Thursday 23rd February. As the warmer weather returns we can start to
prepare the garden. The hothouse is now complete and there are signs
of new life, after the devastation left by the ice and snow. The fig
is budding, and the rose cuttings have survived in their clear plastic
shroud. Mina left a little present under my garden chair, a tiny mole
(taupe), gently placed as an offering. Frédéric is cutting wood in the
forest and I am taking advantage of ‘les heures creuses’: between 3-5pm
each day we have cheaper electricity and time all appliances accordingly.
I baked chocolate brioche (for the first time), and a leek tart, and am
still counting my blessings that the water is running again – catching up
on the laundry is a pleasure rather than a chore. Just having a shower
is such a treat after all our efforts to adapt – our appreciation for
‘the little things’ has grown dramatically in the course of a few weeks.
Life here is a constant learning experience, it is always ‘fresh’ as we
are called to use our ingenuity and become more resourceful.
I have been making seedling trays with egg cartons and plastic strawberry
punnets (with lids) saved from summer, using a seive to fill them with
fine potting mix. We gather and then ‘transform’: the new seating area
in the lounge is on top of wooden fruit crates that had been thrown away
– ‘cleaned up’ they make a perfect banquette for cushions; the dining room
candle holder is from an old gas lamp; the library table in our bedroom,
with its fine marqueterie, was a piece of a larger cabinet rescued from the
rain at a Perpignan flea market. Restored or repaired, everything has its
own history, and now, a new lease of life.
Randonnées or Hikes
The ‘Randonnées’ page is currently being updated with new photographs,
including the image featured above. On Sunday the coast was spectacular
as we followed the sentier littoral that hugs the Mediterranean, and then
made our way high into the hills behind Port Vendres – the landscape
dominated by the vines of Côte de Banyuls and Collioure, clinging to bare
stony terraces as winter reveals the contours of the terrain…