Well I Suppose It Is A Bit Funny..

Settling back into routine again after a holiday always takes a few days; unzipped empty suitcases gape at me accusingly from the corner of the bedroom before they are packed away until the next time; the washing pile festers in another corner, and the passports are put back in the drawer. The summer clothes are hung again in the wardrobe in the vague hope that there will be some more warm weather sometime soon. It’s time to open the windows and let the fresh air in; to unpack the lavender soaps, stockpiled so there are enough to remind me of Provence all year round. And it’s time to get back into the swing of things.

Getting back into the swing of things can take many forms. There are lovely upsides like meeting my elderly dad from the bus after his return from a trip to Cornwall, his straw hat swinging from his neck as he says ‘Ye gods, what a journey!’ Hugging my grandchildren and spending time with them, and my granddaughter excitedly arriving to stay the night.

Today after spending some time putting the apartment here at Dove Lane to rights, I booked a much needed appointment at the nail salon; it was time to give my toes a treat.

Deep into Hello magazine, I switch off as my feet are scrutinised, scrubbed, trimmed, painted etc. I read about all the various celebrities and their busy, exotic lives. I read about the eye watering amount spent on someone’s engagement ring and the luxury homes of some familiar famous faces. For ten minutes I dip into the lives of the rich and famous, read a bit of the gossip, then put the magazine back on the pile where it belongs, and think about what to get for supper.

I sit and wait for my now snazzy nails to dry and look out of the window as the rain pours down and bounces off the tables outside the coffee shop. Absently think it would have been a good idea to have brought a brolly. And I wonder whether it had been worth blow drying my hair earlier.

The lady helps me slide my feet into my flip flops and I pay up and head for the door. Horizontal rain assaults me . Hurtling along to my car, my greasy feet slip on the wet ground and I half ski, half slide to my car, just saving myself from falling as I make a lunge for the door handle. Hanging from the handle I feel like a cartoon character, and can almost hear the wizzy sound effects of my feet going round and round. I hear some teenagers sniggering and feel silly. I want to glare at them and tell them it’s NOT FUNNY! But then –  in the words of Daddy Pig – I suppose it is a BIT funny.

Happy holidays.

Blessings to you.

Everything is different yet completely the same…

We returned to Provence this week; a place we have been to many times. Mostly we have stayed in the same holiday home, high in the hills in the Louberon region. Our cottage is set amidst lavender fields, and as I sit writing this I look to my right and see a swathe of purple flowers, flanked by the mountains of the Vacluse beyond. The gentle aroma of lavender fills the air, like a constant waft of perfume from a genteel grandmamas lace handkerchief.

So far we have had cloudless blue skies, hot, sticky days and the comfortable feeling that the weather is set fair, at least for the time we are here. The days are spent relaxing, shopping, reading and eating. We don’t tend to venture far these days, preferring to chill out and just soak up the atmosphere. That is beauty of knowing somewhere so well; the exploring has been done, the paths well worn to the familiar places,  and the best shops visited and revisited. Of course, there are times when a little voice in our heads urges us to go out and explore, and we do; indeed there is always a little change here and there, enough to pique our interest without taking us too far out of our way.

There is always a feeling of peace here but one can let one’s mind drift and absorb a faint feeling of disquiet when the mist draws in and the sky darkens around the hills. There are centuries of history here that assail you at every twist and turn in the medieval villages, and our local town of Saignon has been a settlement since the Iron Age.

We sat in the gardens here for the first time in 2001; we had not long arrived and had just heard the devastating news that the Twin Towers had fallen. So far from home and utterly shocked, we could only listen to the news in disbelief. As we sat in our tranquil setting we found it hard to think of such atrocities taking place.

Other years have seen us all facing mixed fortunes; such is the see- saw of life. We’ve planned happy weddings, celebrated the birth of various grandchildren, found ourselves seeking rest after house moves and lost people dear to us.

It is interesting to note that during our evening strolls when the sun is setting again over the fields, we discuss at some length our latest concerns and worries; what will happen about this or that, should we move/ change direction/is everyone okay? And yet can we remember what we worried about and talked about this time last year? I’m not sure we can, so I guess that must tell us something.

Whatever is happening, there are some things that never change, yet life always evolves. Sad things happen, people come and people go, hearts break a thousand times. Good things happen, babies are born, grandchildren double up with laughter and your heart bursts with love.

Through changing times the sun will still rise and set over the hills of Provence, new, younger and enthusiastic tourists will discover the delights of Bonnieux as the older ones slow their pace. But the old and well worn paths will always be here; the vines will flourish and the vats will always be filled with wine.

Au revoir until I’m back in Dove Lane

Blessings to you.

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Notes from France This Week..

We are very lucky to be spending two weeks in France,  starting with a drive down through the the country with over night stops,  before reaching our destination in Provence.

Last night we stayed in a traditional chateau where it is rumoured Sleeping Beauty was awoken by her Prince. Looking at the twisty spiral staircases leading to the turrets and towers, I wouldn’t be surprised. Waking this morning, the peace and tranquility certainly lent itself to a feeling of living in a fairy tale.

After a delicious breakfast we travelled onward and are now in Pessac in Bordeaux.  We are staying tonight in a chateau which was originally the home of Pope Clement the 5th in the 1300’s. We are indeed priveleged..the table is set in a private dining room for our dinner, to be taken under a golden chandelier reflecting a thousand glittering lights. A white peacock patrols the grounds and the vines stretch for many hectares. Chateau Clement has the oldest vineyard in the region.

Walking around the grounds, we see gnarled and aged, majestic olive trees, the like of which I have never seen before. The oldest, spread serenely on the soft, lush lawn, was said to be planted in the year 207. I can only stand in awe …I can’t imagine the history it could tell of…

It’s a rather different life here to that in Dove Lane. Tonight I shall glide down the elegant stairs and inhale the scent of the musky candles that light our way. In the oak panelled dining room I will raise a glass to life and the lucky chances that sometimes come my way.

Soon we will be in Provence amidst the lavender fields but that’s a story for another day.

‘I dream of the Olive tree high on the hill, That’s  seen a thousand setting Suns. The leaves on the tree will still sigh in the breeze, When this life is over and the day is done. ‘

Blessings to you….

 

 

The Angel’s Wings

It’s been a sad week this week. A week of loss. A week of asking: why? As I do my usual slow ramble around the lanes and listen to my music, the normal lift to my spirits is absent. Maybe we all need to give in sometimes, and admit that life sucks. Once we do that we can pick ourselves up again and carry on.

My blog is short this week but I hope anyone go through tough times can take a little comfort from the following poem….

Blessings to you.Angel on cloud

 

The Angel’s Wings

The angel sat among the clouds
Amidst the darkening skies,
Her golden curls were tangled
And she rubbed her tired eyes.

The sun was dipping in the west
On Earth it was time to sleep,
But the angel knew that it was best
To be helping those beneath.

She softly flapped her gentle wings
And flew down from above
To silently look at those in need
And surround them with her love.

For that long night her work was hard
She saw the tears and sorrow,
The challenge of the changing world;
Would it be the same tomorrow?

No one saw her standing there
As they sought to find some peace,
But they felt a lessening of fear,
And the grip of worry cease.

‘Dear Lord,’ she prayed, as she reached home,
‘I just don’t look my best,
My wings are shabby, my dress is torn,
But there was much unrest.’

‘Oh precious child,’ the Lord replied,
‘There is kindness in your heart,
You do not judge, but gently guide
With all that you impart.’

‘Look not upon your ragged wings
For they will soon repair.
Just know the hope your presence brings
To those who feel despair.’

And those upon the Earth were blessed
As they faced a brand new day,
Embraced by a silent angel
Who had helped them find there way.

© Lyn Halvorsen