Yesterday gloriously cloudless deep blue sky, warm but not uncomfortable, and a light breeze. Good day for the grapes, and not so bad for me, either. I took the bus up to Gevrey Chambertin in the morning then walked back down to Nuits St. George, wandering in and out of the vineyards. Very quiet, a few people working – a woman ploughing by horse in Chambertin, a man spraying his crops by hand, the protective clothing must have been stifling in that sun, one or two tractors out either trimming or ploughing.
Two of the village churches were standing open as I passed, so I looked in – Morey St. Denis and Chambolle Musigny. Both pretty austere on the exterior, but Chambolle Musigny has some extraordinary wall paintings. They date from 1539, and were uncovered in the late 19th century. They are incredibly beautiful, detailed and vivid, executed in very subtle greys, and fill the sanctuary (picture below), as well as the chapels in both transepts. The lower half of the wall is a very rich deep red on red block pattern, giving a brocade like effect. The stone vaulting is also incredibly pretty and delicate. Worth visiting.
Today, by contrast, has been overcast, the air heavy and stifling. Sure enough, a little while ago, about 18:00, the thunder that has been rumbling for a while finally made good its promise and the heavens have opened up. For the most part I have stayed in and studied my french – in less than two weeks I have an interview for the school, which will of course be in french. Comment on dit “yikes!!” en français?
It’s 19:00 and the bells from the church of Notre Dame are ringing. Bonne nuit.