Tuesday 21 January 2014

The sight of lavender

Marthe’s head was brimming with new pictures: the fields of lavender at Valensole, all the subtle grades of blue and purple; the way twilight melted them all into one; the precise hues of the liquid distilled from each plant, the shape and colour of the bottles, and a new understanding of the surroundings where she was learning her craft. Just as plant variations were bred together to create new hybrids - like the lavandin from the delicate wild lavender - this was what she did with the descriptions her sister had supplied; she grafted them on to the sights she remembered from childhood and reinvigorated them.
                                                                   from The Lavender Field

I was sent a video link at the weekend by Frederic Vercammen, a beautifully photographed short film (very short: only a minute long) of lavender in Provence, with a meditative soundtrack. But before I could put it up here, by strange chance I ended up in A&E on Sunday night with a nastily scratched cornea. I must have scraped my eye with a contact lens. It was extremely painful and I could see very little.

Almost two days later, the eye is on the mend, but I'll have to wear my glasses for the next two weeks, which I never find very easy as the vision just isn't as sharp. So I'm blundering around, half the time without glasses as that is, perversely, more relaxing. It seems rather appropriate to give the link to Frederic's video here, with an extract from Marthe's section of The Sea Garden - and now that I've put my glasses on again I can see the lavender photo I uploaded is the one that shows tiny white snails clinging to the flowers.

Click here for a lavender interlude by Frederic Vercammen.


Marcheline said...

How absolutely wonderful! I had no idea that there were little white snails that loved lavender... somehow they look magical.

Vanessa said...

I've not stopped by for a while, mostly because I've been so desperately busy that even keeping up my own blog has been difficult. But I wish you first of all a Happy New Year and secondly, all success with The Sea Garden. I'm sure it will be as much of a tour de force as The Lantern - if not more. And I hope your eye problems will soon be just a distant memory.

Yann Delord said...

Hi Deborah,
I loved your description of the scent of Lavender. For me, what’s most evocative of Provence is the scent of pine needles baking in the sun along the walking paths.
Yann Delord-Walk Inn Provence

Deborah Lawrenson said...

Bonjour Yann! Thanks for your lovely comment - pine needles on paths...yes. I've had a look at your great walking site. Maybe I could do a post about it on this blog?

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