We have a house in France; in the village of Moux, Aude!
I should have started this blog back in July, when the house became ours, but things have been a bit busy and we've had a couple of holidays already in the house, although it’s fair to say that most have been spent beginning the move of our stuff to Moux from the UK. At the very least I should have started the blog in early 2015, once I left the 9-5, but I've been busy since then and writing has had to take a back seat.
So I'll start now, May 2015, and catch up with a few summary blogs of the key events since July, since Ange and I became Mouxoise and Mouxois.
Moux. M O U X - very definitely X. My longer standing French friends say the X is silent, but the villagers, our new friends in Moux, say it is MouX.
The more I learn of the village the more I love it and the more I realise this is a historic and important place, however small and quiet it seems now. Sandwiched between Mont Alaric and the canal du Midi, bypassed by the route national, it lies on an active railway line, although its station is no longer used, it has a closed café, a shop and a tomb to a 'fin de siècle' poet, which can be seen from the motorway. These are clues to a place of great depth and history. As I get to know it, I become prouder every day to become a Mouxois.
To start with, the village nestles beneath that mountain; Mont Alaric; 600 metres high, named after Alaric II the Visigoth King; more of that in a subsequent blog.
Secondly, Moux has an active Mairie; the closed café is going to reopen; encouraged and rebuilt by the Mairie. The deputy mayor; a new friend, is the village historian; he showed us around the tomb of the poet, Henri Bataille, last November (Thankyou, Didier). Didier is writing a history of Bataille and three other poets from the village, that have helped put Moux on the map. The street names all reflect the village's history, with the former Route Nationale named after Henri Bataille, and our own road named for another; Prosper Mestre Huc. Another is named for a Henri Martin; a young man taken away by the Nazis towards the end of the war. The village respects its past.
Moux encourages an active social life; there is a popular salle des fêtes, where we met Didier and his wife; Marie Claire back in November. There is a sports hall, a field for summer socials and a petanque court. There is a walking club, and we are on a Grande Randonee; number 77; that starts on the summit of Alaric, goes right past the door to our house and on to the canal du Midi. More of that in a future blog, after I've walked it.
There are four vineyards in the village. One we have visited and three we will visit. The village is at the top end of the Corbieres. Drive a little further north and you arrive at the Minervoir. The Coop de Mont Alaric has a superb Corbieres on its lists; Chateaux de Moux; Premier Pas - first steps.
So I'll finish my blog, my first steps, on that note.
Future blogs will include life in the hills, vineyards, towns and villages around Moux, travelogues between the UK and Moux, and more about the wines and foods of France.