There’s no room for doubt, said the solid, stone house. Let’s reflect on that, stared the window pane. I’m no longer pristine, mumbled the wall at her feet. The lamp tilted her head then spoke in a tone that was somewhat lighter than the old, plastered sheet. You’re somewhere between, not ceiling or floor. It could be worse, groaned the stain on the door.
I’m about to squeeze this hulk between solid stone buildings that have withstood two world wars and four hundred years of seasonal change, love and laughter in the Aveyron. I’m not the first. This is the through road between wheat fields on high and the ancient moulins along the river that ground the grain to fine flour for the communal bread ovens. Tractors, horses, wagons, and more recently cars and the occasional truck have traversed this route. Today I’m driving the old Mercedes.
I’ve been in Europe for six months now. Hitching my way around France and Greece, meeting the strange, the interesting and the humorous along my way. Striding with backpack or pedalling the tiny trails that connect villages. I don’t drive cars. I’m on the wrong side of the road, the wrong side of the car, and I’m trying to brake with my right foot on the pedal. Sure I have been granted a temporary French permit to drive, but do I really want to exchange a life of adventurous travel for the easy option? I will decide after I have safely parked the car on the wild and wintery hill-top back at my friend’s house.
There is nothing to say, she laughs. The door swung on it’s hinges, uncertain whether to open or close. The window, wide-eyed, allowed the light to enter, but only with a certain discretion. Cicadas screamed. Over-ripe figs fell to the ground. The walls bared their souls. And the day passed away.