This view from the beautiful
The blue is all-encompassing: the sky, the hills, the distant villages that cling to other hills along the great valley.
In The Lantern I’ve tried hard to capture the exquisite quality of the landscape and its effect on the characters in the novel as they begin their dream life in Provence - while never quite forgetting that beneath the surface there are histories and harsh realities embedded in the enchanting stone farmhouses and olive presses and lavender fields.
Living there, waking up to it each morning, I felt as if life – my real life, that was, the life I had always been hoping to have – had truly begun. In every way imaginable, I was happy, exhilarated even. And at the core of it, I had found Dom, and he had found me. We were embarked on a new life together.
That first summer, like the deepening love and understanding between us, the property kept growing. Armed with a fistful of medieval keys, we discovered new rooms, hidden chambers revealed below and beside the rooms we thought we already knew.
And in these hidden places were the discarded objects which we claimed as gifts from the house: a bad painting of a peace lily, a hoe, a vase, a set of ramekins pushed deep inside a kitchen cupboard, a pair of rubber boots, an iron birdcage, much rusted and with a broken catch.
(…) Outside, our northern pores sucked in the warm blue sky, the astringent bracers of rosemary and thyme, the dust of ages, and we looked at each other and smiled. A home of our own – and what a place!
A note about the photo: Although part of every winter is normally harsh in the Luberon, with plenty of snow on these first ripples of the
Alps, there are also many days of sunshine. This photograph was taken one February, looking across from the terrace of La Bastide de Gordes. It’s a smart hotel, but when we arrived without a booking (obviously it was out of season, so not to be attempted in high summer) we got a very good deal. Click here for their website, and some glorious slideshow views.