slow food, slower cyclingPosted: April 3, 2012
The days in France are lazy and relaxed. In the mornings my daughter and I get up, feed the ridgebacks fresh tripe and take them for a walk. We take several trips as holding more than one of these big boys when they see a rabbit is not so easy.
Then it is back for a croissant, with a dab of freshly made fig jam and some melon and possibly a yogurt. If we aren’t making a trip, my daughter and I cycle into the nearby town for coffee or hot chocolate and some people watching. We come the back roads passing vineyards and orchards. As we coast along the river, the shade from the wild fig and jasmine trees cools us and the combined aroma is a delicate perfume.
Irrigation ditches abound, many dug by the Romans during their occupation and remain a great benefit, longer lasting than pax romana. Just on the outskirts of town we see the communal area where women would bring their washing. Not that long ago many towns used these areas including one nearby place which only received indoor running water in 1964.
My daughter, a visitor for some months with my sister, steers us down an alley to a gate in front of a nice driveway and building. There a cast iron spider glares at us, a deterrent aimed squarely at the Gypsies. In this area with the camps full, theft is common, although my sister’s five eighty plus pound Rhodesian ridgebacks ensure her compound remains unscathed.
Then it is off to the square, or round about where we take a table and sit in the shade of a canvas umbrella and sip coffee or hot chocolate.
Behind us, four or five older gentlemen chat, playing cards when a young mother with a stroller rolls up, says hello and then leaves her child sleeping peacefully in the stroller under their care while she goes into the little pharmacy. My hot chocolate is very good, and it still surprises me to see Megan drink coffee. It seems only yesterday she was a small child. We watch and chat, a cyclist in bright spandex zips by silently as he effortlessly circumscribes the circle. He is followed by a grandmother on her scooter, her white hair blowing merrily in the wind.
There is no big box store, although they are some miles away, here the pace of life is for the living.