On the first weekend of February we drove to Jura, a department on the border just before Switzerland. We stayed in an old house owned by Vincent’s family during ‘La Percee du Vin Jaune’ (Opening of the Yellow Wine; a festival celebrating the famous yellow wine of the region). The festival was an eye opener as I had never seen so many intoxicated French people in one day. Intoxicated French people wearing silly hats, having sing offs and peeing in people’s gardens. It was rather like a suburban, quaint Glastonbury, with Wine snobs and grinning Japanese tourists.
So, when not tasting the sweet, sherry like Vin de Paille, syrupy Vin Jaune or endless glasses of Vincent’s red Beaujolais in front of the stove, I was having a forbidden romance with the house. I was bewildered and seduced by the silhouettes against the windows, terrified by the dark room at the top where the pile of wood was kept and frankly obsessed with the torn, patterned wallpaper in every room.
Amongst my favourite moments of the days were: Jon making a cork person with a chef hat and a champagne wire chair, watching Whitney‘s silhouette against the bedroom window as she applied her powder on Saturday morning, Vincent‘s screwdriver and hook method instead of a cork screw, eating quite a lot of cheese and falling asleep beneath layers of blankets, next to the stove.
~9 years ago I spent a week in the Scottish Isle of Jura where George Orwell wrote ‘1984’. My boyfriend at the time had grown up there, amongst 100 inhabitants. His father was a gardener on one of the estates on the island and his mother enjoyed arguing with the shopkeeper about how many eggs she was allowed to buy. I did not meet a single person on the island who was able to focus on anything other than my shoes. But that, I suppose, is another story…~