Thursday, February 28, 2008

Provincial Passion

Here’s the thing about having a looming honeymoon in the middle of February. It leads to all sorts of drastic fantasies about tropical places and not coming back and quick mental calculations about how long you could survive on coconut milk if you were to sell your home.

In short, my work is suffering and I am making my own valiant efforts to restimulate the economy, mostly via the bathing suit and accessories industry. (Also and by the way, does such a thing as organic insect repellent exist, and if it does, does it actually work?)

This behavior has actually led me to think fondly of any time I have spent in a sunnier, warmer place, but most particularly, my time in southern France. Even the “cold” there was romantic. In February, I certainly had to wear a coat. And the wind was icy cold, and it always blew. It came down from Siberia, and was called Le Mistral, and basically had its own magical presence in a culture that made everything from olives to granite sexy and mysterious.

Aix-en-Provence is the geographical equivalent of the most amazing sex you’ve ever had with the most passionate lover you’ve ever had, but in your heart you know is not marriage material. Strawberries as big as your fist! Open air cafes where kisses are blown, nutella crepes are eaten, and young girls are wooed by five-star chefs. (oh, yes.)

The cobalt blues and sunflower yellows! Those are not my real colors. I am more of a grayish-blue kinda girl. I felt at home in calm, orderly, cheese-loving Switzerland with its snow-capped mountains. There’s a method to the goat madness. But Aix made me believe in cobalt, gypsies, and pastis, despite the fact that I loathe licorice. And for a short time, I could pretend every room in my home would smell like lavender fields.

I knew where to buy the most almond-y calissons, (hint: not THAT link) and ate them with great abandon. I shunned the Americans in their shorts and flip-flops, I cloaked myself in black and boots, even the summertime, and thought deep, passionate thoughts while I got drunk on kir peche and perfected my southern drawl. (Because no matter what country you go to, I sincerely believe the southern accent will be the most distinct.) I believed in palm trees and entire villages made from white stone, and tromped around in the woods alone on the weekend, almost hoping to get impaled by a wild boar. What a great blog entry that would have made….

I revered Cézanne and Van Gough, painting Mont St. Victoire and thinking the olive groves were all quite a delicious place to go insane.

And I left a piece of my soul there. A small one, there’s not much room for grey in a place with that much vibrant yellow. It exhausts me thinking about it, as any good lover’s memory should.

Meanwhile I’ve set my sights on the Caribbean, and well, Colorado. I love you. But the lack of a ski pass has made this winter infinitely harder than any other year. We’re not selling our home (yet) but The Funasaurus and I need a little break. I’ll write from a new shade of aqua blue, if we’re not drunk on the umbrella drinks, yet.

Ciao, bella.

7 comments:

Angela said...

Ah, I feel all dreamy now...

Ramblin' Red said...

That was great imagery. Made me feel as if I were there.

Diane said...

It's been some time since I have been to Europe and I'm contemplating either a trip to Italy or France . . . I was leaning towards Italy, but may have to re-think that plan . . .

If there is such a thing as organic bug spray, it won't work. You can try to do natural repellents, but after an hour or two, you will be glad that you brought along a bottle of DEET. Sure it is likely a carcinogen, but one hour at twilight on an island, and you sure as hell won't care.

I tend to go for the 100 percent DEET, but am told anything over 40 percent doesn't increase it's power.

Pauline said...

Have a marvelous time - hope the sun shines every day, the native bugs aren't restless, and the drinks are on the house ;)

Lily said...

*Sob* I NEED to go to Europe! I would brave the plane flight I would! For the colors, the sunflowers and lavender fields and crepes!

Back to reality...Quebec is a country of bugs...(and Icy Wind-shields.hihihi)
So I often wondered about organic bug repellent, what we have here is called Citronella and is from a plant and has no DEET. It smells like Lemon, and I`d say it's worth a try...but DO bring the cancer-y kind along, I don't want to be responsible for ruining your honeymoon!;P

Princess in Galoshes said...

Angela- Me too.

Red- Too bad I don't know how to scan pictures. They're way better!

Diane- DEET it is. Sigh. And definitely, definitely keep the south of France in mind!

Pauline- Thanks, I will let you know.

Lily- Yes, you DO need to go. You would love it there. Also, we have cintronella, too, but is there a way to actually put it on your skin? I've only ever seen it in candle-form.

Lily said...

Well there's a compagny here that does everything Citronella, shampoo, soap, spray, for the camping-type people. You can usually buy these in Health Stores, but nowadays, they even have it at Walmart...not sure about over where you are...
But if you find a place where they sell Tofu and Incenses, chances are they'll have something for you.:)