This little stone figure peeps from a casing high on a building at the corner of the Place de la Poste in St Christol in the Vaucluse. It's a confidently jaunty pose from this tiny chap in his frock coat. I've no idea who or what he represents, and I should have asked at the cafe opposite when I was there, but I didn't. These days it's all too easy to think that you can find out anything from the internet, but in this case I drew a blank. Though I did find a photo, taken at the start of the 20th century, of the building. You can just make out the lantern-shaped casing jutting out between the corner statue (of the Virgin and child) and the shuttered window:
Impossible to tell from this what it is, without knowing what you're looking for. Here it is closer in:
I'd gone to St Christol for other researches for the new novel and novella but, of course, once my imagination had been snagged I was left wondering. So much of the long history of Provence and the stories inlaid in the landscapes are left casually hidden in plain view. If you want the tales and explanations, you have to find the right person to ask and if you strike lucky, you'll be enlightened in the age-old way, by word of mouth.
It goes without saying, that if anyone who happens to read this knows about this statue, please do tell me!
We might even have found a mysterious stone face of our own, at home. The light has to be right, but when it falls brightly from the south, I'm convinced this shows the weathered face of a cherub on the end of a step:
What do you think? Is this a stone that was re-used from somewhere else or is this yet another example of my over-active imagination spinning off into the realms of fantasy?