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?