A walk, with cherries

When I used to live in the Soviet Union, we had tremendous shortages of food. And as a consequences, you never went anywhere without a small string bag – which we called a Perhaps Bag.

Perhaps you will come across a stallholder on a side street selling a truckload of cabbages, or if you were very lucky, a queue of people who heard the rumour about lemons. Or bananas. Or if you were very unlucky, mystery fish. Frozen in blocks and hacked off with a saw.

The equivalent around this part of France is the perhaps plastic bag you grab on your way out the door. Perhaps you will get cherries on your daily walk.

And perhaps you will even be able to reach the branches which are groaning with fruit.

We had a bumper haul on our Sunday Constitutional.

Well, considering we yomped over 22 kilometres (13 miles?) a meal of different flavoured cherries was to be expected.

The fat juicy ones from abandoned orchards (or a bit close to people’s farmhouses when you hope no one is looking), the tarter wild cherries which are more pip than flesh, or the surprising dark almost black cherries which have started to emerge.

I choose my routes according to the bounty I know I can harvest along the way.

But yesterday’s exploration was new to both of us. We stocked up on our usual hour long trek down and up to the village. And then we struck over hills and far away.

Forest paths, steep pilgrim paths (with stone walls either side) down to the Eyrieux Valley.

And then the trek back up to Chalencon, the 10th century perched village not too far from home.

Agriculture on this side of the region is more varied. Flatter, open prairie and fields. Lots of irksome (to me) neat vegetable gardens. Hoed to ‘cleanliness’.

And I even spotted a lavender field for essential oils.

Quite a sight.

Now, I must ooze away back to work. Deadline day for a translation looms. It’s today! And of course I told myself that Sunday would have been a perfect time to down secateurs and Get On.

But not with most of the day being taken up with walking. And then lying prone on the yoga mat aching from fatigue.

To the translation work I go.