Sunday, June 24, 2007

Musée de l'Orangerie

This was the most amazing gallery and the Monet huge paintings have their own oval specially designed rooms to house them.
To see these wonderful Waterlily paintings of Monet, press on the mouse to scan. (First you have to click on "Visite Virtuel" then the various "salles")

Mus�e de l'Orangerie

A few treasures

I didn't buy a santon this year in provence but was completely charmed by this handmade partial "pointu" boat. The creator has even made the wood and paint seem like the old ones. We noticed some shiny new broader based fibreglass pointus in the Carqueiranne port this time. They don't have the same appeal as the old wooden ones.

Our neighbour, Chris, arrived home from the US Open the same day we got back and gave Jim this great gift of a hat from it. Chris is a keen golfer so quite an exciting event for him to attend.

And of course I couldn't resist buying another provencale tablecloth at the market...I hadn't seen this one with the poppies before.

Friday, June 22, 2007

New Porn for Women

Don sent me this and Jim and I got a good laugh. When I tried to send it to women friends the attachment just wouldn't attach so I figured out a way to get it on my blog.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Is Maman mean or magnifique? | France | Europe | Choose A Country | Global | Telegraph

This is a rather interesting article I read in the Telegraph when we were away.

Here's a quote and you might want to read the whole article which I've created a link to below:

"One of the toughest things I have had to get used to in an otherwise idyllic Paris is the huge gap between Anglo-Saxon parenting and parenting French style. The French are certainly sricter. They shout more. They slap more. And they enforce manners. Anglo-Saxon culture, certainly in American culture, children are thought of as being the centre of the world, whereas in France, they most certainly are not....But as a result, you find beautifully brought up children..."

I must say I was quite startled in France one day when a boy of about 12 or 13 was ahead of me but stopped and opened the door of the supermarket for me and said "Madame". The courtesy of Monique's father still survives!

The writer goes on to describe various incidents of rather cruel behaviour of parents toward their children in the Luxembourg Gardens. Now we just wandered through these
gardens somewhat briefly but I didn't see any incidents like she describes. On the beach in Carqueiranne there were many young families and I can only say that the parents were interacting with their children in very loving ways.

One thing I do agree with is the idea that there is "l'heure de l'adulte". That's when children are expected to go away and leave the adults alone.

Is Maman mean or magnifique? | France | Europe | Choose A Country | Global | Telegraph

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Back home

We had a great flight from London...the plane even left early! Good thing as we were pretty worn out and I guess the flying caused a bit of a relapse with our colds so been taking it very easy. Everyone is crediting us with bringing the good weather...doesn't sound like it's going to last, though. A few last photos of Carqueiranne.

This cat ran from us everyday except the last when he rolled over and let us pet him...I think we would have become great friends.

The Pins Penches Park...I am inspired again to do some more paintings of these wonderful pines.

Me and the pine trees.

Pins Penches Park.

Monday, June 18, 2007

On the way home...

We're at Heathrow now and leaving this afternoon for home. We survived Ryanair...1 1/2 hours in the plane waiting for Stansted to clear. Otherwise not too bad...I guess delays can happen anywhere. It certainly is great to leave from an airport 10 minutes away from Carqueiranne and no traffic hassles.

We ended up using about a half a tank of gas for our whole week in Carqueiranne. We really needed the car though and even drove it to the beach which was close but felt we had to save our strength. We had wonderful swims everyday.

On our last day we had Gambas (large prawns) au Pastis & loads of garlic with rose wine in a restaurant at the port. We met a really nice couple from Montpellier...he's a doctor and she dabbles in painting and also currently helping her youngest prepare for the ominous Bac (grade 12 basically but very difficult exams) She has recently inherited a house from her aunt in Carquiranne and they are now renting it out. They invited us over and it's just great...very close to the port and very tranquill location. Now we have two places in our wonderful little village to recommend to friends and for ourselves.

We had a lot of laughs with them as he love to speak Italian and also Spanish and also practice his English so with all four languages swirling around it was quite a babel!

Friday, June 15, 2007


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Our first morning in Carqueiranne...Jim enjoying a traditional French breakfast. The best bread in the world as our friends who have visited us here.


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Our first meal in Carqueiranne...what else but moules frites?


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A little bird flew into our living room. Jim caught it and we had to pry it's leg off him.


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View of the garden from our balcony.

Hyeres Rue Gambetta

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We saw a movie on Tues cheap night...Conversations with my Gardener...quite good.

Mourillons Beaches

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We sat at the next table and had a great meal of loup au saffron (a local fish).

Les Mourillons

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Beaches at Toulon. We often have lunch here in the winter but this is the first time we saw people swimming.


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Market day


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My Thurs market chicken man cutting some great looking ham.


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Our Thursday market chicken meal and rose vin de Bandol on our balcony.


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Some interesting artwork in this Mac Do...sun's out and looks like it's going to be a lot more than "timid"!

Carqueiranne mon amour...

It's been great weather here in Carqueiranne and we've been swimming every day (about the only place where I don't cough!). At the moment however there is a thunderstorm raging...we still might get a swim this afternoon...they are predicting "timid clear spots". We've had a super apartment here very close to the port and beach and it's been a great place to recuperate. We've both had very heavy colds and Jim's had a rather serious bronchial infection along with blood pressure going up to 200. It's down now. The doctor gave him some strong pills...he's been on quite a cocktail of pills. We've managed to enjoy ourselves but I do feel sorry for anyone around us. We're like some Doomsday Clock with one or the other going into a ghastly coughing fit on the quarter hour. People must think we're from the local sanatarium out for a last few days of liberty before our demise....
Home Monday.

Bisous from the midi. Now I'll try to post some photos.

Monday, June 11, 2007

In our wonderful village of Carqueiranne...enfin!

It's been wonderful to be back in our wonderful little village. Some of the restaurants have changed but things are pretty much the same. Brian and Celine's place is super and we are really enjoying it. We both have heavy colds from Paris and probably all that pollution but the sea air here...mistral blowing at the helping although we are taking it very easy. It is a perfect place to do so. We went for a brief swim today. We had never swum in the Med in Carqueiranne since we were here more in the winter/spring so it was great to do that. The water was around 73 degrees and just perfect really since it was warm and sunny. Our first meal was of course Moules Frites in a restaurant overlooking the port...we are such creatures of habit....

Jim got some useful research in Paris but was very under the weather so wasn't able to do much else. I got to two museums I hadn't been to before, the Orangerie (quite recently reopened) which has magnificent Monet huge paintings and all sorts of other impressionists and the very new anc chic Musee de Quai Branley...quite fabulous collection of folklorique art from all over and spectacular building.

Posting from a Macdonalds in a nearby village...hooray for Macdonalds...for the free wireless, bathrooms all over the world...that must count for something!

When I'm feeling better (hope will be soon) I'll post some photos. We're both a bit weak at the moment. Just only about up to raising a glass of Pastis...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


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View from our apartment.


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View from our apartments.


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Jardin des Tuileries.


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This looks like a tremendous way to go around but they were all booked up.


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Les Bouquinistes.


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My beloved Notre Dame.

Finally a connection in Paris!

It was great in London having access all the time but Paris is quite different. I did manage to upload to flickr quite a few photos in a great little "wireless park" the 3rd arrondissement provides for everyone and now am in a free Hotcafe but don't have much time. Jim's research has gone extremely well but now he has quite a bad bronchial infection so we're taking it easy. Wandered around St. Germain today and I went to the new Musee de Quai Branly yesterday...all the folklorique stuff from everywhere and very interesting architecture. Even some Northwest Native art and a totem pole...some wonderful Siberian dance costumes amongst a million other things. We're wonderfully located and over the Louvre and the Seine...great to see the Bateaux Mouches all lit up going by. Paris remains absolutely beautiful...

I don't think I have much time so will try to post some more photos.


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Thousands of rollerbladers on Sunday...quite an event.


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Window shopping is always so much fun.


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This is for Mary who loves Monkey Puzzle trees...I had never seen one in Paris before.


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There's a great view from the restaurant from Samaritime but it's been closed for over 6 months...such a great location I have a feeling they are trying to make it into condos rather than keep it as a department store.


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Pont des Arts...picnicking seems a big thing on this bridge.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Off to Paris today on the Eurostar

The time has just flown and I can hardly believe we've been two weeks in London. Jim has had a very successful research trip highlighted yesterday by some finds at the BFI (British Film Institute) that he wasn't expecting. The other day he spent a dreary day at the Colindale Newspaper Library and didn't get any thing he was looking for so it was great to end on a high note.

I forgot my camera yesterday so no photos and while it was kind of nice not to be taking pictures I did end up in Charing Cross, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Sq, Chinatown (they have some pedestrian malls there now)and Shaftsbury Ave so lots of photo opportunities.

I started the day on the Southbank again as I wanted to see the Anthony Gormley "Blinding Light" and everyone else. I think every school kid was given an assignment to go during half term. I had booked a timed ticket online (the day before we decided not to queue for an hour) so I got in fairly quickly and I must say I think he deserves his reputation as the exhibits were quite amazing...huge installations and even one extending out over London. From the outdoor viewing areas you spot various male statues on building in the area and beyond. I think one of the school assignments was to count the number!

The downside was the "cloud" exhibit was having problems with the condensation not draining properly that day so it was closed and janitors were mopping up. They got it working but by now there was over an hour wait. Also, another interesting "cube" exhibit took only two people at a time and again a huge wait. My knees can't take that sort of thing these days. Lucky Jim wasn't with me as he would have been standing in line for me!

The day before Jim and I went into the BFI Mediatechque on the Southbank and managed to get a viewing area and had loads of fun looking at old British made movies and shows (bits of them since we just had an hour). We saw the first ever Alice in Wonderland made (1903)...absolutely charming. Cecil Hepworth shot mainly outdoors and family, neighbourhood children (for the "cards"), and people working in the office as actors. Also, a really interesting and well done war propaganda film with the screen play by Graham Greene. And a very funny Maggie Smith doing an Alan Bennett "Talking Heads"...(something about among the lentils...I bet you know this one, Susan and Alan, it might even be on the tape you gave did seem a bit familiar)

We went for a walk after dinner last night and ended up in this very trendy area in Knightsbridge with loads of chi chi boutiques, bars, and restaurants. Really very close to us but we hadn't discovered it...not really our thing anyway but it was fun to see all the action on a Friday night. Mostly young people...the women in very uncomfortable looking poor thing had given up and was walking in her stocking feet and carrying her shoes, another hailed down a taxi in desperation and hobbled to it. Glad I don't have to do that stuff anymore...we're enjoying getting our senior's discounts!

I see the EU is at it trying to regulate the amount of noise permitted at concerts. Seems like a full program of Wagner won't cut it anymore...will have to through in some quiet Mozart.