Dimanche en Burgundy

One thing is certain, when you are on vacation, wether you find yourself tripping the light fantastic in Paris, or restoring your ragged soul in rural France, the clock appears to tick faster than the wine flowing from the bottle into your glass.

Today, I mark a full two weeks of respite in La Charite sur-Loire. The first days found me walking up to the train station, gazing at the schedule to Paris, wondering how I could ever have imagined myself alone in a village. It all sounded so romantic, the plan to take myself away from IT ALL. I was experiencing serious withdrawl from the life I live in Vancouver.  Each day, I read, cook, walk, take a cafe in one of the many.  These cafes, I observe, are mostly refuge for the older man to have his morning libation away from judgemental eyes, but the local gendarme stops in for his daily cuppa chocolate chaud, the local shop keepers drop in for the gossip and grousing, and even once in a blue moon, a woman on her own can be sighted, taking her own form of refuge, from whatever her complaint could be!

As the days move along, I find myself walking farther, curious about the history, reading and cooking more, sleeping less, chatting with the locals, with a confidence that surprises me.  I know I am little understood, a mystery guest in this village, and maybe not understanding the language is what helps me relax - if I understood what they were really saying and thinking, I would probably catch the next train out.  But at this time, two weeks in, I am in good spirits, and very happy to explore the adventure of quiet and observation.  And nothing is quieter than Sunday afternoon in the Village, the church bells ring at 12:30, the shops are shuttered, the streets vacated, and lunch is served.

A bientot, Barjo