Page 1. " France's favourite ritual "

What better ritual could you think of than one surrounded with food. In France lunch is a highly regarded culinary ritual, and with good reason too. Rather than the hurried 'bite to eat' for lunch so common to many of us, in Provence lunch tends to follow the typical pace of life; slowed down. Combine that with a delicious spread of breads, cheeses, meats, salads dressed in virgin oil with dessert to follow, and you can understand why lunch, like most meals here, are so highly regarded.

 

Page 2. " The walls, some of them a metre thick, were built to keep out the winds of the Mistral which, they say, can blow the ears off a donkey "

One of the strong winds of the mediterranean that chooses to visit the south of France every year. It was named appropriately by the provencal natives, meaning 'masterly' as its presence is made clear when it arrives by high speed winds that can blow for up to a week at a time. Early Provencal houses were traditionally built with their backs to the south to take the brunt of the wind and many of the bell towers in the region are designed with open iron frameworks to allow the wind to pass through.

Page 4. " The Luberon mountains rise up immediately behind the house.... "

 The Luberon mountains consist of two mountain ranges: the Grand Luberon (east) and the Petit Luberon (west). Boasting pristine oak and cedar forests along with a dry climate and vegetation makes it a haven for hikers. The area has also retained alot of it's original charm due to a national park status put in place in 1977 to protect it from the jaws of overdevelopment and trashy tourism. Typical vegetation to the area includes wild trees of olives and figs and deliciously aromatic mint, laurel and myrtle shrubs.

Mayle's A Year In Provence (1989) actually contributed largely to the popularity of the area which has now become quite the fashionable place to visit. The area can be easily enjoyed by car, stopping off intermittently for a picnic and a drop of rose along the way, although those feeling fit enough enjoy to take in the scenery by casual bike riding or set riding tours. The best time of year for this is between April and July as summer is too hot and it may be too wet at other times of the year.

Page 7. " Typical Gallic exaggeration, we thought "

Map of Gaul
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeMap of Gaul - Credit: Feitscherg
The term Gallic comes from Gaul, the region of western Europe now covered by France, Luxembourg, Belgium and parts of Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands.

Gauls spoke the Gaulish language, an early variety of Celtic, now extinct.

Page 19. " It was the standard Citroen deux chevaux, a model which has changed very little in the past twenty-five years "

Citroen is car manufacturing company from France and currently one of the largest in the world. It was founded in 1919 by Andre Citroen and still continues to produce popular automobiles for the world.