A bad annus…..

It’s the end of June, I’m in France and it’s grey outside. How happy I would be if that statement was an oxymoron but in this current annus horribilis, which is as horrible as an annus can be, happiness is seasoned with bad shit, in all its many and varied disguises. Were I to travel back through the pieces which I have written over the years, I would not be surprised to find that I have written similar words at the end of many Junes past; yet I still dream of the sun filled Junes that my mind conjures from the fragmented memories of long gone childhood summer holidays. There was a smell to rented summer holiday homes that was only evident at very particular moments; coming downstairs early on a summer morning when I was the only one awake in the house or, for a split second, if I was the first through the door when the family returned from sailing or the beach. I smelt that smell a few days ago when the sun was with us and it felt as warm as bread at 6.30 in the morning. It was a proper summer morning. Getting up meant waking, throwing off a sheet, putting on a pair of shorts and quietly going down the stairs to the kitchen for coffee; half way down the stairs it was there and was wonderfully comforting and full of optimism. It troubles me that I can’t define or expand on something so clear and present; it’s reminiscent of being asked to clearly define happiness when you were 5 years old.

About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
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18 Responses to A bad annus…..

  1. I get your sentiment exactly and ‘warm as bread’ is bang on; we’ve had a little heatwave in the UK, too. Now rain. It is indeed the most unpleasant annus imaginable. Thanks for that wry laugh.. 👍

  2. Mad Dog says:

    I know what you mean. Last night it was so hot I couldn’t sleep and this evening I needed a jumper!
    I’m sure there’s some truth in food, but I can make no sense out of the world and life, whatsoever.
    Keep your annus clean 😉

    • It is hard making any sense of a world where liars are leaders….I also feel so lucky to be here…

    • Eha says:

      Dear Mad – please help ! Exactly what temperature do you Poms call ‘hot’ ? Just looked up your figures and the ‘hottest’ day last week was just over 33:C 🙂 ! The beginning of a nice warm one here for half the year . . . I mean one begins to talk about ‘heat waves’ when the temperatures rise over 42 C . . . at 45 C our outdoor workers are allowed to work in shade !!! (Sorry – could not resist !) . . . Actually, come summer, I am most comfortable at 24-26 C during the night – no nightdress or blanket !

  3. Ardys says:

    Talking with friends last night we sardonically laughed at the horribleness of the annus 2020. As for the ‘smell warm as bread at 6.30’ I have that sort of feeling sometimes when coming in from ourside to discover my house smells of Grandma’s house. Smell is supposedly our most evocative sense, certainly mine is. It conjures many wonderful memories for me, and few unpleasant ones. Thank you for this nice little mental diversion.

  4. Ardys says:

    ‘ourside’ = outside

  5. Eha says:

    Hour by hour, day by day . . . it took me many years to realize I did not have to question or analyse each moment . . . just live it within the perimeters of ;my’ possible . . . as one cannot seek happiness one simply waits for the moments it turns up under a variety of guises even during this annus horribilis . . . Oh, I am sending you a whole week of cloudless skies from above my head but you will have to take a freezing 16 C with it . . . best . . .

  6. Yet nothing beats the smell of fresh baked sourdough bread in the morning, it silences the words of liars who are” non leaders”, just for a short moment.

  7. Misky says:

    I hope that je ne sais quoi slips in and out of your morning often.

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