What is it about the clocks changing that seem to totally change the atmosphere around twilight? Almost as if a touch of Christmas magic and anticipation has been sprinkled like fairy dust. Strolling around Lourmarin last night at dusk, the smell of wood fires pervading the air, people casually wandering around the tiny boutiques, clutching enticingly wrapped packages one could have been forgiven for thinking it was mid December, not early November.
I was surprised that our Provencal village was so bustling at 6.30pm. Café and restaurant doors were flung open, slowly weeping, fat candles, encased in their glass hurricanes, burned invitingly on outside tables set for dinner. Despite the brisk, colder than average temperatures, well wrapped up diners sat outside sipping their pre-dinner drinks. It was tempting to stop and join them.
I always love this time of year, when I indulge in a wintery fantasy of log fires, warming soups and casseroles. Candlelight suppers with friends, flower arrangements of burnt cinnamon, orange and magenta, plump, rounded pumpkins and oversized chrysanthemum’s, bursting with the very essence of autumn…..not normally my favourite colours or plants but truly perfect for the season. Crisp mornings when you create your own foggy clouds of breath and your walks take you crunching through a carpet of leaves. The thrill of Halloween, Bonfire night and Thanksgiving, depending where you are located!
Over riding all of this is the promise of Christmas. Still far enough away to have not evolved into the frenzied chaos it can become. The special wonder of this time of
year, high expectations that this year will be even more special than the year before. Wonderful family gatherings where no-one becomes cross or grumpy, luxurious celebrations with friends where I twirl around
in a divine cocktail dress as a totally unfazed hostess, everything baked and prepared well ahead of schedule! Indulging myself in my own dreams, perfumes of pine and cedar, stirring Christmas puddings, baking festive goodies…….. all beautifully wrapped in gorgeous ribbons and love.
P.S. 53 days and counting!
Download The Lourmarin Travel Guide to learn more about this beautiful region of Provence