Monday, 19 December 2011
Heaven is no other people
... and a good bottle of wine.
Is it me, or do the habits and foibles that I hopefully considered endearing eccentricities when I was younger seem increasingly infuriating and obdurate? I have never liked crowds. I once hit someone trying to struggle my way through the heaving masses trying to leave Notting Hill carnival because I just couldn't handle being crushed by my fellow man. Call me infuriating and obdurate but I increasingly dislike being surrounded by other people. One of the things that appealed to me about going away to the foothills of the Pyrenees the weekend before Christmas was the probability that my fellow man would be crushing his way, or her way, through some last-minute Christmas shopping.
So it proved. And I revelled in it.
Everywhere we went, other than the jolly little local restaurant we found on Saturday night, was deserted. We climbed up to Fort Liberia at Villefranche le Conflent. We were the only ones there. We pootled around Eus, classified one of France's most beautiful villages. All we saw were some very silky and well-loved cats. We went to visit the Orgues at Ille sur Tet. Not a soul. This was actually because the site was closed. I persuaded Fanf, against his better judgement, to break the law and ignore the signs warning us that we would be trespassing if we entered the privately-owned site. I didn't feel the slightest tweak of guilt. Fanf felt incredibly uncomfortable. I loved having the Orgues all to ourselves, to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the site in its natural glory. Fanf made me come away as fast as possible. Then ensued a discussion about rules and the law. I am curiously resistant to obeying rules when I judge that what I do causes no harm. Although I do see that the world would probably be in chaos if everyone felt, and behaved, like that. What do you think?
Oh, and this is the view of the Canigou that we had from our bedroom window when we woke up on Sunday morning.
And this is the view of us, happy, remembering why it was we chose to make our lives together.