We’ve been in France for several weeks now and we love to explore our new town of Saintes, especially now that the weather gods have flipped on the ‘gorgeous’ setting.
|Sunset burnishing Magnolia Tree|
A German friend from my boarding school past many lifetimes ago, who now lives in Australia, commented that she couldn’t live any more without the wide open spaces, the endless skies and unspoiled bush of her chosen home. Since there are distinct similarities between the wilds of our two adopted homelands, she was puzzled that I would give all that up. Those are, after all, the qualities, which made me fall in love with Texas originally.
But let’s face it, as one gets older, more feeble, one longs for simplicity in every day life. Granted, the atavistic scenario of human versus rattle snake was great fun, however, ultimately the drudgery of driving a hundred miles just to buy a head of lettuce was tipping the balance for life in France – hands down!
Considering that it’s still officially winter, this weekend was so bright, sunny and warm, we just couldn’t stay indoors. Our afternoon constitutional took us first to the left bank of the river Charente, which is still overflowing after the heavy winter rains.
|Looking upriver with the flooded La Palu Prairies on the left,|
|the view downriver isn’t much better, even though the worst flooding has since receded.|
Walking toward a foot bridge near our future home, I noticed a number of palms decorating the courtyards of the ancient mansions alongside the river.
|A shy palm huddled against a rough stone wall|
|An amazing property with Art Nouveau stone carvings, an orangery and, of course, palms.|
and lastly my favorite arrangement:
|A solid head of palm fronds complimenting layers upon layers of stone creations|
After crossing to the right bank of the Charente river, we rested a little under the plane trees in their winter trim,
before strolling through the public gardens and enjoying a glass of wine, while watching small children go around and around on the carrousel.