Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hometown Glory

Slackedy slacks-ville on the blogging front, n'est-ce pas?

Oh sorry, didn't mean to slip into French there, it's just I'M IN FRANCE.

Yes, mes amis. I sit here in the kitchen I am somewhat lovingly chained to at the moment, sipping my red wine (even the box stuff tastes bloody good here in the vingoble de Cahors); a quiche in the oven, a beret on my head, the outside pitch-black at 5:30pm.

I returned a little while ago from the most delicious run I've had in a while (in fact the deliciousness extended to actually ingesting a fly- that'll teach me to whoop with glee when overcome with joie-de-vivre and runner's high). I crossed the river and found a track that led from Touzac to Duravel- a town about 5 kilometres away- and pounded not the pavement I've become accustomed to from my last few weeks of London runs, but a lovely rusty-golden smoosh, with the river on my right and white cliffs on my left, French cars conduiring above them, water dripping down them. I ran past donkeys and through vineyards; a group of men working on a cherry picker waved frantically at me and yelled “oh-la-la-la-la...” quite a lot: it pleased me; a rainbow touched the top of a church spire in the distance.

… Sorry, does this all sound disgustingly quaint and picturesque? It was. It is. I feel your pain: I was the one experiencing this extreme beauty, and I almost vomited myself from the gorgeousness.

And yet, paired with this appreciation of the fact that I may never again experience such a belle balance of orchards/wine/stylishly-worn caps/ridiculously-perfectly-placed rainbows, is a better understanding of that notion of aesthetic beauty not being enough. Something to do with the inner/outer beauty importance debate. Something along those lines...

Because I'm homesick. It's coming and going. And it's not necessarily a bad thing, because as I recounted to Paddy (who has a lot to answer for when looking to the root of my aforementioned maladie de la maison) the other day, running along a country lane and managing to cry simultaneously is not only quite an impressive skill... it's kind of special. That's love and family in action, you know? And in some sick, sadistic way, I sort of enjoy putting on my homesick mix and shedding a little salty fella and not just thinking about the people I love on the other side of the world, but viscerally feeling their absence in my life.

Oh this is all very dramatic-sounding isn't it? Don't think I'm all sad-sacky here. On Saturday night I went to the the opening of the café here in Touzac. I danced with the beautiful little girl I'm looking after, in the style of the various foods we were eating (ie. We did The Jelly Dance, The Chip Dance, The Peanut Butter Dance...). I drank lots of white wine with cassis in it, as is the French way. I sang with two amazing guitarists (my heart soared), and spoke more French that I have in the last five years. Two days ago I wrote a song on my guitar that doesn't make me completely cringe with lameness. Last night I made beef bourginon. Today I put together a (fingers-crossed) successful pastry crust. Tomorrow I'm going to a jam session, rural-France style.

La vie est belle.

Claire, Chef de la maison.