Friday, September 16, 2005

cure de raisins


Julian has a knot of summer sadness in his gut; five months of keeping a business running solo tightening round his skeleton; a season of hot hermitage closing in on him. Now autumn is here, however, I am home and and the vines are bursting it is time to let go and re-emerge. It is time for the 'cure de raisins'......

.....except we can't quite manage that and so we have developed our own 'cure':

At seven we breakfast straight from the fig tree. I'm reaching for the pretty paintable ones.

"No! The dog's bollocky ones are the best" advises J.

We pick the scrawniest blackest fruit hanging from amongst the archetypal leaves. The cool of the night still on the skin encloses the hot jammy centre like an ice cream casing.

We walk into the dawn. Scalloped clouds clothe the distant mountains in pyjamas of pale sky as they blink their way into another day. A lid of shadow lifts lazily off the Ventoux as hot air spills like treacle onto the road. We glance back to see the sun lighting a small cat trotting towards us, wanting to come too. The other small cat emerges from his den (he has moved out of the family home to the smelly caravan opposite where he sleeps off the night's revelries) and follows suit.

The four of us wander for the hour between seven and eight. It is the first walk J has been on since I left.

"You have to promise me you will never hold me to this, but this is a far better way to start the day" he says. I bite my figgy tongue.

We watch the world go past over our coffee: Our local potter and his wife all in purple say hello on their morning cycle before opening shop; a Provencal jogger and some Dutch walkers; the shepherd and his sheep - down from the mountain where they have been since May - flock in and make a sweet smelling woollen carpet around us and I am glad not to be one of them at last.

Julian makes up boards, dries them in the sun, paints and posts. I organise car insurance, and make appointments with osteopaths and assedic sharks. Then, swimming in a neighbour's pool, I espy a young quince which looks like the golden snitch from Harry Potter. I pick it for the master knowing he will make it fly.

In the evening we share a bottle of 'cure de raisins' in it's more mature form.



Blogger Dale said...

Wonderful vignette. I missed something though -- glad not to be one of them? You mean a sheep, wandering far away?

May the sharks be -- well sharks aren't merciful, I guess, but sometimes they've been sated elsewhere and aren't interested at the moment -- may they be uninterested!

A lovely interplay of light and shade, homecoming and end-of-summer loss. -- I hope all's well.

4:54 PM  
Blogger ruth said...

thank you dale. yep, glad no longer to be going ba ba ba throught a series of interminable airports, student wohnungs and orchestra pits!epmu

5:03 PM  

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