At the end of the ‘season’ we’re all a bit “marketed out”, but as the days grow shorter, the clocks go forward, things quieten down, it’s not too hard to fall back in love with the traditional Provençal market – especially ones like Coustelelt which is as local as you can get.

Autumn heralds the influx of butternuts and all things bulbous

 

Not to mention the end of the sunflower season

 

Lettuce of all kinds and shapes, sizes – very inexpensive

 

The French love decorative courgettes, pumpkns, butternuts and other exotically coloured and shaped vegetables

 

Madame got quite crrative on our outside table, awaiting some friends ofr an aperitif, as we cling on to the last warming rays of the sun

These are some of the sights that we just cannot get tired of …..

 

Southern side of the village

 

Many of the village buildings are resplendent with colours which seem to change daily

 

An autumn evening at Bastide les Amis – our new wall lights glowing in the background

 

“The Valley” – normally vines would have lost their leaves by now. However, the late summer has seen even some green shoots appearing!

 

Beautiful autumn morning – the Ancien Mairie. Soon, we believe, to be transformed inot a village museum.

Spotted in Lioux – not a 2CV Citroen, but a Citroen nevertheless

Spectacular beauty

 

Looking over to Roussillon and Joucas

 

The plateau is quite flat

 

Coming down, a little respite for the feet on tarmac

 

We were up there!!

 

Looking up at La Madelaine from the village car park

Every Tuesday we go with a group on a GR – a Grande Randoneé. A hike by any other name. They’re usually about 7km + in length and we take it pretty easy, stopping for a nibble and water (some quaff a little home made Slough Gin!) and a great social catch-up.

The latest one started in the one-horse (without the horse) village of Lioux in the Luberon. Lioux is dwarfed by a plateau like mountain, La Madeline, all of 7km long  and 800 metres up, dating back 30 million years – we looked up and thought “Oh well, at least we won’t be climbing that”. Well, we did! And, it was worth it – the views spectacular with Roussillon, Joucas and Gordes in the distance. Lioux has 248 inhabitants (6.4 to the square kilometer), but lie all French villages a local Mairie and infrastructure.

 

On the hike up, some autumn berries

 

There are many derelict buildings in the Lioux village – crying out for TLC and major investment

 

A view of harvested lavender fields on the way up

 

Nearly at the top – puff, pant. Worth it! Thank goodness for the new hiking shoes from LL Bean!

 

 

We found this mushroom which had some twigs placed on top of it – some kind of ritual, or just kids playing?

 

Autumn weather brings on a proliferation of mushrooms in the Luberon. We enjoy photographing and admiring them, but are rather hesitant in picking and cooking them. This does not stop te locals, who forage to their hearts conent, and, if they’re not sure, they pop off to the local pharmacy and here Norman and Sophie pronounce ‘oui’ or ‘non’.

French pharmacists study the fungus extensively in their university degree and are the point of reference if you’re not sure.

 

 

How’s this one with the furry edges

 

Looking up…

As Nostradamus said all those years ago, “rising like a ship from the sea of vines”

 

And, looking down…

 

The Hamburger Maison

There are some times when you HAVE to HAVE a burger. Even in France, and not from the Golden Arches, either. We had heard about this little Bistro in the unremarkable siding of Le Chene, close to Gargas along the D900 National Road between Apt and Coustellet in the Luberon.

The restaurant interior os chicly decorated but we plumped for the sunny terrace. Owner Damien is super-cool, laid back but efficient and pleasant.

“Hamburger Maison” said the Menu du Jour. Wow! 9€ of tasty beef, salad and some home style potatoes. It appears that Friday is when the hamburger pops on to the menu. However, this is not just a burger joint – the menu is good, the food tasty (cooked on the premises – important these days) and affordable.

What also pleased us was that they serve table wine in a carafe/pitcher. No expensive bottles for lunch, thank you.

Hurrah of all hurrahs! They take bookings online, actually look at their compters and reply on line. Well done Damien!

To book and for more information, click here.

 

 

A number before being installed. This house is 11 metres from the nearest intersection and there are three front doors in the courtyard. It is 11D (what happened to 11C?)

Those of us who live in the little Provençal villages that dot the landscape and give the unique character to the area, have always delighted in the rather quirky fact that we have no street numbers. The “Postie” knows everyone and the mail is delivered promptly and (usually) accurately.

However, some bureauocrat within the organization known as La Poste, has decided that this state of affairs can continue no longer – the residents must have street numbers. As we all know and have become used to, nothing is simple in France. A letter on official stationary, sets out ‘le parametre’…

* everyone must have the same type of number plaque – provided by the local Municipality

* the numbering system in not chronological – it is done on how many metres you are from the nearest intersection. This results in our next door neighbours having number 190 and we have 294!

* the plaque must be placed 1,8m from the ground; close to your letter box; on the right hand side of your entrance; in full view of the road.

What do you do in our case? Our wall is 1m high; our letter box is on the side of the wall; fortunately, our wall is on the right hand side and in full view of the road. So, we achieve 2/4. We wait to see if the are committed to excommunication for failing on two of the ‘parametres’.

We’ll let you know.

 

 

Back in Provence means weekly hikes, which means we are joined by Miel – seen relaxing after a long walk.

 

Joined by her three-legged friend, Sally

 

 

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