Monday, June 14, 2010

My favorite fountain

My favorite fountain in Provence is the fountain at Place Yvan Audouard, a few steps from our home in Sablet. I am sure, actually I know, there are prettier and more impressive fountains in Provence but this fountain is my favorite.

I walk pass this fountain several times a day. The first time is in the morning when I go to Café des Sports for my petit café - espresso, and conversation with Bruno who is the patron - proprietor, of the cafe.

Except for early in the morning or late in the evening, there always seem to be people near the fountain, a group of older men sitting on the stone wall overlooking the street or a couple of ladies standing in the shade of the adjacent wash basin in animated conversation.

There is a small plaque on the fountain which says "eau de source non contrôlée", which essentially means the water is probably not safe for drinking. Despite this admonition, we see villagers filling buckets there every day.

Throughout the day, the area around the fountain and wash basin is alive with activity as it is near a boulangerie and the village bibliotèque - library. However, at the end of the day, Place Yvan Audouard is usually quiet except for the village cats and the sound of water trickling from the fountain.

One morning a few weeks back, our friend Kari Sante who is a server at our Bistro Des Copains went with me to Café des Sports for espresso. I couldn't resist the chance to take a picture of her sitting on our fountain.

Like me, you might be curious as to who Yvan Audouard was or did that he was bestowed the honor of having his name on the square where our fountain is located. After some research, I found out he was a writer and journalist with roots in Provence.

He was born in 1914 in Saigon, now Hồ Chí Minh City, his father was in the military from Avignon and his mother was a librarian from Marseille. He died in 2004 in Paris. He spent quite a bit of his life in Arles and Nimes.

I am not sure he ever came to Sablet but maybe he came to the village's annual Journée du Livre held every July or the Journée du Livre inspired the village to name the square after the Provençal writer.

In any case, he is honored to be named for the location of our favorite fountain. Oh, this is my favorite fountain because I know that I am close to home in Sablet when I see it.

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