Saturday, 8 May 2010

South and north

We just got back from a week visiting Provence and the French Mediterranean coast, landscapes very warm and seductive:

This is the view from our hotel room, but I couldn't capture the fast swifts wheeling and screeching in that sky.

The Gorge of Verdon winds deep through the hills, the river so far below us it's hard to imagine how it ever ground away so much earth:
Green spring trees beside the bright blue water:

The French really do respect food; a Provence farm shop displayed its vegetables like artworks, colour-coordinated:

Flowered courgettes feel delicate and fleshy at once:

Back in Paris and the Jardin du Luxembourg is also in bloom, including these strange trees (I can't identify) with lilac-coloured foxglove-like flowers and some of last year's nuts still visible:

Politics of hope

The fabulous Caroline Lucas thanked the voters of Brighton Pavilion for choosing 'the politics of hope' on Thursday when she became Britain's first Green MP. She will enter Parliament as the sole female leader of a British political party. Congratulations to her and to all the people who campaigned for her. Here's a video of her acceptance speech, in which we get to see her tired, emotional and very happy face at the announcement:

During the campaign, from a quite distance, I felt sceptical that the Greens would make it into Westminster. I lived near Brighton in 2005 and campaigned door to door for Keith Taylor. The feeling that year was very optimistic, and Green supporters seemed to be everywhere. On the day the Greens got over 20% of the vote, which was great, but they still came third behind the Labour and the Tories, despite the fact that on the doorstep I never heard anyone support the Conservatives. Well, I learned a little scepticism. It's cheering to see something good come out of this election, despite the Tory majority. Caroline Lucas is a great spokeswoman for ecology and environment, and I'm looking forward to watching her take on Westminster.