Monday 16 January 2012
Winter in Provence
Last week in Provence the colours of the landscape were mistily beguiling, from first light to wintry sunset. During the day the skies were a cloudless blue with that sharp cold edge that makes everything look crystal clear. The trip wasn't intended as a holiday, as there were plenty of matters to be attended to, but as soon as the plane flew out over the sea at Marseille to make the approach to landing that's what it felt like. The Mediterranean was a mirror-smooth pool of that fabled inky blue and the rocky inlets of the islands in the bay bristled with small yachts.
The sun was out on the drive north, and so it stayed for six days. When you emerge from the general gloom of an English winter, the sun matters. Even just walking around the garden in Provence noticing the changes and pulling out weeds was a spirit-raiser. There's a real sense of the seasons turning here and hot as it gets in summer, it also blows icy in winter on these last southerly ripples of the Alps. I really enjoy the changes, and the small details like the clusters of nuts on the ground close to the almond tree:
The trees are dormant now, but it won't be long before the almond starts to push out its first green shoots and buds, and it looks like this:
But meanwhile, how did this rose manage to appear in January?