Monday, 12 November 2012

autumn continues

Its still autumn.  Could have fooled me.  The other day we woke up to the grass covered in white frost. At 8.30 in the morning I had to drive the girls to their riding club.  It was zero degrees.  Well, could have been worse.  When I was living in Toronto, zero degrees was a reason to cheer and bring out the flip flops.

We have a dovecote, or pigeonnier  as it is known in French, at the end of the garden.  Meant for pigeons to roust in, they have a special significance in France, maybe because the pigeon acquired an important place in French cuisine!  Prior to the Revolution,  only the nobility had the privilege of constrcuting pigeonniers on their property.  They were a status symbol.  So like other status symbols, the bigger and the more elaborately decorated they were, the more wealthy and powerful its owner was.  By the 19th century, keeping of pigeons became universally permitted in France.  They were then built into domestic dwellings, often at the end of a compound.  Pigeons are still eaten today, but they are bought at the market and our pigeonnier now has a stash of chopped wood.  

The living room has a new piece of furniture - our couch from Kuala Lumpur!  Two actually, count the coffee table too.
The all-time favourite activity for the girls in St Gervais is riding.  Here they are all ready and rearing to go!
Chateau Sirac is our closest neighbour.  They are practically family.  We all feel the loss of Annick, who passed away early this year. Andre continues to host friends and family with great hospitality and warmth.  We walk through the vineyards for a chat, or to pick some fruits.  Not seeing Annick in her apron standing at the door waiting to greet us takes some getting used to.
The little cabane in the garden that Andre built for his granddaughter.
We left Sturget yesterday.  Alternating between foggy and clear weather, the landscape was often beautiful with bursts of autumn colours.  I was overcome by gratitude.  For this beauty, and for the life we have and for the people we have the privilege to know, whose kindness and generosity touch our lives in countless meaningful ways.  Thank you.

This morning I am in Paris, sitting down with a cup of coffee and an almond croissant, a scrumptious treat that I really try to abstain from.  But this morning I deserve it, having walked to the supermarket and done my grocery by 9am and walked back to a dozen load of laundry waiting.  Well, it can wait a little more while I add some inches to my waist with this croissant.  Have a great week ahead and I will try to be more disciplined about my Thursday postings!

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