This is the life…a very comfortable seat in the shade of the fig tree in the courtyard, a pile of lovely books, some wild plums from the hillside and nectarines from the market for when you can’t be bothered to move.
The sun beats down, releasing a heavenly scent from the fig tree: sweet and rich and slightly musky. A cooling breeze ripples the leaves, and all is quiet. Above, the fruit is still green, late this year after the cold weather and rains of early summer.
When a change of scene is required, there’s another lovely place to sit and read under the shade of a vine canopy over the dining table that looks out over the garden with the blue Luberon hills beyond.
For those who are curious about which books are in the piles of eclectic summer reading at hand, these include:
Mary Ann in Autumn by the incomparable Armistead Maupin - I loved this, as I’m a long-time fan of his Tales of the City novels. Once you get to known the lovable characters in this series, you always want to know more about how life is treating them, and this book hits the mark in every way.
A Visit from the Good Squad by Jennifer Egan – really enjoyed this, especially the way the short stories joined to make a whole, while each chapter stands alone and answers some of the questions posed by earlier teasers. As someone who is endlessly interested in the tricks and possibilities of time in literature, I thought this was a rollicking good read and very well executed.
Shelley’s Boat by Julian Roach – I’ve long been fascinated by Shelley and Byron and the Italian adventure that ended in tragedy for so many of the entourage. This is a lovely lyrical mixture of romance and inexorable disaster in the weeks preceding Shelley’s death by drowning in the summer of 1822.
Rosé en Marché by Jamie Ivey – my favourite of Jamie Ivey’s fun books about
and wine. In this one he takes us behind the scenes of all the famous Luberon markets as he and his wife Tanya become wine merchants, selling their selection of bottles on stalls throughout the region, and trying to make a life and a living in France . Provence
Une Maison dans le Luberon by Adrienne Borrelly with photographs by Eric d’Hérouville – full of interiors and exteriors of exquisite style, the latest in my collection of gorgeous picture books, for inspiration and lazy day-dreaming.