An average July Sunday in Provence is slightly warmer than I can stand. I seem to spend more time looking for respite from the nuclear sun than I do anything else. Whatcha gonna do. This is what we bargained for many months ago when we began our planning. It was always going to be Provence but the specifics came later as we scoured Airbnb for options in more than a dozen towns both in the valley and on the hillsides.
I was cautiously optimistic that we would luck into a place in Cucuron but as luck would have it (bad luck) we did not find the dream home in our price range. Bonnieux has all the charms of Cucuron but adds on a ton of very steep walks to get absolutely everywhere you would want to go. We are at the top of the hill and everywhere we would need to go is many meters straight down.
There is no gym time required at this location. Just walk anywhere for mere seconds and you are leaking gallons of water from every pour in your body. Strenuous exercise and 38 degrees don’t seem to be my definition of simpatico. Hey, the cards are dealt and we have cut the deck.
Friday was all kinds of cool. Allistair and I started out with an hour of tennis at our club (new members!!). Thank god we were done by 9:00am or I may have been in need of a defibrillator and ice bath, and we all know that wouldn’t have been pretty. This is the land of Haute Couture so no one here is interested in a Canadian man (not in his prime to say the least) shirtless or worse in any of the local ponds. You’re welcome mes amis!
Once we left the clay courts of Roland Garros (in my mind) we wandered up the hill as Friday is market day in the village. Thankfully Deanna had her Kath Kidston shopping bag. What would we have done with the three huge bundles of lavender otherwise. Along with the local weed came charcuterie and cheese o’plenty.
Samples of anything and everything are on hand. We wandered about in awe with attempts to fill the shopping bag with local produce. The trick was not to be bowled over by the hordes of visitors recently arrived by bus and laden with cameras witlessly following the guide with the yellow flag.
Job done soon after and we retired to our home on the cliff in time to have some lunch and watch Russell Crow in A Good Year. I never grow tired of that film and seeing as it was shot locally put some perspective on the region for Alli.
After lunch we fired up Sven, cranked the air con and set sale for Chateau Conorgue winery as it was used as a set for the movie and as I learned on a previous visit a couple of years ago, a lovely vintner with lovely wine. We were provided several wonderful vintages to sample and then chose a few bottles to take away with us after the obligatory wander around the gardens.
The following day was about venturing a little further afield to Apt which is around 12 kms away to the northeast. We had a brief look about & visited the local supermarche’. We hustled back to Bonnieux to get squared away in time to find an outdoor terrace bar in the village that may be showing the England Sweden game at 4 o’clock.
Success, and a table pour 3 was in a perfect location for the 75” flatscreen hanging from the outside wall. We sat next to a Swedish couple and their young daughter. Being Swedish they were all beautiful people. The remainder of the crowd was made up of French locals that hate the English between cigarettes and Belgians that sat there with their best smug faces.
The remainder were sunburned English twats with poncey public school accents screaming at the TV in hopes that Gareth Southgate would hear their requests to get Sterling off and Rashford on. If those accents were Mancunian or Brummie or even Scoucers I maybe could have accepted their pleas for change. Oh yeah, the most important part is that England were up 2-0 so whats the problem Rupert? If there is a god I will someday find my way to their local polo field or fox hunt so that I may heckle the shit out of them.
Today Found us on a slow paced drive through countryside with stops in Cucuron and Loumerin. Both lovely and both drop dead gorgeous. We had lunch at L’etang in Cucuron and enjoyed a fabulous meal. Even Allistair had his first foray into true French cuisine with steak tartare avec raw egg.