Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Towards an ending

Only a few days left of my stay here at Grez-sur-Loing. Twenty-seven days have come and gone and in three more I'll go home. I'll never have a garden like this one again; I'll never have this field of green and green water accessible through my window or a minute's walk away through the door. I've been taking film footage with my camera - too shaky to show it here. I've also taken sound recordings with it, documenting the morning wake up of the immediate neighbourhood of collared doves, jackdaws and wood pigeons.

My word count now is up to 27,000. I don't say it's perfect; it's anything but. Yet having written that makes me feel as if I've done what I came to do. All the other things - the trips to Paris (to see the catacombs, which we missed both times), Fontainebleau with its chic and glamour, Nemours, much more down to earth and friendly; the walks to Bourron; the long trek to Intermarché in the mid-day heat, then having a picnic on a bench between the shop's double set of doors and a crazy route home; the dinner at the long red dining table; the hours spent sitting by the green gloss of the river; the sharing of work and discussions over art and culture; tasting Doux-chene Fermier goats cheese with ripe figs and apricots; the marvelling at the flair with a foreign language which the Swedish and Finnish artists show - this is a bonus as big as the word count. Bigger. This is one-off life-enhancing experience.

Here are some final photos from Grez and the surrounding areas. There's a Gite de France property in the village, so maybe - like the swallows who've all fledged now? - I'll be back.

Carol outside the Basilica of Sacre Coeur. Marina and I climbed the 300 steps to reach the dome.

Les jardins du Luxembourg in Paris, just outside the French Sénat.

The living room at the Hotel Chevillon.

Idyllic writing room.

Carol and Marina in the red dining room.

I'd like to record my thanks to Creative Scotland (formerly Scottish Arts Council), the National Library of Scotland and all involved who gave me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by awarding me the Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship, 2010. With a nod to Lou and the others who wander here, too.

1 comment:

  1. you take me back, Carol!
    really enjoyed reading these reports from Grez (not everyone facebooks!)
    see you soon, I hope
    (not so anonymous!)