Bonjour à tous from France, where Walt and I are celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary (yes, believe it) with one of the best things resulting from our marriage: our son, Reed. We planned this trip long before we knew we’d be involved with BookPeople but as it turned out our excellent staff and internet access even in the mountains of rural southeast France have made it possible for us to be away for a few weeks. We miss the store and all our customers and friends but we are also really enjoying our vacation routine here which mostly involves eating, sleeping, reading, hiking, watching the locals hang out and play petanque, and swimming in the very cold and clear Lignon River, in the shadow of a bridge built by the Romans.
The cherries and strawberries are already ripe here in these hills, and we’re learning about local delicacies such as caillettes, which are meatballs made of pork, spinach, and chard. The other local flavor is chestnut, or chataigne. Chestnut trees grow everywhere and the nut is used for everything: flour, paste, conserve, pate, beer, candied chestnuts, and more. Mainly we have to be careful not to get any of the spiked outer coatings from the chestnuts which are scattered all over the trails stuck in our toes when we’re out hiking in our Tevas – they are as sharp as needles and really hurt.
We brought along a pile of books to enjoy and are taking turns with The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman, In the Wilderness by Kim Barnes, Life of Pi, Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Reading Lolita in Tehran, Swiss Family Robinson, King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Cellist of Sarajevo, and others. See you all when we return in a few weeks! Carol