The Simple, Natural & Uncomplicated Pleasures of Provence

So that’s it – we’re home after another fantastic couple of weeks in the Luberon and

  • yes we do have our next holiday booked and
  • yes we are already counting the days until we go again.

We do live in a lovely part of the country, right on the edge of Dartmoor & within a short drive of the beautiful city of Exeter and I can’t imagine wanting to be anywhere else in England, but I can’t help but think that I would love to live in France & visit here, rather than the other way round. In fact I feel that every time we visit my ‘Vaucluse Dream’ burns brighter.

Gordes from the viewpont

Gordes from the viewpont

We had a good drive back yesterday, leaving the house at 4.30 am and sharing the driving through France to the Tunnel then across the bottom of England, before arriving home at 6.30 pm. In fact, although it was a long day, it was the easiest return journey we have ever had, made much simpler by using the Flexi-Plus ticket on Le Shuttle, which meant we had no wait & even managed to stock up on food for the drive back home.  I hate to say it but even the M25 and A303 were quiet.

Even though everything went well the drive back was tinged with a bit of sadness as we watched the temperature fall & we felt silly wearing shorts when we got out to fill the car up with fuel. Arriving home in the drizzle the first thing we found ourselves doing was re-lighting the Aga & setting a fire in the woodburner – a far cry from the last 2 weeks where we have relished spending every moment possible outdoors.

The detail of an old birdcage set against a highly-scented honeysuckle on the edge of the terrace

The detail of an old birdcage set against a highly-scented honeysuckle on the edge of the terrace

I know it’s a holiday & I know that on holiday you tend not to have to worry about the day to day tasks that take up so much time when you are at home, but life just seems easier when you are away.

One friend commented on the blog that it had been lovely to share my ‘joy and pleasure in what are really the simple, uncomplicated, natural pleasures of life.’ – to be honest she hit the nail on the head.

Over the last 2 weeks we have relaxed:

I have loved having the time to cycle for miles to visit a village, just to sit and watch the world pass by, whilst drinking a café-crème.

On route via the lanes between Roussillon & Gordes

On route via the lanes between Roussillon & Gordes

Sometimes the simplest breakfasts are the best - market at St Remy

Sometimes the simplest breakfasts are the best – market at St Remy

We have done our shopping on a daily basis from local markets, enjoying the process of buying food, rather than doing the supermarket ‘hit & run’ that we do here, which is never a pleasurable experience. As a result we have tried new things & eaten much more healthily than we do normally.

Local asparagus & a goat's cheese salad for supper

Local asparagus & a goat’s cheese salad for supper

Ratatouille - market style

Ratatouille – market style

We have naturally exercised every day, cycling, walking, swimming and haven’t felt that the exercise is a chore to be slotted in around other things that are happening.

Exercise isn't a chore - cycling back with the Luberon rising in the distance

Exercise isn’t a chore – cycling back with the Luberon rising in the distance

Walking up steep tracks on a hiking trail in the Luberon

Walking up steep tracks on a hiking trail in the Luberon

We have read books, blogs and I’ve been inspired to get creative by things I’ve found whilst pottering around markets.

Beautiful old drops from glass chandeliers to be turned into jewellery

Beautiful old drops from glass chandeliers to be turned into jewellery

Lovely, bright different ceramic buttons - look great with leather thongs as necklaces

Lovely, bright different ceramic buttons – look great with leather thongs as necklaces

But above all we have spent some lovely family-time with the boys & really enjoyed chatting with them and having a bit of ‘banter’ as my youngest calls it, without feeling that we are all running off in different directions. We now really appreciate the fact that we have 2 lovely young men to share our holidays with, before they disappear off to take up their own futures.

My husband asked ‘How long would it take us to get bored?’ – and after reading the comments I have had over Twitter from others who also love the area I don’t think we ever would.

So that’s it 10 weeks 3 days until we go again and I’m already looking forward to it and getting back to enjoying the ‘simple, natural & uncomplicated pleasures’ that come so easily whilst in Provence.

julies phone 230515 015

In the meantime it is always nice to be able to share my blog but also link with other lovers of France and read their thoughts and experiences through #AllAboutFrance monthly linkup via Lou Messugo

Lou Messugo
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9 thoughts on “The Simple, Natural & Uncomplicated Pleasures of Provence

  1. 10 weeks, 2 days 14 hours?!
    Enjoy the anticipation and find a way to fit in some part of what you love about the area/experience on a regular basis at home.
    Even if it is just a quiet coffee and pastry 😉

  2. Bonjour nous revenons nous aussi de la Provence il y a maintenant 10 ans que nous allons passer nos vacances de 1 mois par année dans le Luberon et près de Ventoux. Nous vous comprenons pleinement et nous vous envions un peu d’être à une si courte distance de ces endroits merveilleux. Je vous souhaite plusieurs autres belles vacances en famille. Salutation de Montréal, Québec. Line

  3. Living here, running a business and ferrying around 2 very active school boys to all their activities and social engagements I can tell you life in Provence isn’t always relaxing! But having said that even after 8 years I still pinch myself that I really do live here, in this wonderful part of the world and I’m never complacent. My sister lived in Exeter for many years and I must say I loved visiting her. You do live in a lovely part of the world too. I’m sure the time will pass quickly until your next visit. Thanks for linking up to #AllAboutFrance again.

    • I know holidays mean you don’t have all the daily running around to do – but just bring in the atmosphere there is so lovely – I know we are lucky to live where we do & I really can’t imagine wanting to be anywhere else in England, but it doesn’t stop me just counting the days till next time we come ( now a naughty trip booked for next month!!) – Look forward to the next #AllAboutFrance

    • You really must – it is the most beautiful place to spend time – we’ve been visiting for 25 years & are always looking forward to the next time we go & even try to sneak in the occasional extra trip if at all possible !

  4. I always feel a little sad when my time in special places has ended. Like you, I like to have the nexxt excursion planned already! Such a lovely time in the Luberon. I visited Provence for the first time in December. I loved it and can only imagine that I’d love it even more in spring, summer and fall.

    • It’s wonderful there at any time of year & you’ll love your next visit I’m sure – we’ve fitted in another quick trip in 3 1/2 weeks time – indulgent, guilty pleasure!!

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