By Veronica


Continuing the vine series ... this used to be vines till about a year ago. Now it is the site of a new lotissement (housing estate) of the type that are sprouting on the outskirts of every self-respecting village around here. New residents are vital to keep the school, the post office, and the shop going. Our village currently has a population of just under 300, and with the help of two existing new estates of a dozen houses each it is at least remaining stable. The school is safe for the moment.

But I find the little pastel-coloured identikit boxes built on these sites depressing. They pay no heed to local architectural traditions or, more importantly, to the prevailing wind. So many modern houses are built with patio doors opening out onto a terrace with a view. And an exfoliating wind tossing the plates, glasses, and cutlery around because the architects didn't figure out why older houses turned their backs on it, or had rows of cypresses obscuring the view. C'est le pays du vent !

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