Bernard, Cat's boyfriend, comes from this region of France, and he is passionate about keeping local crafts - incuding stonemasonry - alive. He has reclaimed this old garden fom the maquis, the scented, thyme-filled scrub that covers the hills behind the village. There is a spring on the land, that waters the crops by gravity. Like all good gardeners, Bernard has been busy making humus-rich soil in raised beds.
Last night we took a tortilla and a bottle of Bernard's own wine up to the garden, to have a late supper, as the sun set. Fabiola, Cat's 2-year-old daughter, pottered around nibbling on an onion she'd just picked, and Sophia and I picked and ate some ripe figs straight off the tree. We settled Fabiola to sleep in the hammock, and watched the stars come out. Much later, Sophia and I, on our way home, lay down on the warm earth and watched the Persiad meteor shower.
This has been a bittersweet week, and I felt like weeping in the road. Not only will I be giving up English tomatoes but these French tomatoes too. Although my carbon emissions from my rail journey here are a half (0.1 tonnes of CO2) of those of our road trip last week, that's still too much for me. I'm aiming to live within a one-tonne budget (generally accepted as the annual level of emissions that will avert climate meltdown). To this end, over the past couple of years I've changed a lot of habits quite easily, but this final frontier - giving up travel - is a lot more painful.