Thursday, 3 September 2015

Rhythms of Caunes

How can this summer be nearly over ? 

It is rentree  this week. The children of Caunes all went back to school on Tuesday, as they did all over France. My daughter, Jess, began her second year of teaching reception aged children in Liverpool, also on Tuesday, and we have started to think about putting "summer things" away. We are almost at the point of thinking about packing the house up, for our return to Yorkshire at the end of October.

I had all sorts of intentions of redirecting my blogging efforts this year. It hasn't happened. In fact, I've only written 4 blog posts since I left Yorkshire in May, and they have all been diary type posts....exactly what I was determined to move away from.

I have thought a great deal about the rhythms of life while I have been in Caunes this year. It is difficult to avoid thinking about patterns, and the regular events that have now become so familiar to us as we share our time between Yorkshire and the Minervois.

Seeing the cherries appear on the trees, and for sale by the roadside marks the start of our time here every year. I can hardly believe this is now our 4th summer here. So, the cherry conserve making takes place, and then, suddenly, apricots are in abundance and my favourite jam of the year gets made.

The marble festival in Caunes, le quatorze, Le Tour, les vendredis Classiques, les mardis in Villeneuve, our return to Yorkshire for my 4 monthly hospital check, meals at our favourite restaurant in Caunes ( La Table d'Emilie ) with friends Steve and Jane, more time walking/ cycling with Steve and Jane, what seems to have become an annual trip to Spain....with Steve and Jane, the Carcassonne festival, concerts in the quarries, the vide greniers......all these things have become important elements of our absolutely lovely life here in Caunes.

Le Quatorze
Le Tour

Trips with friends
It is great when visitors who have not visited us here before, come to stay for a while. It means we can show them around, and re-appreciate the gorgeous place in which we are lucky enough to live.

The abbey in Caunes, from our garden

Then, of course, there are the annual trips from the children and grandchildren.
Jess and Matty, who came with Matty's parents this time.

They want to go to the places they have come to love, as well as always trying to discover a few new treats. Time in the pool, the 3 bears' house, the playground in Caunes, playing on the trees by the bar, seeing the marble statues on the way to the quarry....these things have all become traditions, and will undoubtedly be things to remember for the little ones in years to come.

Liam has been driving this tractor around the pool for 4 years. The older boys could hardly reach the pedals in the first they are much too big for it...but they love it.

Izzie.....a great little swimmer at 3 years old

They get more gorgeous every day.

Visiting Carcassonne.......again......It can never get to be boring.

Now, as the days have become a little cooler, and the visitors have gone, we find we are meeting for our weekly cafe des langues, inside the bar rather than outside. Mark and I are pruning and shredding to make mulch. The vendange is under way, and the Citou onion festival is on Sunday this weekend....again, for the 4th time since we came to know Caunes.

I haven't wanted to repeat posts from previous years. Sometimes it has felt that is what I would have been doing if I had spent all summer blogging.

Some things are different. Today, new people came to the cafe des langues. The boulangerie has moved 3 doors down the street. I have taken up mosaicing ( no, I realise there is no such word ). People who we regarded as aquaintances have become dear and valued friends, and believe it or not.....our French is improving !

So, the rhythm continues. Mark and I are healthy, the children are well and seem happy. The grandchildren are growing up to be fabulous individuals, and we are wallowing in enjoying it all. real new blogging direction, yet. 

All I can produce here is just a very conscious appreciation of yet another lovely lovely period of our lives.

Jess, Mark and I

walking down into the village for a meal

Teddies waiting for children to play with.