I said my next blog post would be from Provence but I didn’t envisage how detached from the world I would feel when there was no internet in the house. The young people I was with went down daily to the épicerie in the bas village, or lower village, and sat outside to network on their phones and computers but after one or two essential hook-ups for info purposes, I no longer bothered.
Instead, I stared contently across the wide stretch of the valley from my terraced eyrie in the garden of our borrowed house in Simiane la Rotonde. I watched individual cars wend their way along the main road, overtake each other and disappear around the bend again. Sometimes, they turned off the main road into the village, sometimes they didn’t. Sometimes dogs barked in the distance, sometimes they didn’t. Time began to pass more slowly…
Then one day, I got up and ran round the village photographing all the doors in the haut village and one or two outside its medieval walls. Actually, although there are over 100 here, I don’t think I got them all as I started trying to avoid a small group of Spanish tourists. The village is so little that I could hear them coming from around two corners but I think they thought I was a bit weird, loping off everytime they hove into view, so I stopped.
There were doors of all sorts. Old mostly; mended and warped and used for centuries. There were front doors, shutter doors covering French window doors, garden doors, cellar doors, wood store doors, cistern doors, garage doors, shop doors, a town hall and a church door. Doors low in the walls and below the height of the roadway. Doors used daily and doors closed for months at a time. After typing the word door for a while the word it starts to look quite strange, so I’ll stop and let them speak for themselves.
Perhaps you can see why I found them so fascinating?
And finally, my favourite door of them all: the door to our garden.