Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Coming home

I drop Lynne off at Nimes station at half past oh-my-god this morning, barely awake for entire 1 hour journey. Which is pretty scary...at least for Lynne, since I was driving. I didn't mind so much - I was asleep. She is off to the UK for a few days to sort out the sale of our UK house and see her mum, which leaves me alone with the mutts.

For the drive back, I am more awake, and once again I can marvel at the views as I pass through Quissac and Soave and head on towards the Cevennes. Quite often, the mountains are hazy and indistinct, looking like various shades of grey cardboard cutouts - mere outlines rising from the flat plain in the distance. But not today.

Today is one of those days where the atmosphere is crystal clear, and you can see every detail of the mountains - all the greens, blues, pinks, browns - all the rocks and cliff faces. Makes me wish I could paint. You need to paint things like that - you need to put something of yourself in there. Something of the wonder you feel as you gaze at the view. The amazement at the thought of the titanic forces of nature that raised those mountains in the first place, and then unleashed the glaciers which sculpted them. A photograph simply doesn't cut it.

It is the view we first had of our new home when we arrived in France, and even then it was a view that made me feel I was "coming home". Born and bred a Brit - nay, more than that: a Yorkshireman - and living there for over forty years, I can only regard England as somewhere I stayed for a while until I found my real home.

This is my real home - and always has been, I think. And this view - and the feelings I have as I stare at it - epitomises it.

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