A Provencal view in January where the roof tops have been kissed by snow. There is the faintest of pink tinges to the winter sky this morning as I look out of the French doors on to the patio. I am reminded of the descriptions on a paint pot, so many shades of the same colour; ‘Borrowed Light’, ‘Matchstick’, ‘Lulworth blue’, ‘Cabbage white’, where do they get these names from? The neighbour’s pomegranate tree, so resplendent with its harvest a few months ago, having shed its leaves, is bare. As if curtains have been drawn back, the walls of the house behind are no longer hidden. The tree’s chocolate brown arms reach out above the roof tops fanning out in a ‘V’. Strong and chunky nearer the ground, gradually thinning into spindly twigs, so fragile near the sky, so sturdy near the ground. A few stubborn, burnt orange leaves remain and one solitary shriveled fruit, as if in defiance of the winds and rain of weeks gone by.

View from the French doors, Provence, France, in January
The patio table, so well used in warmer weather sits patiently. Relaxing, before it once again becomes the focal point for dining, adorned with brightly coloured provencal cloths and laden with the bounties of the region. As meals are consumed and cleared away and crumbs swept from below, postcards will be written upon its stone top, the perfect resting place for a late afternoon glass of rosé. Children will lay out their board games and the table will become a useful surface to dump books, magazines, sunglasses and towels. Nearby, the oversized umbrella stands guard, cold and steely, seems out of keeping with its surroundings like an alien intruder, but appreciated in the firece summer heat when its folds of canvas open to provide much welcomed shade.View of the patio at our Lourmarin house in Provence, France, in January
Two birds fly across the roof tops as if hurrying to an important meeting for which they are late. A momentary chirp and twitter from their compatriots and all is silent, whilst I sit and wonder. No rushing for me, no traffic to combat, no telephones shrilly disturbing the quiet. Connected to the outside world by a laptop and technology but sitting here looking out of the window in a sleepy French village on a January morning.

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