In which we celebrate the delights of spring and a very short walk to work…….
Many things about our lives have changed since we crossed the Channel to live in France. Some of them are changes for the worse – rubbish baked beans and an appalling absence of bacon to name but two – but in the main life is richer and better for us here. Perhaps the most important change has been to the rhythm of our lives. We still work of course and for long hours at certain times of the year but now we work from home, chez nous and so the hours we used to spend travelling to and from offices or parked on the M25, are no longer wasted.
We stroll across the courtyard to open the boutique in the mornings and can literally take the time to stop and smell the roses or, just for the next few days, the wisteria. This amazing plant must have been here for years before our arrival and despite its’ facing north, apparently a wisteria NoNo, the shelter of the courtyard has allowed it to thrive spectacularly. For two splendid weeks every April we are treated to divine wafts of perfume and a dazzling display of lush purple flowers. But the clock is ticking and the camera is working overtime, as we race to catch that elusive perfect shot before the fabulous panicles disappear for another year.
At first its’ short flowering time seemed rather a shame but now its’ appearance has become an eagerly anticipated part of our annual cycle, taking its’ place alongside the early roses and just after the apple and cherry blossom have faded in the orchard. The next highlight will be the arrival of the cherries, another short-lived delight but for 3 or 4 gluttonous weeks we’ll be picking bowlfuls of luscious red beauties to eat in our favourite French clafoutis with disgracefully large dollops of crème fraiche.
Every month the garden presents us with something new and it feels good to be part of the rhythm of the seasons’ comings and goings and to have the good fortune to be able to really savour all these things for as long as they’re here. In England I’m not sure we’d have had the time to even notice.