The December afternoon light in southern France is pure gold. You don’t believe me? Take a look and then tell me if I’m wrong.
There was certainly very little excitement during the hour-long walk this afternoon on the road from Vinsobres to Venterol (I walked only a very small part of the 8 kilometers, it takes time to take a walk with a camera in your hand when there are photo opportunities all around you all the time):
- I met one car with a wild driver trying his best to splash as much water and mud as possible from the only puddle on the road
- I met one “utility car” from the commune with a smiling driver behind the wheel
- Then there were two more cars, one in each direction
- I met a man on a scooter
- I met two very friendly ladies who wished me luck with my photos
- I heard a dog barking furiously from a distance. As I approached I saw a very friendly-looking tail-wagging little creature behind a fence. I would have liked to make friends with him/her, but the fence was in the way.
As I turned around to stroll back, a silvery tint blended with the gold.
It was a meditative walk.
On an average day, about 2 people or so pass by in our street in Mirabel-aux-Baronnies. On 15 August this number grew tremendously: at least 75 people, some with dogs (I know, because the visiting dogs caught the attention of the neighbouring resident dogs), strolled up or down the 50 metres of narrow path. Now why?? The yearly Village Fête, of course: day-long festivities with flea market stands all over the village, wine tasting, band music, food stalls and more wine tasting.
Our neighbour tried to sell her very nice santons (traditional Provençal figures for Christmas cribs, see photo above), but there was no interest at all in those. Old, possibly scratched, LP albums fared better, and I saw a lady happily trying on one of those hippie sheepskin vests that were popular in the 60s, in spite of the doubtful state of cleanliness of said vest.
The ferocious fire stopped just a couple of metres, yes, a few metres, from Seillons-Source d’Argens, a peaceful village in Provence. I passed two weeks after the flames had licked its outskirts and you could still smell the smoke.
However, life went on as usual and their little wine cooperative was open. They make one of my favourite rosés (which has been awarded with a prestigious medal, as you can perhaps see in the photo), and this was the reason for my visit to the area. My acquisitions gave me the right to some lottery tickets, and I won – after some cheating from the very friendly sales lady, I admit – a pair of sunglasses, colour pink, of course. By the way, the sales lady had to look up which grapes went into which wine, but when it came to recommending food and wine pairings, her equal is yet to be found.