On our excursions there is an implicit conversation about and appreciation of what we went to see and the surprises we might have uncovered in so doing . . . and our satisfaction at it.

But this week we were privileged to be included (top table no less) in the celebrations for our friend Gérard's eightieth. He and Jennifer laid on a wondering evening of eating and drinking at a domain just outside Sablet for thirty-six of us. We met new people too. Speeches, songs etc, across three languages, one of which fortunately English. Being the generous sort I framed up an image (slate with trawl float fragment) which I presented to the Kaisers (in private, not at the function).  It now it graces their terrace room wall in their house on the Grande Rue . . .

All these things are far better covered in Mrs Melling's blog of course, I can do no better than refer you to it, from the link provided herewith . . . [top right] Isn't that right Missus Melling? Certainly is Mister Smiff.