In a small village in Provence, where I’ve been going regularly for the past forty years, the mistral is a frequent guest. It rushes in from north-facing windows and small air vents. Bedroom doors are propped open by two-kilo cast-iron butcher weights. Inevitably someone forgets to put one in place, and the report reverberates throughout the house. Any number of ceramic bowls and carelessly placed glasses go crashing to the terra-cotta tile floors. My young niece stands in the entrance. A gust of wind suddenly slams the heavy wooden door on her finger – a spray of red on the...
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