In Labastide

I’m a little late in reporting that we arrived safely in Labastide last Monday afternoon. We had three uneventful flights—always good—and arrived to find the sun shining and the roads blissfully empty, Monday being a French holiday. Jet lag took its normal toll and a cold has tackled Ray to a near standstill but other than that we are well, and happy to be here.

Labastide looks much the same, except that the field in front of our house, once pleasantly overgrown with trees, blackberries, grasses, and bamboo, is now a stark, empty, muddy plot stretching from the road right down to the creek. Since it’s been raining for three days the creek is muddy too, and our view is a little dismal.

The big news here is that the acting mayor is in disfavor for spending village money on improvements when, we’re told, he could have paid with grants from the local district government. “No time” he says, for filling out those endless French forms. Naturally, there are murmurs of dissent.

On the other hand, his wife seems to have a greener thumb than the previous first lady, for there are tulips in the swath of greenspace near our building, and more imagination in the village-owned flower boxes that edge the street and bridges. (Or maybe this represents some of that mispent commune money?)

With all this excitement, and the several trips to Carcassonne for groceries and visits with friends, I’ve yet to walk up to Villar. Tomorrow for sure--even if it rains.