It’s a very strange transitional feeling to leave a busy, big city tour in the US and return to a village in the South of France with only 2000 residents. Changing back to another language started on the plane but it took me a couple of days to remember words that had come easily only a month earlier. The days have cooled, though it’s supposed to be 65 degrees tomorrow, and my neighbours who used to spend an hour or so every evening outside in the street, chatting on an old bench about the day, are nowhere to be seen now. The leaves have changed colour, the sun doesn’t make it high enough in the sky to get into my kitchen, and I’m testing the central heating in the evenings.
When I left in October the vendage, or grape harvest, was still happening and the village was busy and kind of noisy, from 3am until the church bells rang at 12 for lunch. Now it’s super quiet in the mornings and unusually for me I’ve been sleeping until 8am!! 😂
It’s surprisingly easy to rediscover the slow pace of life here , dictated by bells, the obligatory two hour lunchtime close down, dark by 5pm and only the post office lady knocking on my door with birthday cards and Amazon packages. I am, she says, the house she visits the most – and I’m FAR from a prolific shopper, but it’s so easy to buy things for the house online. It’s that or drive 25 miles into the city and risk arriving at the store at 12 when they close for lunch!
The thing I like best about living here is that I make time for many small things. I do things I don’t have time or opportunity to do as a traveller in the US. Yes, they have Starbucks for my buckets of tea, and everything is convenient and open all the time, but here I have my favourite china tea mug stained with tannin, and a kettle, and biscuits, and I make having a cup of tea a small event rather than a rushed thirst quench. No one hurries to do anything or get anywhere here. Being deliberate and living in the moment is prized.