It has been cold and there have been few bright blue skies this year, and we have wondered what a globally 'warmed' Provence will become. Because of the rain, however, it has been an extraordinary year for wildflowers. Every bank is busy with tiny splashes of colour from mallow to poppy and marguerites, and today we went over to Sault to immerse ourselves in lavender (to the sound of Steven Isserlis playing Bach's fourth suite, and then to the whisper of the shimmying fields of barley and a skylark above us - both equally sublime) but we also found ourselves, as the shadows started to lengthen, waist high in dreamy fields of wheat studded with bright blue cornflowers.
Of course, there was the obligatory visit to Boyer's macaroon shop in Sault where Julian was first aptly christened 'Julian-Nineteen-Macaroons-Merrow-Smith' as he scoffed a bag whilst driving home (he carries on the tradition to this day), and they have now opened an artisanal ice cream parlour which sells lavender ice cream. It is what, in French, they call 'limite' in that it is on the side of tasting soapy. It certainly tastes of the rolling purple landscape around whether or not one uses it for 'eau de linge'.
On our way home we saw a hare's bottom driving up one of the earth-rivers between the mounds of lavender into the sky. A deer peeked out at us between pine trunks as we descended the Mont Ventoux back into vine country, and two pine martens skipped across the road to welcome us home.