Monday, June 17, 2013


We came to Sorede in good time to take in the fragrance of the blooming linden tree on the square. Whereas I may be somewhat appreciative of having landed squarely in on a tardy cherry season and I may, too, love that we're in time for the apricots and nectarines -- these seasonal highs all pale when weighed against being in time for the showing of the linden flowers.

It's a hardy tree -- it grows in Poland as well as in Sorede. If ever you find yourself in any European country in late May (or this year -- June), find a linden and dream heady dreams underneath its dainty sweetly scented flowers.

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Monday. We're following the commercial inclinations of Soredians: it's a slow wake up day. For example, the two butchers are closed entirely, as is the Ciboulette grocer. The two good restaurants here -- shuttered as well. Nothing seems rushed on Monday.

We're slow too. Slow to wake up, late for the old bakery, late to decide where to go.

But, the pain au chocolat are still there (everyone else was slow to get to them) and our neighbors down the hill are selling cherries and the cafe bar is, as ever, ready for us.

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(Though we're late enough that our brilliantly on top of things waitperson is already setting the tables for lunch. I post this photo for the fleeting glimpse of her and for the Ed smile that I finally manage to record, after too many failed efforts all morning long.)


And the perfume of the linden trickles down to us and the world is a good place to inhabit.


A wholewheat baguette (not nearly as good as the real deal, but we had to try it), leftover cheeses and the incredible lucque olives.

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I mix up cherries from three different vendors hoping Ed will not notice, but he spots the differences instantly. We talk about our young orchard back home and we speculate how those cherries will compare.

Late afternoon.

Do you realize that our entire effort today has been to go to town, buy pain au chocolat, eat it, return home and eat lunch? (Interspersed with naps by some of us, but I didn't say that out loud.)
Ed's response is groggy. Huh? Okay...
Wake up, Ed!

We pack our bag with the essentials and, under my prodding, head to Le Racou beach. It's nearly evening: a few back and forth swim laps would do us good.

How naive I am! The brutal winds that regularly pass through here do not quickly disappear. In Sorede, the air is almost still. By the sea -- whoof! Quiet little Racou has a pounding surf, gusts that rip umbrellas from their perch...

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...and a red flag warning not to swim.

But hey. We are by the sea, the air is warm, the world is far away. We anchor the umbrella with sand and we settle in for several hours of reading. Occasionally I have to wipe my glasses, because the spray from the sea blows a layer of salt on everything in its path, but nonetheless, it's a wonderful time -- almost like watching an adventure movie with popcorn on your lap: the raging sea is yours to take in, safely, from the good up-front seats.

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We go to the pizza place at Le Racou.  I am keenly aware of the fact that this may be our last supper here this year. Very keenly aware of it. In fact, much of the second week in Sorede is like that, though this year with an added twist -- we wont be back next June. September 2014 -- that's all I can ask for. But I haven't heard a "yes, sure" yet. In the end, life isn't nearly as predictable as some of us would like it to be.

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