Nous sommes en fête.
The fête votive started on Thursday evening and will continue unabated until the early hours of Tuesday morning. The bulls are run each evening. There are gigs every lunchtime, every evening and every night, often several competing against each other for an audience and decibel rating.
The restaurants, even 30 Degrees Sud, put on a special menu du fête, which means that, last evening, we celebrated Nicole’s 50th birthday with moules frites rather than foie gras, and on Friday evening we snook out of the village to eat at Le Comptoir du 7 in Uzès with Michelle and James, finishing off with a final pichet in Le Bistrot du Duché as we waited for the late arrival of Cody.
But most of the time, unlike some, we are more than happy to stay in the village and soak it all up - literally so on occasion.
The fête is the commune-goes-mad. And it’s brilliant, especially if one can – as we can – dip in and out: a drink here, a gig there, a bull run here and a grand bal there.
But of course, we are pretty much always en fête, or at least on holiday. We have no work commitments. We can, as we did earlier this week, just take off on a whim and head for Aix-en-Provence to visit the second half of Le Grand Atelier du Midi exhibition at the Musée Granet.
But it wasn’t the highlight of the week or even of the day. That was reserved for our visit to Cézanne’s studio, which he built just north of the cathedral in what was then an undeveloped landscape. Today, one walks up the hill past blocks of apartments and retirement homes to find the gate to this splendidly unrestored studio, with its huge north-facing window, and the collection of artifacts owned and painted by Cézanne.
To see the ingredients of his famous still life paintings, to see his suit, his stove, his pots and pans, his chair and table, was quite wondrous, and almost made me forget that our chosen restaurant had run out of the chef’s special rognons de veau by the time we sat down to eat. (Don't worry, the tartare was gorgeous.)
An excellent day, then. Followed the next morning by the arrival of chums from the UK, and the fête. Followed by Nicole's birthday. Followed by more of the fête.
On our return to the UK, which is imminent, it is the memory of these days, this light, these occasions, these happenings, which will help us through the winter.
Today from the everysmith vault: Paul Kanter, David Freiberg, Kathy Richardson aka Jefferson Starship playing in The Assembly, Leamington Spa back in 2009. Nearly four years ago now. A great gig - and this tape confirms that it was as good as I thought at the time.