Monday 13 June 2011: Pézènes reflections
It's a jour ferié today, a bank holiday, so we spent the morning in the hills just to the north and wandered around the village of Pézènes-les-Mines, which has a 9th- to 12th-century chateau surrounded by a lot of tiny houses and narrow, stepped, cobbled lanes. Although it's less than 15 kilometres away from home, the landscape, vegetation and building styles are very different, the beginnings of the mountains with chestnut trees mixed in with the evergreen oak that is more common here. The village is on a rise in a deep valley surrounded by steep hills and we wondered at the isolation of this settlement when our friend B., who was born there, was a child in the 1920s and 1930s. It's an easy trip by car, but few people would have had a car in those days.
In 2007 when our theatre group put on the play 1907 (to mark the centenary of the wine makers' revolt in the Midi), we had an audience of 120 people in Pézènes - not bad for a village with a population of less than 200, many of whom are summer residents only. Probably something to do with the fact that B. had a part in the play!