Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It wasn’t Sunday today V/6

The clouds rolled in on top of the great weather we had yesterday and the temperature dropped thirty degrees. In winter, low pressure zones around here are tolerated like a Sunni in a Shite neighborhood. They get pushed out in a rough and rapid manner. In any case the wind pushed in at great speed and continues to blow.

Cold constant air from the north was rolling down off the Larzac which, as I left for work this morning had a white shadow of snow around its peaks. The Larzac Plateau is at 2700 feet, the vines are on the slope up to it at about 700 feet. Standing in the vines you look North to the plateau. To the South the Herault valley and then the sea on the horizon. It’s really quite spectacular as far as the view goes.

The weather and the view. It’s rare that you actually see either one but both are omnipresent on the terrain. Today it was grey and cold and windy. It felt like work. Hard miserable work, all day long. I did see some cool looking clouds at around five o’clock when the sun was setting. Little wispy, passers by, separated from the giant mass of grey that made up todays sky. They were low flying. They looked exactly how they are painted in impressionist paintings. All gestural streaks of slightly varied shades to each stroke of the brush that made them up. Bold slashes of flashy, nuanced orange and red on a textured grey background.

Yeah there are moments. But aren’t there always. A friend of mine who got punched in the eye one time told me the pain was so intense that each time his heart beat he saw a flashing light in his eye. He remembers it as a fluid, electric blue color, which sadly he said, he has never seen again. In a short time I will forget today, except for those funny little clouds.

Thanks to the miserable weather the vignerons wife couldn’t let me eat and nap in my car as is my habit. No sun makes for a cold lunch. So I headed up to their house, half happy to be eating in warmth and half sorry to be missing my nap, for lunch. Eating lunch there is a quick look into the farmer world. French style. That means we start off with a quick appetizer and a drink. It’s sweet gold wine. Muscat from the the neighbor. With it we have some olives from the vignerons trees. His mother put them up before she died in october. They were Luques olives, green firm olives that are the specialty of this area. He says when he went to school, he had a math teacher who each time you got a correct answer at the blackboard, would let you take an olive from the jar on his desk to eat in class. There were some small black olives the vignerons wife Sandrine made. Now that the mom has died someone has else has to do it.

It’s a quick meal because of that but it’s all ready to go. The vigneron has the meat already cooking on the braise of the fireplace when I walk in. It’s sanglier, wild boar, which he and his hunting club bagged last weekend. It’s a marcassin, a baby, very tender. Soft like pork but with more flavors. mmm. He opens a bottle of wine from the grapes we picked last year. Primeur, the first wine of the harvest, it’s like Beaujolais nouveau, without the marketing campaign behind it. Good cheap, plentiful wine of the region.

Sandrine apologizes there are no vegetables as she passes around the goat cheese that the lady up the street makes. Another glass of wine. Some peaches put up from the trees that sit beside one of the vineyards. Then a coffee, a cigarette, and the moment over, we all head back to work.

It is still cold, perhaps the wind has even picked up. The constant noise of the wind forces us to work in silence. By three o’clock the three glasses of wine mixed with the full meal, instead of my sandwich, orange and a nap begin to make the work heavy. Just when I start to feel sorry for myself, I see the funny little clouds start wisping past.


  1. Here we put the cheap ass Mario green olives in lots of dishes. I long for those picked from the tree near you.

  2. Isn't there a part of the story where the vigneron's wife tries to seduce you after lunch? That's what would happen in the story book.