Yellow slides, bare vines, woolly hats, soft heads.
Blue skies, warm walls, crispy berries, pink shoes.
Golden light, silent churches, yellow birds, empty chairs.
Closed cafes, drawn shutters, quiet beaches,
Did you know that they close France in the winter? Nothing is open. At first it's kind of cool and then after a few days you just really want some lunch and to see that view from the top of the cathedral that the guidebook promises is spectacular.
The vines are bare. In September they were aching with fruit, huge purple grapes dusted in an icing sugar bloom, dripping into your hands as you passed the vines. In February there are only the bones of grapes, occasional skeletons left unburied among the endless rows. I love bare vineyards, they have a hint of the war cemetery about them, rows of graves marked by dead sticks. Except they're not. Dead, that is. They're resting, give them time and they will burst into life again.
Also, baby horses. With long, spindly legs and fluffy heads. That's all.
'Blindfold me and read out the Facebook statuses of my friends, without their names, and I will tell you which are American and which are British. Americans post links to inspirational stories and parenting blogs packed with life lessons. (British parenting blogs tend to be packed with despair and feces.) ' Ruth Whippman, America the Anxious