Lucky find at the brocante a white pottery water jug.
Three melons from Cavillon.
Antique hand made terre cuite planting pot, though I used it to hold forks and knives at the outdoor dinner party.
Nothing says Provence more than cicades singing while under a plaintain tree.
In France a couple is married in front of a judge at a city hall. Later if you wish to have a religious ceremony you can, but the actual marriage vows are said at the city hall. A couple must marry at the city hall where they reside.
French Husband's nephew lives in Courthézon, which has one of the most beautiful city hall's I have ever seen.
The bride wore a knee length white eyelet dress and carried a small tightly bunch of ranunculus.
The stairs going into the city hall were as if out of a story book.
I did not take my SLR camera to the wedding, instead only my cell phone. Regret was waiting for me at every step, Oh the beautiful photos I could have taken. Though if I had taken my camera the couple would have never married as I would be begging for one more photo.
The massive wooden doors entrying the city hall.
A wedding planners dream place.
The couple led the way.
We walked through a conservatory before entering the room for the marriage to take place.
I do not have a photo of Yann and I, do not ask me why... I forgot. Which is too bad because I had a rather interesting dress for a change. At least eight to ten times I was told how lucky I was to be married to such a handsome man... by the tenth time I wanted to scream, "Hey do you like my dress?" But I refrained, smiled as if to say, "Duh."
Anyway I have a photo of Beautiful Chelsea.
One of the many stunning rooms in the Hotel de Ville (City Hall) that once was a chateau.
We gathered inside the city hall for the marriage to take place.
At this point I put my cell phone away, the marriage began.
The wedding party was in four parts:
The marriage at five.
Then the dinner at six that lasted until one in the morning.
Followed by dancing until eight, yes eight this morning.
and a Picnic this afternoon.
The Dinner Menu
followed the champagne aperitif.
Lobster half shell
Followed by duck (canette) I had fish instead.
With sauteed wild mushrooms and vegetables.
Then a selection of fine cheese.
Wine to match in part of the menu.
Followed by dessert.
Before the guests I arrived I took some photos of the tables, though later when the candles were lite, and the plates were added... it was even prettier.
Married love. Absolutely beautiful.
Chelsea came home for the weekend to celebrate a family wedding, we met her at the train station and then headed towards our friend's restaurant "Les Bars du Moment" for lunch.
Of course the photos I took have nothing to do with what we had, or the order. I wasn't thinking blog instead I was too busy talking and enjoying the moment. It was later when we were home that I kicked myself for not taking a photo of the lasagna.
Patrice's (that is a masculine name in France) restaurant was full of local color, talk and homemade cooking. If you like to go to places that are hidden way and not talked about in guide books, have French homecooking for a good price... this is it.
Les Bars du Moment is a casual place, note Chelsea's hair tied up with a white rubber band? Chelsea brought some magazine's for her "Papa" one was on Real Estate in Paris and the other on Flying. The two of them jumped right in, like the golden days before cell phones.
We ordered the same thing, goat cheese pumpkin lasagna and a green salad.
The lasagna was delicious Patrice asked me to guess how he made it. I was 99 percent right, but the 1 percent that I did not know made all the difference in the world. The unique flavor, the haunting yet married well taste was Patrice' secret touch:
Such an incredible embodiment of flavor. Tea cooked pasta: I wonder if Marco Polo with his travel to China ever cooked his pasta in tea?
I am o going to try this... better yet ask Patrice for his recipe, don't you agree? Have you ever cooked anything with tea?
Patrice photo bombed Chelsea's photo bomb of my wanted photo. And yet it is better than I had aimed for.
Patrice is a one man show in his restaurant, entertaining and genuine.
Une Noisette: an espresso with a tad of steamed milk.
We also had tarte tatin that was flawless.
Now I wonder if I will fit in the dress for tomorrow's wedding?
Nathalie and Patrice are our neighbors, though their business is in Marseille.
A cafe/restaurant: Les Bars du Moment
19 rue du Docteur Escat,
They are open Monday through Saturday,
Seven to Four.
Even if you don't speak a word of French you will feel like you are their new BFF in the first five minutes. They are salt of the earth kind of people.
Moments before nightfall the last rays of sunshine came through the kitchen window splashing across the red tiled kitchen floor, a misplaced chair stood as if in the spotlight soaking it up. Soaking up the gentle light.
I imagined myself in its spot.
Spotlight for the last rays of the day.
I recalled an early email from a friend, tears wet the red tiled floor.
Glistening, slow danced with the sunlight.
Holy moments right there in the kitchen.
Some of the words my friend wrote played over and over,
"...amazing capacity to flood dark places with life giving light..."
to be flooded with light.
Life giving light.
How did she know, how did the sunlight know, how did the the moment come together?
The last rays of light flooded the kitchen, the unexpected chair, and the received letter?
Clap, Bang, Whistle, Pop holiness wrapped up with a dose of daily life.
"Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events as meaningfully related, where they are unlikely to be casualiy related. The subject sees it as a meaningful coincidence. The concept of synchronicity was first described by Carl Jung." Via Wiki.
"...amazing capacity to flood dark places with life giving light..."
Flood dark places like a rushing river...
Clear full quenching parched land.
Letter in hand.
The last rays came in across the floor,
a ray poured through the crack,
a seed sprouted,
a tree rooted pushing through the roof,
reaching towards the moon, sun, stars, tomorrow, eternity.
The capacity to love is endless.
Goodness is what I hoped for in a relationship. A goodness that makes the strain and stress that sneaks into any relationship melt and mend.
Melt and mend...
No marriage is as easy as happy ever after.
Loving has its unmarked roads, and some of those bumps can really kick butt and throw one off course.
What keeps us together? What keeps me believing in the road under our feet?
Two hearts beating in rhythm that cannot be controlled.
a simpleness, a breath of fresh air, those little things that make my heart leap unexpectedly. Laughter. A hand to hold.
Melt and mend.
Melting over me
warm and complete.
Ah the ease of loving, and what keeps me close.
And when it isn't so....
and a willingness.
And when he wants to do the scary stuff like fly that Ultra Lite, or worse wants to go caving, or when he stays silent too long, or when he becomes a Drama King over nothing, or when he takes hours to park the car... things that drive me nuts.
count to ten.
count the blessings.
count the pills that I am.
Melt and mend.
I wish loving were so for everyone.
"God, why not?"
On the road I
grabbed his butt and squeezed.
(My mother is not going to like this photo.)
Thank you to the universe around and within.
May it be this loving for my entire life.
My friend Cheryl took these photos.
Setting the table I love doing that. Tonight we had two tables.
Colors of Provence.
I took a photo before the tables were done, since I usually forget to do it.
French Husband swept the patio. Not a loved task of mine. Happy he obliged!
The roses are gone, as is the lavender and jasmine.
An old quilt as a table cloth.
That pumpkin is real to decorative to eat.
French Husband's tee shirt has coca cola bottles all over it.
I would write more but I am running late and need to finish up before our neighbor/friends arrive... it is my turn to host the dinner.
What is your favorite part of preparing a dinner party?
In our younger days we met in a monastery, far from home, yet home.
What were the chances that two young women barely twenty, in the 80's would meet in prayer, in a monastery vast with wonder, awe and deep psychology study in the form of scripture, Carl Jung and Jesus, semi-cloistered with men and women.
Saint Baume, Marie Magdalene's Grotto:
They say the angels carried her to the top of the mountain to prayer seven times a day.
I know if they didn't carry me I wouldn't be hiking up seven times a day. Getting up at six for morning prayer was hard enough. Nightowls didn't sing the same way as those morning birds did.
My friend came to visit. It had been six or seven years since I saw her last.
And yet it was yesterday, or maybe even an hour ago, what is time anyway?
Hearts don't tell time the same way. I must beleive that to keep sane with most my family and friends living far from my reach.
We know what love and friendship can do when it comes to bridges, walls, mountains, differences... distances.
We are closer than we can hold or touch.
Prayer is a beautiful hand.
A priest said in a sermon I heard:
"We are the stained glass and (God's) love is the light that shines through."
different colors and form
love, prayer, belief in one another is a light we also create
and if we give it....
beauty spills wide.
Hiking up the tower in Chartres.
In the summer pouring rain
On the top I laid my hand upon that stone.
Imagination told a story.
Rain set a mood that only rain can, Mysterious grey, watering the soul, cleansing fault, forgiving tears...
History over a thousand years
faith remaining against the odds.
Stones that breath.
I took courage and gave thanks.
While on top in the tower of Chartres the bells rang.
Bells ring often in France. When they do I say,
"In the rght place at the right time."
Then I take note of where I am and what I am feeling.
I was with Cheryl.
We were moved to tears, my tears had so many names I just laughed at the thought of it.
I will tell this tale another day.
It was my first time and Cheryl's too.
Only on Friday are the chairs moved aside so you can walk it.
We stayed all day.
I prayed every person's name I knew ... yours too.
Silence does too when words don't find a way to pray.
Oh those carved fragments.
Carved in stone by flesh.
I miss my friend.
Sacha left early this morning, four a.m. to be exact, to go to Seattle to do an internship with Kontent Partners. Though first he will spend one week in Willows with my family.
Last night we celebrated with a "last supper" a end to summer and a hello to Sacha's wonderful adventure.
Of course he hadn't packed.
Of course I wasn't prepared to say goodbye.
Of course there was a happy/sad feeling but soon was settled with the lush of a summer feast.
He wore my Dad's watch. I love that!
I made a goat cheese, emmental, tomato with spinach lasagna. Don't ask me for the recipe because it is something I winged up. Cookbooks are just for inspiration the rest comes from the pleasure of texture, taste and a glass of wine.
Happiness is inventing.
Also I made a roasted red beet salad with hazelnut dressing on "mache".
(What is mache in English?)
I could have been happy just with the roasted beets.
And moreso Sacha's smile all night long.
Love is an amazing feeling when it comes to one's children.
Does it know any bound?
Age doesn't matter.
I love being his mother.
Yann giving Sacha last minute advice.
Last minute affectionate words.
Last minutes full of foreveness.
Melon with limoncello and lavender.
Ready - set - go !
Seattle until October. Then one more year of study in Paris.
A meal for four that looked like a meal for ten.
Mother's cooking is like that.
Full ripe ready and too much.
I bought the straw wine serving basket at the brocante and baptised it at the last supper.
Take a cracker.
Add some camembert.
A few cracked walnuts.
And a piece of green onion tucked underneath.
Oh the taste of yum.
The last supper until Autumn.
Farewell lovely boy.
For years I never understood the adoration for creme brulee. It amazed me how friends and family alike often asked for creme brulee, instead of any of the other beautiful desserts on a restaurant's menu.
Burnt cream? What was the attraction?
Small glazed terra cotta pots with a couple of spoonfuls of chilled cooked cream, spoonfuls of sugar sprinkled on top, and then often blow torched to melt and harden the sugar.
I had heard that if you tapped your spoon on the harden sugar and it makes a hearty crack then it is a sign that it is a "good" creme brulee.
I rarely heard a crack.
Besides, creme brulee isn't the beauty queen of French desserts.
Food porn is visual n'est pas?
There is a small restaurant near where I live that is a fav of mine. Of course if you know me and have read my blog I have many fav restaurants here in France. I am faithful to good cooks who offer a lovely meal at a reasonable price. Brocante and food are a good enough reason to for me to go anywhere.
La Table en Provence in Saint Maximin does just that.
Family owned. Reservations a must. Undeniable clever cuisine.
And their creme brulee... has me dumbfounded. I dream about it, literally dream about it.
Amazingly one of the best things I have ever tasted.
Honey lavender ice cream frozen solid. Taken from the freezer, sugar added, grilled golden and served.
Love on a dish.
Like OHMYGOD this is worth every calorie.
The taste of yum.
Unreal happiness in a spoon.
Am I makig myself clear? Delicious.
When something taste good one tends to eat slowly, but when there isn't a taste or very little of it, people tend to eat more in search for it.
I asked the owners if I could one day I could come around four in the afternoon, a traditional hour for a tea or coffee break. They said of course. I think they saw how desperate I was.
If ever you come to my neck of the woods, Lavender Honey Ice Cream Brulee is in order.
The taste of yum.
This is my Godchild George, he is my brother Mark and sister in law Diane's third child and only boy. Chelsea took this picture of him over ten years ago. It was a blistering hot August day.
Since I live far away from "home" certain images come to mind when I think of my family But my memory "image" of them is often not how they look today. I don't know why this is, I can only guess that the memory "image" of them, that I carry is from a deep beautiful moment, like a freeze frame of sort. Sure there are plenty of other wonderful memories but for some reason a few say stronger in my mind's eye.
Is it like that for you?
Anyway these are the images I hold in my heart of my Godchild George.
He remains a beautiful boy.
Happy Happy Birthday Godchild George!
George got a puppy. He named her Penny.
My nieces "snapchatted" me photos of Penny and George, oh my how cute they are!
Penny is cute. I dare say cute. I daresay I could let her lick my face.
Birthday Boy years ago on a blistering hot day.
Cassis is a place I adore, it is a small port town not far from where I live.
Last night we went there simply because we needed to soak in some of its color.
A sip of Pastis.
A slice of orange.
Evening summer glow.
Along the port of Cassis we walked letting our sails soar, and silence dance while soaking in the last days of summer.
Cassis by moonlight.
There is something about the lingering smell of tanning lotion mixed with the sea breeze, children's distance chatter, waves coming in, sails flapping... summer perfume of sorts.
Wrapped around one like moonlight on a summer evening.
The heart of friendship.
I do not want my friend to go home.
Blue all around.
If I stop counting will the days go by slower?
Sunday brocante, sunrise to sunset, go when you want.
One of the added surprises of going to the brocante is discovering old towns.
This weekend we went to places we had never been before.
discoveries around each corner and under every table.
Who needs food?
I am amazed I found anything considering how many other people were there.
I found some paintings, dishes, a quilt, African art, an antique platter for Chelsea, some things for my online shop, plus nick nack and paddy wack.
I don't think I have ever been to a brocante I did not like.
The best find of my life.
And he gets younger and younger.
1900s French Oil Painting.
Vase with roses.
To put in my shop.
A little tour of France by going to the brocante.
Vertical garden wall.
While at the brocante,
The distraction of the charming French villages.
bought in a small village
My own personal chauffeur.
Small brocante finds spill out on the lunch table.
Stringing bright orange bake light beads tomorrow.
Bake light beads, a whole drawer full!
Tomorrow I will add photos of what I bought, online soon!
Painting and Photo Bruce Chanter:
Aperitif in Aix Aix-en-Provence
Every Saturday I focus on a different artist that I admire. From potters to painters, chefs to collectors, seamstress to songwriters, lifestyle to lovers... anyone who set the paintbrush, pastry brush, hands and heart on fire to create.
Those who inspire art to flow where it may.
Painting and Photo Bruce Chanter: Coffee in St. Germain
Australian artist Bruce Chanter has been painting and drawing all his life. He trained at the prestigious Julian Ashton Art Academy in Sydney during the 60’s, later furthering his studies at East Sydney Art School. Following a corporate career in advertising and retail, Bruce returned to the easel full time in the late 90’s to pursue his passion for painting. Bruce sees painting as a revelation of the places and people he paints. It is a celebration of the more joyful aspects of life and hopes that his belief that art should be uplifting is experienced by viewers of his work.
Painting and photo by Bruce Chanter: Morning Ritual
Bruce paints oils both outdoors “plein-air” and in his studio using the alla-prima technique of the Impressionists, in one wet. He likes to get the painting “down” to retain spontaneity and vigour, not labour over it for weeks or months. Bruce describes himself as a “painterly realist” but easily drifts into a more impressionistic approach if an atmospheric subject requires it. The texture of the brushwork and obvious application of paint are an important characteristic of Bruce’s work. He likes the viewer to see evidence of the artist’s hand at work across the canvas.
Painting and photo by Bruce Chanter: Peaceful liaison-St Germain de Livet chateau Normandy
Bruce loves to paint the beautiful Sydney south coast where he lives, rugged inland Australia and in recent years the land of his heritage, France. France provides a different experience altogether – softer, bluer light, ancient buildings and villages, varying landscape and seasonal changes are all inspiring. He and his wife drive slowly all over France, staying in small villages off the tourist routes. They immerse themselves in the atmosphere, culture, history and lifestyle of the area to capture the feeling of it in pigment. Of course his beloved Paris also features in many of his works too. The sensory journey experienced enables Bruce to capture a real sense of a place, not just its motifs. He endeavours to show the effect and mood of the light in his work too, in interesting compositions.
Painting and photo by Bruce Chanter: Chat on Alexandre - Paris
His early classical training ensures he uses time honoured studio practises,
to provide animportant archival quality to the work.
Bruce is keenly interested in the craft of painting.
He has studied the history of paint pigments,
their composition, properties and restoration work done in
the world’s great galleries.
From this research and quite a lot of
testing he now only uses the best quality paint and mediums
like Old Holland, Royal Talens, Gamblin,
and Michael Harding depending on each colour.
Bruce paints on quality Belgian linen canvas preparing the ground himself
using traditional artisan priming methods.
Painting and photo by Bruce Chanter.
For his French exhibitions, Bruce endeavours to show everyday life in France. Spending a couple of months travelling around France provides the time to find and record the subjects he loves. Street scenes of Paris at different times of day, town markets, a game of Petanque, village gardens, cafes and the country’s varying landscape all make a diverse variety of painterly impressions. Over thirty five paintings in all are exhibited in beautiful frames (some sourced in France) to recreate a similar ambiance to the wonderful Paris galleries, where eclectic frames range from plain gold to ornate mouldings.
Detail of Bruce's Painting: Cafe Flore in Paris
For more information about Bruce's paintings and or to see his other work,
81 Agars Lane
Berry NSW 2535
P +61 2 44643701
All text and photos of Bruce Chanter's paintings, by Bruce Chanter.
A French affair started with lunch.
The table was set with care, and thought to detail.
A heart on top of a bowl of gazpacho.
Tossed green salad
flavored with dill and roasted walnuts,
well mixed conversation
spiced with humor and tease.
faded lavender with a vibrant fragrance.
Without thought of who, what or where...
Lunch is a French affair...
Caramelized onions layers with thinly sliced potatoes and cheese,
then baked in a cast iron skillet.
Another recipe to put in my pocket.
The dill and roasted walnut salad slide in next to it.
Mingled taste gave way to,
Silver forks, knives and spoons.
Lunch in Provence:
With French Husband, Cheryl, Vlad and Denise.
Home made panna cotta with roasted fresh apricots with honey rosemary glaze.
By far one of the best dessert I have ever had.
And I do not like panna cotta... until today.
A French affair means untold delights in the unexpected.
I begged Denise for her recipes!
The kitchen goddess,
the bearer of rich taste,
the recipe holder
my friend from blogging: Denise.
(Sorry no photo of Vlad ...)
What did you have for lunch today.
Merci Vlad and Denise for the lovely lunch today.
My dear friend, Alice's mother Cheryl is staying with us for three weeks. I met Cheryl when we were in the monastery together in New Mexico. We were in our early twenties. Cheryl was from Australia, we became steadfast friends.
In the last few months I have met so many of you I could fill my blog full of stories, cherished moments and good laughs. Though most the time, I forget to take a photo because I am caught in the moment of excitment, and only afterwards kick myself,
Three women out of the blue have come up to me and said,
All three times I have asked, "Do I know you?" in which they have replied, "No, I know you from reading your blog." Each time that has happened I have thought,
"Thank goodness I thought I was losing it."
Gael is from Australia, I met her in Paris. After she said hello we had a hot chocolate together I invited her to come and stay with us in Provence. I introduced her to Thierry. Long story short I might be a match maker again.
Bells ringing, hearts singing, and a gentleness towards Thierry as he follows his heart.
Natulka I met in Avignon at an antique fair. Natalka is from Canada. While at the fair we spotted Keira Knightley, Keira's husband and mother. Natulka is an international antique dealer, and has a vacation home that she rents out in Uzes (if your interested let me know and I will send you her email.) We shared lunch, stories and hopefully will meet up soon again.
Catherine is French but lives in Seattle. When she came up to me she was with her beautiful mother. We talked in English and French. We had similar stories and shared much in the little time we had together.
As Chelsea has said in meeting many of you (who have stayed in our apartment in Paris and in Provence) "Mom, your blogger friends are the most genuine kindhearted people in the world."
It is true.
Thank you for your generous friendship throughout these years...
I had the enormous pleasure of meeting Rebecca! Those of you who read my blog and comment section know that Rebecca writes often and says things with a twist of humor. I put her in the category with: Diogenes, Franca Bolla and my brother Mat. After meeting her I was certain she would fit in the same happy boat if need be with Diogenes, Franca Bolla and my brother Mat. When Rebecca and her husband came over to our house one of the first thing she said was: "Oh this is like a storybook come alive... there's the fountain, there's the wallpaper, there's the bathroom..." I sill laugh thinking of that.
By the way Rebecca is really tall, compared to me.
We saw Julia and her partner again! I can not have enough of them. Julia makes me laugh out loud!
We met Rachel and her husband in Aix. They invited us to dine with them. Rachel is a card maker extraordinaire!!! If ever she starts to sell them I will let you know. Rachel has lovingly sent Annie her hand made cards through out the year. Annie loves them so much.
Last year I offered a giveaway on my blog to five readers on my blog to come and stay with us for a week. We meet Teresa and Dave, and guess what they are coming back for two weeks this September!
Eileen was another winner that day. Eileen came with her two friends, Renate and Susan. We had a lovely time together, the three of them were childhood friends. I enjoyed their company so much so that they promised to come back and stay with us next year.
Carrie I met through blogging when she came to Marseille. Within the same hour she invited me to come stay with her in Ireland. I took her up on that offered and stayed with her for two weeks. This year she came and stayed with us.
We also met Merisi and later Lieselotte in Austria.
I best stop because there are so many of you I have met this year that if I keep going it is going to take hours to read.
I wish I had taken photos of each and everyone of you that I have met through blogging and throughout the years! Please if and when I meet you REMIND me to take a photo of us together.
A rough calculation I have met nearly 300 people who read my blog.
This year alone probably fifty or so already.
Have I met you? How did you find my blog?
Sacred Heart Paris.
Many say they love Paris, many say that Paris is magical, romantic, enchanting... maybe it is true, maybe it is true for many. One thing is certain sharing Paris with someone you love makes Paris a living theatre of delightful wonder.
We hiked up to "the big white church on top of the hill", that is what I overheard someone call it years ago, but that is another story for another day.
Two croissants, a couple of figs, a lovely talk with Ramzi who gave me one of his painting (!!!!!), watched muscle man do his thing, then had some French Onion Soup, bought some lovely fabric at Marche Saint Pierre, then to the center of the Sacred Coeur and back to Rue Chateau to rest up for another day.
Lucky Happy Fortunate Wonder Blessing!
Croissants every morning. Of course only I will gain weight. Though my goal is to send those pounds to Cheryl. She said if I can do that it will be a happy catch! Imagine that: Someone who wants to gain weight.
Notice the little menu plate, plus the salad serving set I found at the brocante with Cheryl last Saturday.
The darling wrapped package is how the bakery (by our apartment) wraps their baked goods. Daily croissants wrapped like a birthday gift each day. Oh France you will never cease to amaze me with your eye for detail, nor the happiness you deliver with such care.
Cheryl bought this large beautiful printed fabric for her daughter Alice who is caring for their home while she is here.
Isn't it a wonderful piece of fabric? It can be made into a bedspread or a wall hanging.
Cheryl has four beautiful children:
Alice, Nicolas, Grace and Thomas.
Three more gifts to come!
The carousel at the base of Sacred Coeur.
French Onion Soup
Hiking up the windy steps to the Sacred Coeur.
to find out more follow this link:
The incredible happiness of sharing a beautiful place with someone I love. I cannot even begin to tell you the joy I feel. I haven't seen my friend Cheryl in a few years, and I do not even want to think about how long it might be before we will see each other again. So for now I won't. I will focus only on this moment, here and now.
Holding this time as sacred, true as a bountiful happiness refuge.
Paris is aimlessly beautiful. No matter where we are there is something to take our breath away, stir our imagination, heal the moments of doubt that are in all of us, and remind us again and again to hold on to this moment, plant it deep inside, cultivate the richness friendship... I am so happy to share this time with my friend.
Dancing in the middle of the square.
Without counting or care Cheryl danced around and around. And as she did I clicked away.
Thirty some years is a long time to know someone. How many people can say that? How many people can gain that type of love and know that it will never end?
The fortunate ones.
The ones who believe.
The ones who give without counting.
The ones who love back.
I might have to keep her in France.
Though I doubt her family will allow me to.
A detail on a facade in Paris. How many people has it seen in the last three hundred years?
One in bronze
One in flesh.
In front of the Louvre on a wet summer day.
Cheryl and I have a thing for churches.
We walked in many.
We went to mass at Notre Dame, sat in front. But then I started to feel sick and we had to walk down the long aisle before the Eucharist.
Today I am feeling slightly better.
The beauty of it all.
Standing strong and true.
Leading us forward.
Not the rain in August.
Not the dark skies and cold wind.
Not my favorite restaurants being closed.
Knowing friends are nearby and haven't been able to see them.
Not the long lines.
Or the tens of thousand tourists admiring Monet's water lilies.
No none of that makes Paris feel bad... the only thing that does was when I was feeling sick on the public bus, spending every ounce of energy holding on long enough so I could get off the bus and throw up.
Sorry Paris for the you know what in the garbage can.
24 hour flu??
Chelsea lives near Saint Martin Canal so my friend Cheryl and I met her there. The goal was to ride bicycles from Chelsea's apartment to the Eiffel Tower and then back to our apartment. I knew my legs would be noodles by the time we reached home. Noodles. Over cooked noodles.
Cheryl looked very French in her black and white pencil skirt!
Me... oh well.
Over the Pont Alexandre Bridge.
Admiration at sunset.
Chelsea led the way.
Cheryl was in the middle, and I stayed at the end.
We sandwich-ed Cheryl in so we wouldn't loose her.
I have always love this view of the Eiffel Tower.
We made it without breaking a sweat.
We snapped (Snapchatted) our families.
Sticking out my tongue,
Gosh I don't know why.
I was happy.
Not a flattering photo of any of us. Bugged eyed me barely in the photo,
Chelsea sticking out out her tongue, as if licking my face,
and Cheryl squinting with laughter!
We were so silly, so happy and thrilled!
I didn't care about how we looked, we just wanted to mark the memory!
Vanity out, friendship in, Paris yeah!
Then we rode home, uphill!
And had the best dinner.
our friendship and
alot of it!
A few months ago Chelsea, French Husband and I found a poppy field.
A few weeks later a blog reader of Tongue in Cheek asked if she could paint the image of Chelsea in the poppy field. Why ever would I say not to that!
Thank you Debra!
Isn't it lovely!
Do you paint?
From the local producer down the road, zucchini blossoms with tiny zucchinis... maybe a few hours old, cause those of you who have ever grown a garden know that zucchini grow at rocket speed.
The producer Michel, grows eerything organically. He has fields for gardens, plus olive trees and orchards. If you buy one or two pounds of anything it is one price, but if you buy five pounds or more it is basically a giveaway.
Carrying it back home is the challenge.
I roasted cherry tomatoes with garlic and marjolaine (oregano in English) that I picked in the hillside nearby our home. The aroma was summer defined.
I mixed the roasted tomates with pasta.
The colors of Provence can be described by that which grows under the blue sky during summer:
and of course the sea.
I cannot get enough of this 1700s boutis in my friend's shop.
My dare to wear color.
Threw in my black.
I cut the sleeves and hem, and took in the sides.
I have learned from Annie that anything can be transformed.
comes in pale blue, pink and salmon.
I figured if I was going to wear color... go bold. I must admit I felt self conscious all day long.
Grilled Zucchini Blossoms
Coat a hot skillet with olive oil
Gently place the zucchini blossoms in the pan
lightly heat on each side (a minute or two)
add nutmeg and a splash of cognac.
Heat another minute.
Salt as needed.
Served on the side of the pasta dish.
What is your favorite summer dish? And summer color?
Last night while having a drink with Chelsea, Mr. Espresso and my dear friend from Australia, Cheryl, I asked Chelsea and Mr. Espresso if I could take a photo of them. When Mr. Espresso said yes I knew that he was finally, after seven years, giving me permission to show his face on my blog. Even more shocking Chelsea did not make a face.
French Husband when on the phone puts his hand like this (photo above). I would say he puts his hand in his pants but that doesn't sound right, plus it is not that at all, but it doesn't sound better to say he puts his fingers under his belt. Anyway he lifts his shirt and well you can see above what I mean.
We were out having a drink in Marseille with Sacha, Chelsea and our friend Thierry (Another friend name Thierry. Thierry was a very popular boy's name in France in the mid fifties.)
I have said to French Husband that when I meet someone in their fifties I can be pretty sure their name will be one of the following:
Girl's Name a la mode in the late 50s:
Popular Boy Names in France in the late 1950s:
And this year the most popular names are:
French girl names:
French boy's names:
(Here I am with one of Yann's childhood friends, Thierry. I am sure my mom is reading this and is saying, "Oh my God, Thierry!! He hasn't changed a bit!" By the way don't ask what I am doing with my hand... Most likely trying to cover my double chin!)
Anyway I am getting away from the point of this story, and if you know me you know that is a constant problem when I am talking to someone... I go from one subject to another to another and forget the point altogether.
Anyway, we were having a drink (If ever you are in Marseille a wonderful place for lunch or for a drink late afternoon or evening is Caravelle follow this link by clicking here: http://www.lacaravelle-marseille.com/) and well French Husband's phone rang (like it does a million times) and like always when he started talking he put his hand on his back and traced his fingers under his belt.
Sacha gasped, not because his dad was doing his thing in public, but because he realized he does the same thing.
Oh those family traits... those reincarnation tidbits of our past family history that are embedded in our being.
It could be worse.
Though I never noticed it before until Sacha mentioned it. And then the reality of it struck me, "He does that all the time!"
What mannerism do you have of your parent?