Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Beautiful Day for Notre Promenade

Sunday morning, close to noon, my portable rings. OK, I admit, I was still upstairs in my jammies and all the shutters were closed. Anyone passing by our house would know I had not yet started my day. A familiar cheerful voice speaks to me in French, with a delightful Italian cadence. It's my friend and property manager, Armando. "Suzanne, have you had a nice sleep?" he asks, "Odile and I would like for you to join us for a little promenade this afternoon. Stop by our house around 14h and we'll have a little coffee before we go.”

How could I resist? I ran downstairs to eat breakfast, lunch, whatever might be available in the fridge and to make sure Emily knew she would have to be dressed for a hike within the next two hours. We would be walking au fond du sac. Just after the church bells anounced the 2 o'clock hour, we arrived at the Perrone door.

"Au fond du sac" I repeated as Armando explained that we would have a short drive to our starting point and that we would take along Emily's bike. Of course, I thought, we are going to walk through "the deep part of the sack." Instantly my brain made the connection to our American use of the French "cul de sac" (bottom/butt of the sack, or dead-end loop in a subdivision) and I contemplated its phonetic relation to the French expression "cul sec," meaning "bottoms up" or "down the hatch!”

Maybe now you get a hint of how exhausting it is for an adult brain to function immersed in a language not ones own...I see in my Word Reference online dictionary there are many interesting combinations using the word cul; I make a mental note to go back and study some of the ones that may come in handy next time I need to sling a few words...

Ok, hit the rewind button; back to the story about our promenade. After a pleasant visit over coffee and a slice of Gâteau Moelleux aux Marrons that Odile had prepared the day before, we joined up with another voisine and her two children. We now had four adults, three children, a bike, a trike and a kid-porting backpack loaded into Armando's car.

The weather could not have been more cooperative; plenty of sunshine, blue sky, and mid-fifties temperatures. We stayed out until close to 18h, strolling on a delightful loop through a deep area of vineyards, stopping for a brief rest, past an occasional old stone farmhouse and a few barking dogs. A great time was had by all. I hope you will enjoy a few of the photos I shot along the way. I'd love to read your comments!


Evelyn said...

The photos are lovely! What a nice way to spend the afternoon. I've only been to Provence in the spring and early fall, so it's nice to know what the weather is like this time of year. FYI...where I am in Iowa, it's currently 9 degrees F with snow and wind...brrr!

Waldo Oiseau said...

It's wonderful to see photos of another place. Love the typical Provence blue shutters!