Surviving one last battle against the mistral to get 4o pounds of barely used art supplies and a pitiful bit of clothing back to the the station, only to my out that my train was running almost an hour en retard, WAS WORTH IT!
As laisse faire as thé French are about most things, there seems to be a trinity of things they don’t mess with: food, wine and a timely train system. But even when something goes awry, nobody seems to bristle. They have a coffee, a snack or cigarette and wait. That’s part of the charm and one of the reasons I adore this place, it’s a slower pace of life.
Driving from Aix to Monfort is a decrescendo of auto routes giving way to country roads trickling down to hairpin-turn lanes, all wrapped in mountains, hills, sleeping vineyards and olive groves.
No one answered the door when I rang at Le Chat Luthier, soI was forced to make my first phone call in French. Not bad. It worked. Pierre came down from the third floor to help me park my car in the garage and get settled. Not having driven for a week, suddenly, in one day I had to slalom turn a rental backwards out of the parking garage onto two way traffic and then pull it into the ancient, narrow “garage” at Chat Luthier. How will I get it back out? Every Day?
. The house,as old as the United States, is incredible, to my sense of beauty. Done, but not overdone. Chic enough that the shabby gives the class character. The natural light through the windows is seducing me. Sitting in the salon for tea, I was surprised that I could understand and speak a word of French, because I was distracted with recurring thoughts of interior paintings to be created. Still, it almost seemed natural to get the lay of the land in French. Wow!
My room looks onto the fortifications below an ancient castle of the Knights Templar. I can hear the church bell ring every quarter hour and right now someone is summoning forth medieval spirits with a plaintiff saxophone. Yes, plaintiff. Go figure.
Le Cat Luthier and Monfort sûr Argens will be home for six days: unless I sway Pierre to give me an option to buy. Ya, it’s that fabulous.