The river is flat and smooth. There’s the occasional slight ripple as fish push up through the surface to catch an insect. Swallows and wrens dart about; and above them an eagle wheels through the sky waiting, waiting…
The surrounding hills are the medium green of light European forest leading down to meadows before the river. The edges of the river have a fringe of trees overhanging the banks. Nestled gently amongst the trees are houses in a golden stone topped by dull terracotta tiles or layered grey stone. And further away the towers of chateaux stand tall.
In the middle distance is the only modern colour, the brighter-red of a hot air balloon gently rising above the tree tops.
I’m sitting on a window seat looking at all of this. Bells from the local church toll in the background, The warm breeze wafts in to our living room where the kids are playing a computer game – no, it’s not all some Year in Provence idyll. From the cafe below I can see the French tri-colour limply moving, while people enjoy a drink. I have a sip of red wine.
I don’t think I’m capable of capturing this moment for all that I want to. A picture won’t do it, words won’t do it. It’s all going to come down to a memory.