There is nothing quieter than a dark night in deepest France. A year ago, we were there, our body clocks awry but our jet lag fading. We'd go to bed around midnight France time, and open the little casement windows in the upstairs bedroom just before retiring to let some fresh night air in.
It was not merely quiet. It was the absence of sound.
Across the valley we could see the lights of the chateau at Mercué. Surely at this magical place, nights were glamorous and celebratory, with the tinkling of glasses and heavy silver against china. And lights, always lights, as Very Important People arrived by Mercedes.
In my mind, I saw torches and was reminded of the bit of verse that winds its way though Mary Stewart's classic, "Nine Coaches Waiting." Something about "banquets abroad by torchlight...nine coaches waiting...hurry! hurry!"
I cannot identify the piece and I don't have the book at hand. Odd, the connections we make.
Ah France! So magical, whether you are in a chateau perched above the Lot River, a quiet farmhouse across the valley, or the Chateau Valmy in the Savoy.
The chateau at Mercué. Today that phrase conjures a feeling I cannot describe because it is a perception, not anything tangible. It is being there, feeling something, some essence of the lovely Lot Valley. Something there resonates with me.
That said, we are on our way to Chicago, more to relax than eat. I doubt we'll go to any chichi eateries. But I am bringing the camera.