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?

10 comments:

Elizabeth Young said...

Oh Deborah, you are a master of observing the tiny as well as the large things that others often miss, but which contain the matter of which life is made. I always love what you have to say!

Yvonne Osborne said...

Beautiful pictures. Love your cluster of nuts and that surprising rose. What a treat! I've never seen the Mediterranean but you made me feel like I have. And the bay bristling with small yachts.

louciao said...

Judging from these photos and your description, I think I could handle winter in Provence...though some central heating or a big space heater might be required indoors.

litlove said...

I just adore the colours in that first picture - how gorgeous is that view? Lovely post, Deborah, you have a genius for evoking vivid sensual delights.

Deb said...

Ah, your photos are always perfect, Deborah and I cannot wait to see these places for myself. I will be driving through Provence on my way to Nice next summer. After reading your beautiful descriptions in The Lantern I couldn't resist when a relative who lives there asked us to visit! Doing a crazy little happy dance while planning my chic wardrobe haha.

Sara Louise said...

It's been a fairly mild one in the Luberon, except for one week of a CRAZY mistral! I'm loving all the crisp air, blue skies, and bright sun :-)

Deborah Lawrenson said...

Good to hear from you all!
Deb, I have tried and tried to put a comment on your blog - not sure if it is your glitch or mine, but I get a blank every time. That's great news, you'll have a fabulous time! And I love the lapland winter post with your lovely writing.

Leovi said...

Nice pictures, I love with wonderful light, color and exquisite hues in Provence everything is beautiful at any time of year.

Cathy said...

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” So said Ralph Waldo Emerson and Deborah, I so appreciate your keen observation of the smallest details of life linked to the next smallest and the next and the next to produce such a wondrous, evocative, full-screen picture! Truly, I don't even need the photos! Your words are enough.

Cozy in Texas said...

Beautiful pictures. I must admit I miss seeing the mist in low lying areas in the English countryside. There isn't as much as a bump in the road here in Texas.
Ann

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