Monday, September 26, 2011

Back in Boston

Well, it has been almost two weeks now since I returned to Boston from France, but it has taken me that long to re-assimilate.



The weather is beautiful  & it has been such a joy to see my grandchildren again. 
Now it is time to refocus my energies & embrace my life here in Boston. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Merci !





Just a way to say thank you for a wonderful summer in France!



Also, I want to say thank you to all of you who followed along. I have appreciated your interest & encouragement & all of your kind comments. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Coming to an End the Colors of Summer


Although the days are still warm & sunny here, the nights & early mornings are growing cooler.





The colors of summer are beginning to fad & the colors of autumn are starting to appear.




I have been surrounded by so many beautiful colors this summer.




I can not help but be inspired.




I love both crisp new colors & the fading patina of the old.




I love the subtle hues of autumn grapes.




As well as the happy party colors of summer.




I came upon this colorful scene the other day, tucked into a quiet corner of St. Antonin. Everything seemed ready for a fĂȘte but with no sign of the partygoers.

This photo seemed appropriate, since this will be my last post from France. The party is over. I will be leaving in a few days to return to Boston. I am sad to go, but I will take all these lovely memories with me.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lavoirs

One finds that every domestic chore has a history in France, & washing cloths is no exception. The village I live in, is by the river, & this is where the laundry was done. There are a set of stone steps, still visible, down the bank of the river, to a series of large flat rocks, & this is where the women of the village did their washing.





Towns not on a river, however, had lavoirs. These structures were built as communal laundry basins & although no longer in use they are for the most part lovingly preserved as an important part of a towns history.




They almost always consist of at least three tubs, one for soap, a rinse, & then the final rinse. Some are older than others, but each has a beauty & charm all its own. When I first came to France twenty years ago, the lavoir in St. Antonin was still used. On certain days of the week, it was filled with water & women of the village came & did their laundry. Oh, how I wish, that I had thought to take a photograph then.




Some of the older ones are truly beautiful with their stone walls & old beams. There was always usually some means of hanging things, larger items like sheets I presume.




The tiny lavoir above is one of my favorites, in the equally tiny town of Espinas. Once fed by a spring, it sometimes still has water, with each basin stepping down from the next like a waterfall.




However, the most beautiful by far, that I have been able to find, is the one pictured above. Still fed by a cold mountain source, this lovely lavoir is hidden at the top of a town built into the walls of a cliff. It is truly a magnificent discovery when you suddenly come upon it, after making the steep climb up the many winding, narrow roads.




Just for a bit of fun, the photo above is the more modern version of a lavoir. Standing in the middle of the parking lot of a large supper market, this out door laundry offers a quicker solution to the age old task of washing cloths.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Hardware

I am a lover of details & the hardware one finds on old French doors is one of those details that intrigues me. There are so many different shapes & styles, one always finds something interesting to look at.




I could not resist the intricate handle below on the most unusual purple-red painted door.




Another bright color door with double knockers caught my attention below.




The knocker below is of an interesting design.




As is the one on a blue door.




But here you get a whole assortment of beautifully rendered hardware.





Hands as door knockers are also very popular. I am not sure of the significance of these, but I believe they came into vague in the Victorian era.




The door below with these amazing hinges has it all, old knocker, handle, letter drop, everything.




There are simply as many interesting & unique pieces of door hardware as there are beautiful old doors.




Just another detail that make France the wonderful place that it is.