Salade Niçoise and Juice
The earth has suddenly spewed out all its latent colours. There are clumps of violets hugging the base of the vines and canopies of blossom, and there are seas of golden stars running in streams between the trees. With nature's growth has come fresh enthusiasm to get on with the house, and tonight we actually made a date with the tiler, Fréderic!
"Julian doesn't see it because he doesn't go out and, more importantly, he doesn't come back" my friend Kate had said over both our first 'salades niçoises' and rosé of the season on the terrace of a café in Vaison La Romaine. Crouched by the table legs and preventing the waitress' passage between clients were abundant bunches of daffodils - one for the very fine polished kitchen of her vineyard near Séguret, and one for Julian to paint - and spinach for her family of five. We were supposed to be having a business lunch about the concert we are giving at her domaine on the 27th April. "He's in it all the time and it's just like when you don't notice a new crack after a few days..."
"Yes, you're right. I've only just realised that I actually come back from four star hotels to what essentially looks like a gypsy camp and, though it's home and I love it, I can't bear the look of it any more!"
The next day, Julian and I took off to the seaside for a day. Sitting over my second and his first 'salades niçoises' and rosé on a café terrace, this time with a view of bobbing boats and their shadows which he would later paint, he said:
"I just saw this announcement for the full funeral works, 'cremation/inhumation included' from €2099. The price of death.....what do you want me to do with you?"
"I want my ashes thrown into the sea from Cudden Point in Cornwall. What do you want?"
"To be juiced and drunk. Juiced fingers first."
At least it finally looks like we might get the tiles down first.