The last few days have felt like Summer here in the south of France. Today was upwards of 25 degrees C and this evening is lovely and balmy. Finally the palm trees that dot the region actually seem appropriate! It has been so cold until recently- still winter really; just like other parts of the Northern Hemisphere. Now the leaves are budding out on all the huge old, until now, stark trees and the other day, when I was up in the mountains for a picnic, I saw that the lilacs are opening and the wild thyme that covers the rocky hillsides is beginning to bloom. The wisteria I referred to previously is just peaking in its ravenous sprawling purple splendour and the early blooming fragile pink roses that are scattered along hedges and wrought iron gates are just dropping their petals.
However, for me, none of these are as magnificent as the heady fragrance of the lemon and orange trees that are now in full bloom. On Sunday, I went to la Fete du Chocolat in a suburb of Cannes, and despite the distraction of the various chocolate vendors, I was drawn like a honeybee to the intoxicating heavy honeyed sweetness of an overgrown deserted garden that contained three large orange trees in full bloom. Rebecca had to drag me away, as I would have happily spent the afternoon there becoming more and more drunk on their perfume! This was truly my idea of heaven.
I sit here now with the windows wide and the sounds of the narrow streets below interspersed with a new bird song. Until now, the only birds I could see and hear were the pigeons, but suddenly, on Saturday afternoon, a new sound pierced the air with rather alarming shrillness. The first time I heard it, I ran to the window thinking a baby pigeon had fallen from its nest and was calling in distress. But no, this was only the beginning of a consistent presence of these small birds who flit between the buildings and shreik their incessant little songs all day long. Perhaps some sort of lark? Je ne sais pas, but I suppose they are another indication of the definite change of season.
I have wireless internet now- finally! My friend Rebecca came over this afternoon and unravelled for me the configuration so I could connect. Sometimes even a French/English dictionary is not nearly enough! Now my reports will return to some level of regularity.