(a photo of ‘les Grands Chartreuses’ monastery in Isere, France)

Well, it’s Easter time again! Lent is drawing to a close, and spring is here. I can wake up now and leave the back door open, letting in a nice breeze instead of an icy wind.

Today I’m spring-cleaning the house and my son is going to mow the garden…(he doesn’t know this yet…) So that tomorrow everything is sparkling clean. My husband is in the south of France and won’t be back until Monday. He’s playing polo there in the sunshine – lucky!

It’s vacation and everything seems to have slowed down. The village is very quiet. A lot more people go off on vacation now than at Christmas time. The roads are better, there is still snow in the alps, and springtime is lovely anywhere – at the shore or in the mountains. We spent Easter break at the seashore one year and it really was lovely. France had a wonderful coastline – from the rocky shores of Brittany to the high cliffs and large sandy beaches in Normandy, and the south, of course, with its deeply scalloped coastline with alternating sandy beaches and rocky bays. And although swimming is still out, it’s warm enough for kids to wade, catch crabs, and play in the warm sand.

In the alps there is still snow at the highest ski stations, and lower down there are lovely hikes to take around steep trails to see old castles and monasteries hidden in the valleys. We went to see ‘les Chartreuses’ one year in the spring. The monks were just moving the cows from the winter stables to the first level pastures, and there was no sound but the cows lowing and the birds chirping, because the monks of the Chartreuse monastery have taken a vow of silence. And along the trail are signs asking for hikers to respect the quiet and not speak. So the whole valley in encased in a deep silence. It’s quite lovely.

At any rate, have a wonderful Easter weekend no matter where you spend it!