The Rosemary bushes outside our entrance are bursting into flower

“Down here in the South, we do things slowly”, Pierre says to us over an aperitif. Pierre and Sylvie had invited us for the traditional apero one evening last week.

The form is that you’re invited, and asked to arrive at 19h00. The duration is anything from 60-90 minutes and ‘normally’ wine or pastis is served. As you don’t want to criticise your host’s wine cellar, provision of a flower gift is the polite thing to do.

The reason why Pierre had implored us to slow down was that we had asked to book him for a ‘robot’ (aka kreepy krauly, pool cleaner etc etc). That was for April – far too soon to open the diary.

We returned home and tried to slow down.

A freshly scrubbed Menerbes bathes in the cool morning light

It’s been another week of preparing the properties for the season, getting everything ship shape and planning some serious garden improvements for when the weather warms up and we’ll be able to implement them.

All around us, there is infrastructure work going on. Roads are being painted, roads are being fixed (even ones into Menerbes which were damaged three years ago!); the Menerbes paving is proceeding (not apace but slowly and steadily and even the most cynical villagers are agreeing that is is looking ‘bon’); trees are being clipped and there is the constant drone of chain saws all around us. (Memo to Madame – any chance of one of those for my birthday?). Even the electricity supply is being checked by EDF our electricity provider : this has resulted in a number of power surges and outtages, wiping out a few music databases in the process. And, someone in Paris has decided that the signposting in our area needed to be improved, justas more and more people rely on GPS for their directions and the Luberon road signs are always commented on as being very good……. We have a veritable forest of signs at the entrance to the village.

Clipped lavender waiting for the hot sun

Down into the Village - paving completed

A huge section to do - the entrance to the Village past the Post Office and French Resistance Memorial

It's incredibly exact work - such an ancient art

The Village Square. Oh dear! A HUGE job.

Down the road in Bonnieux we have met a delightful and incredibly talented couple, Corinne and Roland who have a shop ‘Au détour d’une promenade’ selling reconditioned furniture and artefacts, as well as a B&B near to the village. We have taken a number of pieces to them and they have worked their magic. We can’t help but ask how much money they would make in cities such as Melbourne or Cape Town if they exported their skills there! The biggest story of the  week has been the fridge saga – but that’s for another post with lots of tags and search phrases!

Tourist activity signs give a prelude to what is to come.

The first step. The main turning into the village.

What the ex-pats call a 'Peter Mayle moment' - the cross roads outside the village. Take your pick, but don't forget to check the GPS as well!

Au bientot : Lovonne and Simon xx

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