LIVING IN PARADISE: FRANCE IN OCTOBER #4

 

 It's the end of October.  


The sky is blue with puffy white clouds floating by. The temperature approaches 70F during the day, hovers in the high 40s at night. The vines, having just been harvested, are turning color prior to dropping their leaves. Many of those leaves turn yellow before going brown but some blaze bright red. Same with the deciduous trees, mostly yellow but with some autumn colors more familiar to this Northeastern boy.

Yes, it's unusually warm and pleasant. If this is a result of climate change, I'm down with it. I just hope that next summer isn't a killer.

Even given this inviting weather, tourists seeking to prolong summer heat find warmer climates by heading farther south, into Spain. Perhaps taking a ferry or a short hop to northern Africa. Zanzibar is within reach. And many Europeans have spent considerable time in Southeast Asia. 

We remain here in our little rural village in the southwest of France. Quiet descends. Traffic eases. Scarves, sweaters, light jackets, and socks and shoes replace polos, shorts, and sandals. In fact, the easiest way to distinguish the French from the Brits in the region is the insistence of the Brits to continue wearing shorts well after the French have started to protect themselves from the coming gray, wet, cold winter that is inevitably on the way. When the French break out their scarves to 'warm their necks', it's a good idea to follow their example and break out your winter gear.

That's not to say that you need the kind of winter clothing that is required in our former stomping ground of eastern Pennsylvania. My good winter coats have yet to be worn here as I go into my 8th winter. They hang in a closet, not forgotten but not necessary, either. Jackets that are labeled good for three seasons in the USofA are good for four here. So I wear my good fleece. 

Last winter, we had one hard freeze. Simply not worth it to take the down jacket off the hanger for that one day just for the sake of nostalgia.

We miss the pop-up restaurants on the beaches. Do you know about them? They are stored in containers over the winter - full-service kitchens, tables and chairs, decking, and more. They are assembled in the spring right on the beaches up and down the coast. They serve just about anything that you could ask of a simple, unpretentious French restaurant, which is quite a lot. They are busy, busy, busy all summer. Then, suddenly, as if they were migrating birds, some signal unheard by mere mortals is heard and the restaurants disappear for another year.


Year-round restaurants shorten their hours. Folks who didn't take vacations with their kids in the summer close their businesses for a couple of weeks in preparation for the winter holiday push. All Saints and All Souls Day preparation begins. But the winter holidays are a subject for further discussion. 

It's the end of October and we are living in Paradise.


2 comments:

  1. Like how the pace of this piece, matches the content. Nice.
    Hope all is well, André

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Life happens but life is good. Thanks for the kind words. Take care and be well.

      Delete

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