around La Gardi

December 27, 2014


Road side crosses mark the boundaries of the village but not all are hidden within the oak scrub. This cross is only visible on the ascent out of Goult on the road to Roussillon where the rising ground is covered with differing landscape types depending on the geology and the aspect; known as The Gardi, an area originally used for sand extraction, then more recently as a motocross ground and, now, being restored back to nature as much as is possible with human interference. Vineyards sweep down the south facing slopes owned and cared for by  Domaine de la Verrière and further towards Roussillon, Domaine Bonelly where Beckett worked for a while.


The Boxing Day shoot is in progress  around The Gardi. Whether the shoot was for birds or boar . . . I didn’t enquire. Well organised, as far as humans were concerned, but the barking of the dogs was surely and hopefully a forewarning for the hunted.


domaine de la verriere

Domaine de la Verrière plant roses at the end of the vine runs – some say that the roses give a previous indication of blight  – an early warning system – but also decorative to boot as long as they remain healthy. Just further along the road – down an incline and around two or three bends, I came across a group of renovated buildings – farm house and barns – that had received immaculate attention, The garden beyond was clipped to perfection . . .


barn + house


. . . the end wall well restored with the red ochre bricks clearly visible and the renovated old house, just ready for rental.

the farm house

Bamboos growing beside the stream, gleam in the winter sunshine . . .

bamboo hedge

. . . and looking down into the bassin, darker reflections and detail.



Circling back up to The Gardi, the ochre hill sides, where areas of  Garrigues and Matorral landscapes can be discovered. Juniper and 3 types of pine  – Aleppo (Pinus halepensis), Maritime (Pinus pilaster) and P. sylvestris dominate with Juniper as understorey (Genévrier communis). Back through the vines leading down to the village, derelict cabanons stand guard. They are on sale for 90,000 euros with a bit of land.

mas 1



But this one standing within the poplars is part of larger estate and very beautiful. Not for sale.


Et, des lors, je me suis baigne dans le poeme

De la mer infuse d’astres et lactescent,

Devorant les azurs verts ou, flottaison bleme

Et ravie, un noye pensif, parfois, descend;

Ou, teignant tout a coup les bleuites, delires
Et rythmes lents sous les rutilements du jour,
Plus fortes que 1’alcool, plus vastes que vos lyres,

Fermentent les rousseurs ameres de l’amour.

Thenceforward, fused in the poem, milk of stars,
Of the sea, I coiled through deeps of cloudless green,

Where, dimly, they come swaying down,
Rapt and sad, singly, the drowned;

Where, under sky’s haemorrhage,

Slowly tossing In thuds of fever, arch-alcohol of song,
Pumping over the blues in sudden stains,

The bitter redness of love ferment. Samuel Beckett



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