Winter ended yesterday. The Mistral fled, the sun shone and the local annual flower show displayed stand after stand of spookily perky flowers. Ponies overdressed in shaggy winter coats obligingly introduced a queue of young girls to a freakishly expensive hobby while local volunteers created a complex system of queuing and tickets and he-who-shouts-loudest for a tub of tabbouleh and a spicy sausage.
Out in the vineyards, the rotund bundles that through winter seemed to barely move among the misty vines, began peeling off the layers and showing themselves to be rather lovely young men with sturdy brown forearms. In the garden, the handful of irises that escaped stomping by young children show several inches of strong spiky leaves. Best of all, there are wood pigeons, which have me wondering where the cricket games and sponge cake are, but not for long: they do after all, make quite good éclairs here.