Posts Tagged ‘Town Square’

(Carla Bruni is the former First Lady of France.)

The sun caught the fine strands of grey as he stooped over his table. There was an empty coffee cup pushed to one side and he gazed up into the trees. His suite was dark and of the finest cloth. It was well worn but still neat and distinguished. He stopped and put his hands together as he contemplated his next clue on the word puzzle. Suddenly we heard a  shout and a group of three women came round the corner.  They were laughing and they were discussing something at great length. Each one was adding their bit of colour to the story. There was a gasp and a peal of laughter  burst forth. They walked across the square towards the grey-haired man. He looked up and a smile broke across his face.

“C’est une belle journée.”

The town square where locals meet and play petanque.

The town square where locals meet and play ‘petanque.’


There was much kissing of cheeks …..one kiss, two kisses and three. Espresso coffees were ordered and everyone settled back into their seats. The talk continued between the women. They waved their arms and pointed hands expressively while the grey-haired man looked up at them patiently.

The breeze picked up and blew the autumn leaves across the town square towards the entrance of the café.  The local ferronnier had set up his workshop next to the café. He stood in the doorway with a cigarette smoldering in his hand. His face was well worn from the exposure to the heat of his workshop and the blue light of the welding gun had taken its toll on his eyes. He shouted across to the women but they could not be distracted. Two men joined him and there was much back slapping and laughing.

I am not sure if the kiss-kiss ritual featured here. The ferronnier took the last pull on his cigarette and they made their way into the café. Through the doorway I could just make out the small glasses in their hands. A small aperitif was being knocked back as the cards were dealt around the table. This appeared to be their regular mid morning break!

Time to sit and stare....

Time to sit and stare….


We sat under the trees in the town square of the medieval village of Villecroze. There is a 40 metre waterfall that cascades from a group of caves on the hill right down into the formal gardens below. What a sight! It is a tranquil garden and a source of solitude for the town’s folk and us visitors. The formal layout with the cascading stream, elegant Cypress and terracotta pots beckoned us to delay our leave.

The waterfall

The waterfall

But the intrigue of the old village made us venture back into the town. The village meandered between the ancient city walls……… some dating back to the 12th Century. The front doors and entrances were unique and often held a collection of treasured items. A watering can, a doll’s pram and a metal chair graced one of the entrances. It was as if time stood still. We paused and reflected on the history. The ancient stone walls conjured up images of splendid knights in dazzling armour. 

The medieval archways of Villecroze.

The medieval archways of Villecroze


There was a loud crash and we were brought back to reality. A new lounge suite was being hoisted through a top wooden window. The old hoist was being used and the shutter had been pinned back. The lumbering chair was slowly maneuvered through the opening.

Life goes on at its own pace here in the countryside of France. We stop a while and stare and savour the moments.


The ‘I don’t know what’ and the ‘Almost nothing.’









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The wind whistles through my open coat and I pull the buttons closed and toss the hood over my head. I now know why they have fur trim around the edge! I thought it was for a touch of glamour! But I was soon to find out that this thin strip of fur, keeps the wind off my face. I nestle down into my warm coat and contemplate the risk of a ‘Greenie’ tossing paint at me. Be that as it may, there is a feeling of goodwill all around us here in Oakville. It is the lead up to Christmas.


Josh tolerates the bow....just.

Josh tolerates the bow…..just!

Everyone has come out to play! Dogs are dressed up in their Christmas coats. They appear to know the drill for the season and enjoy the added attention that their regalia gives them. Shop windows glitter with displays. Their doors are decorated with bastions of fresh pine and cedar. There are overhead baskets that hang from lamp posts. They are filled with winter greenery and tinged with a sprinkle of snow. The town Christmas tree towers above us in the Town Square. It is dripping with huge shiny trinkets and metres of glistening ribbon. The aroma of festive spices wafts through the bakery door. Everything says Christmas!

Bokkie in all his splendour!

Bokkie in all his splendour.


Christmas feeling has hit the Morkel household too. The tree is up and the banisters are bound with lights and garlands. The Morkel men clambered up onto our roof and fitted the Christmas lights. It was a daring affair in almost freezing temperatures. They donned their safety harnesses and tossed the rope down from the cleats that have been fitted on top of the high roof. This is for any future escapades or further requests from ‘the lady of the house.’ There were also repairs that had to be carried out. ‘Bokkie’ had his lights punched out in a storm. On that fateful night he got tossed over by a strong north wind. Unfortunately he had to endure his headless state until he was packed away. But I am pleased to say that he has made a comeback and is the proud owner of a flashing head! He stands proudly near the front door and heralds us in with his pulsing horns. I just wish I could some how put the rhythm to music! Maybe next year……..

So I raise my glass of red and salute you, my dear family and friends. Thank you for always reading my ramblings and for keeping in touch. I wish you a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Cheers!

The roof mountaineers....

The roof mountaineers….


Christmas shopping

Christmas shopping

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