This is the weekend when the human transhumance switches: the end of the summer season and the last of the visitors leave and most of the cafes, restaurants and shops supporting them, and supported by them, close and most of their staff are not locals so they leave too. The last week has been very quiet which is normal for the last week of the summer season I think, and some of the restaurants have already shut. Well, l’harlequin, run by George and Monique, closed on the 18th. Mostly I eat my own very simple food here but I said goodbye to them with lunch (usual thing: click on that if you want the full glory of it!)
I ordered the wine (really splashing out) but the kir was free. The food is tartiflette: very much a Savoie staple of cheese sauce on potatoes with lardons and strips of reblochon cheese on the top. Very much food for hard working labourers. I confess I was too happily replete to work after that for several hours.
Yesterday I legged it down to Plagne Centre to get my last purchases from the fromagerie which shut in the evening. Also yesterday and today I’m stocking up from the SPAR up here in Aime 2000, buying a reserve of heavy or bulky things (loo roll!) that should mean I have less to carry up weekly from the SPAR in Plagne Centre which is the only shop for 2000 vertical metres from here from Monday.
The six weeks since I got here have been a bit mad with a series of disasters back in South London that J has had to cope with with a bit of support from S: it was as if the house and cat waited until I’d gone to throw a series of challenges to J to remind us both of our unusual geographical choices. Not just back in London, up here and in my virtually global work life there have been other challenges, not only the regular ones but also more than the usual run of unexpected ones. I think against the backdrop that August for much of the world is at least in part a holiday month, with the influx of visitors here, has all made this feel odd and a bit unreal. It feels as if this weekend is a pivot point and from next week all the usual and unusual challenges are going to be that more real, somehow there will be fewer distractions.
I tend to associate these real punctuation points with an aspiration that I’ll be more efficent and produtive as I move on. We’ll see! I’ll leave you with some recent images of my beloved mountains and clouds. You should be able to click on any one to get the full sized image (to the extent your browser allows) and you should be able to page through them if you want.
Just looked round the monitor and can’t see a thing for bright white cloud enveloping us! In case anyone reading this doesn’t know about my timelapse videos which show how the cloud drama up here plays through from sunrise to sunset (around 4 minutes in the videos and getting shorter as the days get shorter), the recent videos are here. I think dipping into one can be quite meditative. I’ve given them a very crude rating out of 5 so go for ratings below 4 if you want mindfulness. The full set, starting back in 2018 can be reached from here.
OK, to work: onwards!