Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Escape to France


This summer we haven't had an away holiday. There is too much to do here and the complications of getting someone in for the chickens, peacock, cats, house, holiday cottage and garden are a bit daunting. When I was working and living at ninety miles an hour I needed holidays like I needed air. I couldn't go back to work without the sense of when the next one would be. They were like rocks in a fast running river, stepping stones that allowed me to keep going. Now that I have stopped whizzing up and down to London and leaping on and off trains and planes I don't feel the same need. It is beautiful here and, when people come and stay in the holiday cottage for its peace and beauty, it seems perverse for us to insist on going somewhere else, possibly somewhere less beautiful, and requiring the crush and hassle and sheer mind-numbing boredom of modern low cost air travel. And it is not green either!

But every now and then it is good to heed the urge to get out more. So all the complicated logistics of wheeling somebody in so that we can wheel ourselves out are in place. We are going to stay for a few days with some friends in Provence who are fabulous hosts: inventive, solicitous to just the right degree, generous with wonderful food and marvellous wine, great conversationalists and just all round lovely people. Gritting our teeth, we are going to fly Ryanair who have seduced us out of our normal disinclination to have anything to do with them by flying to Nimes, possibly the best small airport in the world, where the smell of lavender hits you as you walk across the hot tarmac of the runway to the tiny terminal.

I love the soft greens and golds of home, today with soft grey clouds but I am suddenly overcome with excitement at the idea of a bright blue sky and blue sea and our friend's shady stone terrace with the long table laid for lunch and the cats sunning themselves on the wall.

So I have a bag to pack, greenhouse to water, lists to write and notes to leave. I have beans to pick, presents to wrap, Welsh to do for tonight's class, toenails to paint cherry red. See you soon!

28 comments:

  1. Have a fabulous time - sounds wonderful.

    Come back refreshed and renewed xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. Have a lovely trip. I am green with envy.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Qué blog más bonito!. Me encanta la Naturaleza.

    Si te gusta el cine

    http://cinebiografías.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is one nice blog - I will try and change mine to look like it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. it sounds perfect Elizabeth. Good for you and you'll come back so refreshed. Know exactly what you mean about the logistics, but you'll have a great time x

    ReplyDelete
  6. Very bon voyage, Elizabeth! Can't wait to see the photographs and read the story when you get back.

    Thank you very much for your visit to my armadillo pad. Yes, Norfolk is wonderful...I love the wide open spaces, and the big sky reminds me of home. Even in the winter, the coast has a wildly remote feel which appeals to me as well.... Of course Wales will always hold a special place in my heart because we rented a cottage there when I was a young bride so that I could be introduced to most of my new husband's family. In sharp contrast, we headed off from there to the sweltering jungles of Nigeria - oh, the horror...it was a jaw-dropping contrast as you can imagine!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Have a lovely trip.

    After 30 years of living here in Surrey I still return home from a day out and get the uplifting feeling that I am on holiday.

    Just as well as holidays are not something my husband is ever keen to do.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hope you have a wonderful time. The weather is real Indian Summer right now.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Zoe - thanks, can't wait!
    LWB - I hope you are on the mend.
    Scotty - my total absence of Spanish means I am a bit stuck here!
    Helen - thank you. Easy to do, just blogger templates and some photos.
    Pipany - the complicated logistics are the penalty for an interesting home life I think!
    Tessa - I love Norfolk too but had the sense that Wales might just be a possibility! Hope it all goes smoothly for you.
    Joanne - It sounds as if you love your life anyway, which is perfect.
    Elizabeth - I keep looking at the weather in France and it does look beautiful, looking forward to some heat.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Enjoy Provence. I was there a couple of years ago - can still smell the lavender if I close my eyes and dream!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hope you have a wonderful, relaxing time

    x

    ReplyDelete
  12. have a fantastic time - gosh you will have to have your skates on to be back and in Harrogate for the w/e of the 9th

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sounds as if you are heading for the perfect location and good company too. Have a great time - the thought of being able to smell lavender in the air makes me feel calm and relaxed just reading about it :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. yes have a wonderful time and flaunting your cherry red toes!

    ReplyDelete
  15. weaver - I don't know what it is about the smell of lavender. I am even trying to grow lavender hedges here.
    BSM - thank you. Hope to see you soon.
    SBS - it is all go here! I am a blur, or a blob sometimes.
    Anna - another lover of lavender! I would live in Provence if I didn't live here.
    TW - toes done and ready to fly!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sounds like fun. Have a great time!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Ooh, I love lavender too. I can't imagine what smelling it as soon as you get off the plane would be like. I can use my imagination though. Can't wait for accounts and pics when you return.
    QMM

    ReplyDelete
  18. Have a lovely trip and enjoy the French gardens and be inspired. Maybe some lavender will work in your garden too.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Lavender is my favorite scent. I order my bath products from Mistral; their lavender things smell like I plucked them from the lavender plant in my back yard.

    Have a wonderful time. Wish I could zip to France for a quick holiday. I will settle for your pictures. Can't wait to see them.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm feeling excited for you, but isn't it hard work getting ready to go.

    See you soon.

    ReplyDelete
  21. haev a great time - love the new look, nice big font for knackered old eyes.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Have a lovely time!
    Luck forward to meeting up on your return.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Have a great time!
    Seems like a good time to go to a lovely place!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Can I come???

    Oh Elizabeth, I have been away from your blog for too long. Always such a joy to read. I feel exactly like you with the going away thing - it is such a HUGE effort that you wonder whether it is ever really worth it. But it is, isn't it? Once you are gone, you just let go and stop worrying and thinking about your home spot (well, I do anyway!) and I just embrace all the new stuff coming my way. Equally, it is lovely to come home again too, when you are lucky enough, as we are, to live in such beautiful places - places others come to holiday, just as you say.

    To be honest, it is the weather which most spurs me on to escape - I am a sucker for a blue sky and a blue sea! Where you are heading sounds absolutely idyllic - ENJOY!
    (I adore Nimes and that whole part of Provence). Looking forward to hearing all about it.
    x

    ReplyDelete
  25. PS: with regard to Scotty's Spanish (interesting juxtaposition!), she's basically saying that she loves your blog and loves Nature and if you like cinema, then pop over to her link! (sorry, not a very eloquent translation, but you get the gist!).

    ReplyDelete
  26. I feel exactly like you about holidays, they seem like too much effort and living in Wales as we do there is no longer a need. However only two countries call me to them - Ireland of course and France my other love. Hope you have a great time.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Sounds wonderful and I shall be following in your footsteps, not to Nimes but to Rodez and Rosie's Auverne Mill, very shortly. But I expect you will be coming back as I am going out (9th). In any case you would be a long way south. Do so agree about the idea of holidays as stepping stones across the fast stream of life - wonderful idea!

    ReplyDelete
  28. This piece bounded with colour, not least the cherry red toenails....nothing better on a suntanned foot!!

    ReplyDelete

Comments are the best thing and the conversations they produce are the whole purpose of blogging for me. Do tell me what you think!