Thursday, December 30, 2010

Weather Report

Peope sometimes ask why I moved to France. The answer is that I have not really moved, but I do live here when I am not working because Tricia lives here and one should spend time with one's wife - and I quite like the idea that I live in more than one place.

Of course the most noticeable thing about our home here is the s   p   a   c   e. Also the (best of the) food is fresh, local and seasonal; most aspects of the lifestyle are slower than the UK with hardly a thrash metal club in sight... and, of course, there is the weather. I don't mean the long hot summer which draws tourists here from northern Europe. I mean waking up to views like this (which is sort of average as our weatherscapes go):

The little town on the hill is Lauzerte and this view is from our house. With a few exceptions (one of the towers, the street lighting and some details of the houses) this view of the town has not changed since the 15th century (factual corrections are welcome). 

The view from the other side includes a number of developments over the centuries, the most visible of these being the concrete neo-brutalism of the 1960s and '70s (not very well shown in this view)
In the winter the sun just pops over the hill and floods the house. Yesterday morning I noticed a bright light out of the corner of my eye, turned around and there it was framing a print on our kitchen wall.

Print by Ros Marchant

 It also warms up the snow.

A few hours later the very same sun sets way off down the valley to the right and produces some stunning skies..

 and illuminates Lauzerte with a soft warm light.
A slightly re-touched photo. OK it's been quite severly fondled,
but it produces an effect which is very much like being there.

At the western end of the of the town in the Maison de Retrait (retirement home) which has a large curved window. This catches the sun most evenings and winks its red light at us across the valley. I sometimes think this is a sign of things to come, then I think it is a relflection, then I have a beer and do not think about it until the next day when it all happens again, only slightly differently.

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