September 16th, 2007

Fishy Circumstances

A clear and lovely day

I'm in a sanctuary of green, of ivy-strewn walls and night air wreathed with honesuckle. A fountain cascades in the midst of groomed topiary, and the stars are vivid above. The village is so very quiet. I always knew London was noisy, but it seems even more so now in this tranquility. We ate dinner with a couple who own a winery in Australia, among others. It was a homestyle dinner, four courses, good cheese, excellent bread pudding, and everyone complimented the chef on serving simple, crisp, cooked green beans, a rarity apparently in France.

Today I have seen the white cliffs of Dover shrink to the horizon on a lovely day from the back of a seabourne boat. I've watched the plains of Picardy stretch out in gentle waves. And it's just the first day of the trip.*

* In theory holiday. In practice, I'm still teaching while on the road, intending to visit dozens of the places I've been teaching my students about.