1) Tourist season is starting up again. Check the number of cars parked in the hotel parking lot on the way in, the number of people carrying cameras but not shopping baskets, and the number of people not reading La Dépêche outside the café.
2) The commune de Mirepoix will be one vast vegetable bed come summer to judge from the hundreds of seedlings being bought.
3) I would like a summer dress in the soft garnet, cream and sharp green colours of new garlic.
4) I wish I'd bought the flowery summer dress that I saw on the friperie (secondhand clothes) stall. It was the right size and cost two euros.
5) I must stop buying clothes at the friperie in Lavelanet as the lady there now not only knows me but knows my taste to the point that she shows me things she thinks I will like. She's usually right.
6) How come I got a chocolate almond in the saucer of my crème and Peter got a small biscuit?
7) How much I love La Presse in Mirepox for playing classical music so that you listen to Bach or Vivaldi while you leaf through the food magazines.
8) How happy it makes me that we park the car in Place Marcel Pagnol, a little square named after the man who created Jean de Florette. I wish I could say that the square was lined with cafés and shaded by plane trees but it's not. It's where we go to pay our various taxes.
9) How this same group stands in the same spot every week--and everyone cheerfully walks around them.
10) How you can buy live trout, artisanal beer and handmade leather sandals from this row of stalls
11) How I purposely detour around beside the cathedral so I can sniff the amazing smells that come from these colossal pans of poulet basquaise and paella. One morning, around 10 a.m., we were there with a friend who was visiting from Canada and the smell hit her so powerfully that she had to buy a serving of bouillabaisse right there and then, and eat it on the spot.
12) How clever it is for vendors to put all the vegetables that go into ratatouille all together.