Sunday, June 30, 2019

Lazy Sunday in France with the authors behind Serena Kent

French Village Diaries #LazySundayinFrance Serena Kent
Death in Avignon, Serena Kent


Serena Kent is the author of cozy mysteries Death in Provence and Death in Avignon and the pen name of Deborah Lawrenson and her husband Robert Rees. They enjoy slightly different takes on what makes a great lazy Sunday. 

You can read my review of book one, Death in Provence, here and Death in Avignon (released this week) here. For a taste of what to expect, you might like to read what their character Penelope Kite gets up to on her Lazy Sunday in France here.

French Village Diaries #LazySundayinFrance Serena Kent
Luberon ©DeborahLawrensonRobertRees


The first delicious aspect of a lazy day in Provence is getting up relatively early by myself while Rob slumbers on. I take a cup of tea and breakfast to the terrace which looks out over the whole length of the Luberon valley. The silence seems to swirl like the thermals that eagles ride in the intensely blue sky.
If the mood takes me in the summer, I’ll swim first of all. Our pool is unheated, so the water will be crisp and bracing as I plunge in. The number of lengths I do depends on whether I’m feeling I’m might just have over-indulged (again) in cheese, or patisserie, or rosé (sadly, all too often). 
Reading in the morning is an essential part of a lazy Sunday. I can completely relax and lose myself in a book, stopping to daydream along the way.
If I’m going to venture out, I love to wander around a classic Provençal brocante. This pleasurable activity is watched with basilisk eye by Rob, though, as he feels I have bought enough lanterns and oil lamps and garden furniture and should now be actively avoiding temptation. 
Lunch on Sunday in France traditionally means going to a restaurant, but it’s not my ideal. Honestly, I prefer simplicity at home: melon and jambon cru, tomato and mozzarella salads and baguette and ice-cold Perrier. Then back to a shady spot under a pine tree in the garden and my book and the piano music that often drifts from Rob’s music room. 
A truly lazy Sunday gives plenty of time to think and be in the moment. In the evening: a few glasses of rosé on the terrace watching the sun set in technicolor display, followed by dinner, cooked expertly by Rob, and a lot of laughs with him, our daughter Maddy and any friends who happen to be staying.
French Village Diaries #LazySundayinFrance Serena Kent
Garden view ©DeborahLawrensonRobertRees


One of the most wonderful things about Sundays is a bit of a lie in. After a bit of a read in bed, or a snooze (usually the latter), breakfast calls. One of the first luxuries we allowed ourselves in the French house was a decent expresso maker. After a few minutes of issuing forth steam and strange sounds, it disgorges a thin stream of oily black liquid which is a necessity for me in my morning routine. The coffee is taken with croissants and the wonderful French loaves known as Tradition: hard on the outside and soft and doughy on the inside. 

French Village Diaries #LazySundayinFrance Serena Kent
Rob's music room ©DeborahLawrensonRobertRees

Once fed and watered I will turn the computer on, look at it for a few minutes, and then decide life is too short to answer any emails, especially as the music room beckons. A sleek black upright piano sits in an old stable conversion next to the house, offering a haven where I can relax and play, sound muffled by the thick walls, much to Deborah’s relief. 
Usually I have a large stack of classical music books brought from England, though I also have, over about ten years, amassed quite a lot of my own compositions. Some have stood the test of time, whilst others now make me cringe. If the muse visits then I will scribble a few ideas down or work on a new piece/song. 
In Provence, Sunday is the day for a big lunch out – sometimes with friends but usually at a local restaurant. If I can persuade Deborah that there is more to life than salad, there are any number around us, including one particularly classy joint in our local village called Le Sanglier Paresseux – the Lazy Boar. Which is, ironically, how I would classify myself on Sundays, especially before shaving.
Sunday afternoons consist of lazing by the pool with a good book, the occasional cooling plunge, and once the sun has passed the yardarm, a glass of ice cold rosé and olives on the terrace, looking out over the wooded hills of the Luberon stretching away to the horizon like a large frozen green sea.

As a bonus treat, here is a glimpse into Rob’s music room (don't forget to turn the sound up) from their sunny terrace. Bliss, I wonder if I could gatecrash?
You can follow Serena Kent at her website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

1 comment:

  1. Sounds blissful and what a stunning view (though I’m not complaining!!!) Loved Le Sanglier Paresseux, loved Deborah’s ‘300 Days of Sun’ (set in Portugal), looking forward to meeting Penelope Kite!


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