Holy Smokes

It’s just past noon and I already have my parole de jour. Having dreamed dreams of living in a castle(them’s my kind of sugar plums), I rose to a lovely breakfast in the grotto of Le Chat Luthier. Watching the goldfish in the stone pool, I was offered the usual coffee, baguette and butter. Enter Pierre’s assortment of home-made jams and jellies: flavors unimagined, from mixed fruit-fig to white watermelon-lemon. Or would you prefer pear and cinnamon? Quince and something-or-other? I haven’t had quince since I was about 6, when there was a tumbling down grove at my great-grandmother’s abandoned house.

Pierre thought I was prudent to settle for a walk rather than venture out in the car, since snow had dusted the town overnight. Two routes were recommended which would take me through the medieval sector to good views of the town and valley. On my descent, I met a policeman barricading the street. My french comprehension choked at the thought of having to answer a policeman, but I finally muttered out where I was staying and that was enough information for him to realize that this pitiful foreigner wasn’t trying to drive into town.

But he and the men shooting off guns all morning had piqued my curiosity. Following the blocked street, I arrived at an ancient church just in time to see St. Blaise toppling out the low-slung portal, guarded by huntsmen, a brave, banner-bearing lady and a petite band of provençale-clad pilgrims. St. Blaise be praised, whoever you are! I was in Patois heaven. With the rest of us mortals in tow, the parade stopped most every block of town, which amounts to less times than you have fingers, to sing their song and shoot their rifles. Then back to the church and put the good man to rest for another year.

Having told my tale, the light is filtering into my room just about enough to try a little painting. With my newly adopted patron saint watching over my shoulder, what more could I hope for?

20 thoughts on “Holy Smokes

  1. LOVED IT, MY COUSIN! Especially the part about great grandma’s quince tree, You and I are probably the only ones who remember it. And Grandma made quince jelly with it. It was not tasty to me back then, but dad loved it. I like your writings and photos, you always had so much talent in so many ways. Lord bless you today. Elaine

  2. Your house is just as beautiful as any castle! Those jams sound divine. Did you try the pear and cinnamon? Yum! I love the lady’s provencal skirt in the last photo . I would prefer the fabric as a tablecloth, though! Glad you are having a good time. Putting the finishing touches on my trip to Russia..…

  3. Salût, Bruce. Merci de l’occasion de visiter la France en hiver par délégation. (C’est moins cher comme ça.) Je vous souhaite de bon temps et de lumière magique! À bientôt, mon ami.

    • Merci, Cindy! Tout va bien. Cet âpre-midi j’ai peint deux toile de ma chambre. Demain, je crois que je vais visiter des environs à coté de Monfort. Il y a beaucoup de petits villages du Moyen Age près d’ici.

  4. Oui, je sais. Un de mes favorites est Hyeres aupres de la mer, et aussi le presqu’ile de Gien. Je me souviens qu’il y a une abbaye dans le region – le Thoronet? Je ne l’ai pas visite, Donc je me sais pas s’il fonctione maintenant. Bon soirée.

    • Bien sûr. Thoronet est une de trois Abbayes dans le Var. C’est pas loin de moi. Peut-etre je vais y visiter demain. Je voudrais visiter le iles de Hyeres beaucoup, mais je ne crois pas que je ne serai cette fois.

  5. Montfort looks amazing. Does it look as though Le Chat Luthier may have some capacity in early Mars? Love, B et E PS I love your and Cindi’s discourse en francais. Couldn’t do it, but I am excited to be able to understand. E

    • I’m still tucked in bed catching up on email and blog with a cup of tea before breakfast. I’ll inquire this morning. I think you and B would adore this place. Two delicious restaurants within walking distance. The rooms and bathrooms- incroyable!

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