Zoe lives up in the mountains in an old water mill. Woofers come and help her with the huge vegetable garden and the ongoing building projects. (Both of which have come on a pace, as her grown up children, having finished their studies, have returned home to live for a time,- life in the art world being as it is at the moment...)
It was a holiday of contrasts.
Isolation, I swam in the mountain pools, walked in the countryside, the we drove for hours to a busy tourist spot by the sea. One day I was privileged to attend a birthday feast; tables pushed together, in a tumbled down courtyard under the shade of the fig trees. Complete with stripy tops and guitar music. Then the next we listened to three friends of Zoe's recording jazz in the living room at at ex pats smart converted barn. We bought goats cheese and merguez at a tiny farmers market, attended a festival in the market square of La Grass until the early hours, enjoying the music of 'Bobs not dead' (a punk lad with a guitar) and 'Lo Jo'..a band I have seen here at home in Ipswich. We heard an aged pianist and huge German trombonist playing Shubert in the tiny church at Mont Joi...
I took photos for paintings inspired as ever by the beautiful light and simplicity and charm of Zoe's home.
Perhaps for me the highlight was, as ever, the solitary times down at the river. A scramble down a hidden path to the waters edge. I sat watching the play of dark and light, the song of the birds, the music of the water. I entered the pools, swam naked amongst the trout and minnows...drying on the the warm boulders. A dragonfly alighted on my finger, one ate his lunch on my knee...
Thank you Zoe, my friend for all these years...(since primary school...)