Rolle; The Bise Breeze Brings Big Freeze to Boccard's Backyard

When we first moved to Switzerland we had a few complications finding some permanent accommodation. As a result we lived in Rolle for three months from September through November in 2010. It was a cruisey introduction to a new country. Rolle is a pretty, medium sized town on the shores of Lake Geneva. The real estate and the schools are a bit on the expensive side in this rural locale about twenty minutes west of Lausanne, but that is more than compensated by the friendliness of the locals and the quality of  the lifestyle.

While we were living there I started developing a story about an Australian guy found dead in Rolle on Christmas Day. I wrote around 20,000 words then we moved to Pully and that's where 'The Frozen Immigrant' is still at. At the time of living in Rolle I felt frozen emotionally by a culture I didn't understand and a language I had no grasp of. My days were spent working as a volunteer gardener in an aged care facility where most of my time was spent raking up leaves only to come in the next morning to find the leaves I'd put on the mulch pile the day before had been replaced by many more of their friends. Some days I would go exploring around the older parts of Rolle with my camera and the photos would give me ideas for developing the story line of my manuscript. Other days I would just get really great photos which gave me an even greater passion for photography.

Today I revisited Rolle to have lunch with a friend at Boccard ( Tearoom and Patisserie. Boccard was a great place for me to find a sunny corner and write a morning away. And there were always a variety of conversations to half overhear that could be embellished to heat up a scene or two of an otherwise chilly narrative. No differently today Boccard seduced me in the filtered warmth and sunshine of it's large picture windows while Laureline, the English speaking waitress, filled my friend and I with tasty treats and better than average Swiss coffee.  Conversations tip-toed around and over us as I am sure ours did around the rest of the tables but at Boccard noise is an accepted participant in the dining experience.
Beyond the picture windows, down towards the lake, the sunshine was a thin disguise. There were no frozen immigrants however, only frozen boulders, ice jetties, frigid boats in boat harbours and an assortment of ducks pretending it wasn't cold in the water. You could hear their beaks shivering through the double glazing. Luckily I had thrown our old Sony Cybershot in the car at the weekend so not to be caught out without a camera again. In between trying to set a few frames a local lady informed me that this was the first big freeze in Rolle since 1985. And she also thought to tell me that the 'Bise' wind would be here again tomorrow if I wanted to come back down to capture some more of nature's awesome art.

Rolle is the place to be on fantastic and frozen day. Mmmm? Now that line reminds me of a song that used to keep me warm back in the 'Summer of Love'


Popular Posts