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A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

By Peter Mayle

During this witty and warm-hearted account, Peter Mayle tells what it truly is wish to become aware of a long-cherished dream and really flow right into a 200-year-old stone farmhouse within the distant kingdom of the Lubéron along with his spouse and huge canine. He endures January's frosty mistral because it comes howling down the Rhône Valley, discovers the secrets and techniques of goat racing throughout the center of city, and delights within the wonderful local food. A 12 months in Provence transports us into all of the earthy pleasures of Provençal lifestyles and we could us dwell vicariously at a pace ruled through seasons, now not by means of days.

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This gives twenty-one degrees throughout the house, even when the temperature outside is minus six,” and he threw open the outside door to let in some minus-six air on cue. He had the good instructor’s gift for illustrating his remarks wherever possible with practical demonstration, as though he was talking to a particularly dense child. ) Having met the boiler, we went back to the house and met Madame, a diminutive woman with a resonant voice. Did I want a tisane, some almond biscuits, a glass of Marsala?

We drove home, warm and well fed, making bets on how soon we could take the first swim of the year, and feeling a smug sympathy for those poor souls in harsher climates who had to suffer real winters. Meanwhile, a thousand miles to the north, the wind that had started in Siberia was picking up speed for the final part of its journey. We had heard stories about the Mistral. It drove people, and animals, mad. It was an extenuating circumstance in crimes of violence. It blew for fifteen days on end, uprooting trees, overturning cars, smashing windows, tossing old ladies into the gutter, splintering telegraph poles, moaning through houses like a cold and baleful ghost, causing la grippe, domestic squabbles, absenteeism from work, toothache, migraine—every problem in Provence that couldn’t be blamed on the politicians was the fault of the sâcré vent which the Provençaux spoke about with a kind of masochistic pride.

He was dressed for war. A stained camouflage jacket, an army jungle cap, a bandolier of cartridges, and a pump-action shotgun. His face was the color and texture of a hastily cooked steak, with a wedge of nose jutting out above a ragged, nicotine-stained mustache. Pale blue eyes peered through a sprouting tangle of ginger eyebrows, and his decayed smile would have brought despair to the most optimistic dentist. Nevertheless, there was a certain mad amiability about him. I asked if his hunting had been successful.

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