Saturday, 5 February 2011

Luberon blue


This view from the beautiful village of Gordes encapsulates the magic of this valley. The Luberon hills are a great wide curtain, falling in folds made by steep gorges, and distance softens the dense cover of trees so that the distinctive ripples take on the apparent texture of velvet.

The blue is all-encompassing: the sky, the hills, the distant villages that cling to other hills along the great valley.

In The Lantern I’ve tried hard to capture the exquisite quality of the landscape and its effect on the characters in the novel as they begin their dream life in Provence - while never quite forgetting that beneath the surface there are histories and harsh realities embedded in the enchanting stone farmhouses and olive presses and lavender fields.
       
                Living there, waking up to it each morning, I felt as if life – my real life, that was, the life I had always been hoping to have – had truly begun. In every way imaginable, I was happy, exhilarated even. And at the core of it, I had found Dom, and he had found me. We were embarked on a new life together.
               That first summer, like the deepening love and understanding between us, the property kept growing. Armed with a fistful of medieval keys, we discovered new rooms, hidden chambers revealed below and beside the rooms we thought we already knew.
                And in these hidden places were the discarded objects which we claimed as gifts from the house: a bad painting of a peace lily, a hoe, a vase, a set of ramekins pushed deep inside a kitchen cupboard, a pair of rubber boots, an iron birdcage, much rusted and with a broken catch.
              (…) Outside, our northern pores sucked in the warm blue sky, the astringent bracers of rosemary and thyme, the dust of ages, and we looked at each other and smiled.  A home of our own – and what a place!

A note about the photo: Although part of every winter is normally harsh in the Luberon, with plenty of snow on these first ripples of the Alps, there are also many days of sunshine. This photograph was taken one February, looking across from the terrace of La Bastide de Gordes. It’s a smart hotel, but when we arrived without a booking (obviously it was out of season, so not to be attempted in high summer) we got a very good deal. Click here for their website, and some glorious slideshow views.

    

13 comments:

BonjourRomance said...

Bonjour Deborah,
So glad you stopped by because now I have found your beautiful blog and website. Your books sound so interesting, just the kind I enjoy. Especially the Lantern, Rebecca and Jane Eyre being soem of my all-time favorites. Bonne chance with all the final details. Provence is so lovely, we are braving some cold days here in Paris this weekend, but I'm not complaining.
Thank you for your kind words about my blog and magazine. Our fourth issue is out in March.
I'm a new follower and will be back again soon.
Mimi

Book Bird Dog said...

What an enchanting place to be. I miss having clear, blue skies.

Lynne Rees said...

Great to have a visual anchor before getting to read the book. And I'm so glad you managed to include food references in this short excerpt too - ramekins and rosemary/thyme : )

Penelope Lolohea said...

My, my, that view is gorgeous! I'd love to be able to walk outside to that view every day. :)

I enjoyed the excerpt from your book. The "fistful of medieval keys" part really got me. Beautiful writing!

Bunched Undies said...

Interesting blog. We love to visit France and hope to retire there. I'll be a regular reader :)

Blu said...

What a truly enchanting view, thanks for the visit to my Blog, best wishes Blu.

vanessafrance said...

Lovely image of Gordes. I've heard of the hotel; we must try it if we ever get over there. Out os season is best, no doubt.

Great excerpt from The Lantern as well. I love the "northern pores sucked in the warm blue sky.

Leovi said...

Beautiful panoramic sharp colors.

Intergalactic Word Salad said...

Thank you, & clever rhyme, by the way. :P
I followed you back. :]

Lisa Erin said...

How wonderful about your book! I enjoyed your excerpt. Very nice imagery. I have a friend who went to school in France, and because of his stories I've always wanted to visit there.

Lynne Rees said...

Hi Deborah! I’ve given your blog a Stylish Blogger Award. Check out my post for the details:
http://www.lynnerees.com/2011/02/i-won-stylish-blogger-award.html

I hope you have fun with it.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

We've been to Gordes and it is one of the prettiest perched villages in Provence. I was fascinated with les bories there. The hotel bearing the same name was gorgeous and top notch.
Sam

Shannon Young said...

I love this picture and this post! I agree with Penelope about the medieval keys line. This is a beautiful blog and I will definitely be following and visiting regularly.

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