passing traffic


I'm having an agonizing time trying to stay present at the moment. With only eight days before I go off for the summer. I feel like a small pea pod into which I am trying to ram a kilo of peas; like traffic whizzing past my own life. I am already psychologically packing, winding up having just wound down, clenched with the inner fury of being anywhere but here and now.

Julian and I are hardly harmonious as a result of my turmoil. He, Mr Inside, simply wants to get on with his work and then, in the afternoon, have a glass or two of rosé (whatever time it is and without his wife counting) whilst watching the tennis in the cool. He wants not to plan. He wants all the shutters and windows closed to keep the flies and the soaring heat out, and in the evenings he wants to chill over episodes of 'The White House' on DVD.

I, Ms Outside, want to fling all the orifices open, have day-long walks holding hands, cycle to market together, lunch on the terrasse of a new restaurant I've heard of in the Calanques, eat summer leaves and get thin, have all our friends to creamy dinners, have long intimate evenings together talking and drinking fine wine, be teetotal for at least five minutes, see everyone, see no-one, meditate, party, scrimp and save, splash out....I want to cram it all - an entire summer of fun, weight-loss and gourmet intimacy - in to seven days.

I am sitting in the shade of a provencal mas looking down the lines of vines to a swirling coombe, writing in a huge font on my ibook. The birds are tweeting and Manon brushes tenderly against my hot ankle. Broom perfumes the air and swifts slice through the sky over a glinting emerald cornfield . I have spent an afternoon on a sun-lounger studying the meaning of crosses and squiggles on my Rameau score with assistance from my ipod. My brow is still furrowed.

Someone swishes past on a horse (just part of the normal sunday traffic along with cycles and ochre-bottomed children) and they say:

" Un meilleur bureau que ça, ce n'est pas possible"

Just for an instant, I catch the Holiday in Provence scent on the breeze, see what they see, and then it is gone and I am mentally packing again.

Wednesday is our wedding anniversary. If I go on like this I guess we might just have to opt for fine wine and a few episodes of 'The White House' as they seem to be all my long-suffering hub and I can agree on right now!



Deft encapsulation of a mood, as usual. You know I'm nosy about people... how many years will it be on Weds?

It's three and a half actually - bit complicated as we have two anniversaries - a reg office and a real wedding. may blog about it if i get the time between episodes of the white house!

The White House is a translation of 'The West Wing' into French 'La Maison Blanche' and then back into English a la Ruth, (for those confused). Wednesday is the 3rd anniversary of our pagan hymn singing outdoor promise witnessed by 100 family and friends- October will be our fourth legal anniversary.... how time flies we seem to have fitted in a few lifetimes in the 4 and a half years we have known each other. The other half.

Thank you, Julian - I was beginning to get v. confused about all these TV programmes set in Washington. DVD is the ONLY way to watch it, don't you think? ME and Becky are currently about to embark on Series 2, having gobbled up Series 1 in about four evenings. Even when you can watch four episodes on the trot, you stil have to pay attention. Entirely with you on this indoors thing, too. The great outdoors is great fun but best viewed over the rim of a glass of beer/wine in a shady spot in the late afternoon or evening. That's why the Spaniards invented siesta, isn't it?

Your evocations of life in summer Provence make me ache with longing. (Summer in Canaries not my favourite time.) But sounds like you're about to lose it too. Enjoy the wedding aniversary. Hope you'll keep on writing this, even if, meanwhile, not in France...

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