A Year in Provence
They had been there often as tourists. They had cherished the dream of someday living all year under the Provencal sun. And suddenly it happened.
Here is the month-by-month account of the charms and frustrations that Peter Mayle and his wife -- and their two large dogs -- experience their first year in the remote country of the Luberon restoring a two-centuries-old stone farmhouse that they bought on sight. From coping in January with the first mistral, which comes howling down from the Rhone Valley and wreaks havoc with the pipes, to dealing as the months go by with the disarming promises and procrastination of the local masons and plumbers, Peter Mayle delights us with his strategies for survival. He relishes the growing camaraderie with his country neighbors -- despite the rich, soupy, often impenetrable patois that threatens to separate them. He makes friends with boar hunters and truffle hunters, a man who eats foxes, and another who bites dentists; he discovers the secrets of handicapping racing goats and of disarming vipers. And he comes to dread the onslaught of tourists who disrupt his tranquillity.
In this often hilarious, seductive book Peter Mayle manages to transport us info all the earthy pleasures of Provencal life and lets us live vicariously in a tempo governed by seasons, not by days. George Lang, who was smitten, suggests: "Get a glass of marc, lean back in your most comfortable chair, and spend a delicious year in Provence."
Baker & Taylor
The author describes his experiences when he and his wife moved to a two-hundred-year-old French farmhouse, and shares his observations on the people and culture of Provence
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"We learned that time in Provence is a very elastic commodity, even when it is described in clear and specific terms. Un petit quart d'heure means sometime today. Demain means sometime this week. And, the most elastic time segment of all, une quinzaine can mean 3 weeks, 2 months, or next year, but never, ever does it mean 15 days." "...occassionally reinforced by the magic word normalment, a supremely versatile escape clause worthy of an insurance policy.Normalment-providing it doesn't rain, providing the truck hasn't broken down, providing the brother-in-law hasn't borrowed the tool box-is the Provencal builder's equivalent of the fine print in a contract...."
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