Although I’m a bonafide city girl at heart, I do love it when I get a chance to run away to the countryside – and in August I was lucky enough to make two trips. First, to the Lake District in the north of England (check out my previous post), and second, to rural France where I visited my newly acquired Gallic family.
Well, they’re not that new. I’ve been visiting them in the Vosges, a north-eastern department, for about ten years now. At first, the trips were difficult as I spoke no French at all. Over time, that’s changed (though my grammar remains atrocious) and my love of the place and people has grown with it.
Life has a simple pleasure there. Self-seficiency is key. The garden is full of seasonal vegetables and fruit. There is a rabbit hatch for meat. A lake for fish. A forest nearby where we forage for mushrooms. Wine and cheese on the dinner – and often lunch – table is normal rather than a luxury.
Following this most recent visit, a large part of me didn’t want to come back to London. But, alas, I’m here. And while outside it’s pouring with rain and there’s an Autumn chill in the air, at least I have these photos to remind me of how lovely life can be.
Thankfully, I’m heading back at Christmas – this time with my Aussie parents in tow. It will look very different in the dead of winter, when we’ll be eating whatever has been pickled from the summer crop, the Brussel sprouts and root veggies that were just starting to come into their own when we left, oysters (that we’ll bring in especially because it’s tradition) and lots of other bits and pieces that I’ll be sure to report on. Je ne peux pas attendre.
All images © Kate McAuley