Monday, December 20, 2010

Le Bureau de Poste

Hoping all your packages have been sent!


In France the expression for window shopping is lèche-vitrines, which literally means lick the window. Since this is the season for shopping, I thought these photos of French window displays seemed appropriate. Although taken last summer, for me, they have a festive holiday feel.

Happy shopping everyone!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Le Féte de Noël

On Saturday Gracie & I attended the Féte de Noël at the Bibliothèque Française & Cultural Center. We had a lovely time at the party, planed for children to ring in the Christmas season, with "petit déjeuner avec père Noël". Unfortunately, my camera was out of focus for most of the event, but the blurry photos seem to add to the magical feeling of the day.

There was a breakfast of crescents & hot chocolate as well as other sweet treats ...... ..... ..... arts & crafts ..... ......

.... ....... .... an enchanting story hour that kept the tiny guests enraptured .... ...... ...... ...... and of course ..... ......

.... ......... ...... a visit from Father Christmas... ...... ......... ...... complete with his sack full of gifts ...... .......

Gracie left tired but happy with a new French book from Santa & a beautiful giant snow flake that she made herself.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Farmers Markets

When in France, I love the weekly markets. You would know this, if you have followed this blog for anytime, as I have posted numerous entries, with gushing praise for the Sunday market in St. Antonin. My French friends do not always understand my enthusiasm. I am often asked, "Don't you have the same thing where you live?". My immediate answer is "NO". The French market is such a deep-rooted part of French life & culture, that, no, Americans do not have that same cultural connection.

That being said, my next response is always, "Yes, we do!". In my neighborhood we have a wonderful small local farmers market that sets up shop every Thursday afternoon from May- early Nov. Unfortunately they did not make it to the Thanksgiving weekend this year, but their are other larger farmers markets open this week in the Boston area.

I took these photos a few weeks back of our charming little market, when we were still having warmer weather. We were eating fresh corn right into the end of October, so good, so sweet. Now with the buy organic & buy local movements in full swing in this country, more & more Americans are seeking out their local farmers markets. Although agreeably, the produce is decidedly more expensive than supermarkets, the quality & taste can not be compared.

Here is something that might be unique to our local market, live lobsters. This lobsterman brings his days catch along with his wife's homemade relishes & jellies to sell. Farmers markets across the country are special in this way. Not only marvelous fresh produce but all manner of other local products of exceptional quality. Cheeses, baked goods, preserves, our market even hosts a dairy, that still delivers milk in glass bottles, who comes just to give out samples of their rich, creamy, plain or ,yum, my favorite, chocolate milk.

So for all of my French friends that might read this, yes, we do, & here it is, our market.
And for all of my American readers, where ever you may be, remember to support your local farmers markets, buy organic when you can, shop locally & have a very happy, healthy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Art of the Americas Wing Opens at the MFA

The official opening of the long awaited new wing at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston will be November 20. However, all this week the Art of the Americas wing will be open for a sneak peek to all MFA members. The celebration began Sunday with a viewing geared toward families, with lots of kid friendly activities to make the day especially memorable for all.

I invited my granddaughter, Gracie, to accompany me & off we went. Although a little overcast, it was an almost perfect fall day, & we had a lovely time together. The fun began with dancers on stilts outside the entrance to the museum.

Just entering the majestic glass courtyard is truly awe-inspiring. The magnificent space spans three floors & provides a place for large sculptures as well as a new & lovely venue for dinning.

Gracie & I had fun exploring the building & the exhibits on display. The new wing dramatically increases the Museum’s ability to exhibit its collection of art from the United States and North, Central, and South America. We enjoyed looking at the exhibit of Mayan artifacts, as well as, the contemporary art on the third level.

But for Gracie, the best part of the day was spent doing the many activities & projects provided for all the children. I saw quite a few grand parents, who like me, were enjoying sharing this monumental experience with their grand children.

There were tables for drawing, new painting studios provided a space for watercolors not only for children but grown-ups, too, there were passports to be filled out & stamped as you searched for clues in the galleries & much, much more to keep little ones active & entertained. Here is Gracie along with other small museum goers hard at work on self portraits.

It was a lovely day, a wonderful way to spend time with my granddaughter, & a magnificent addition to our museum for Boston.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Gauguin at the Tate

Paul Gauguin is the quintessential artist rebel, abandoning the responsibilities of conventional life for his art. Leaving behind a wife & five children, Gauguin traveled to Tahiti in order to fully realize his artistic dream. As an explanation, he wrote to his friend, Emile Bernard, saying,"Terrible itching for the unknown makes me do things I shouldn't." At least he showed an awareness for his conflict. More of his conflicted thoughts regarding this subject can be heard in the following video produced by the Tate Modern in London. In honor of the currant Gauguin Retrospective , which runs from September 30 through January 16, the Tate has put together a thoughtful portrait of the artist, using his own words. Taken from letters, written to family & friends, he gives us insight into the artist & the man. I think, in all of us, there lies a desire to run away to devote ourselves to our passion, whatever it may be. However, few of us actually act upon it. Perhaps that is why the myth behind Gauguin looms so large. Although, he certainly does not score high marks as a husband & father, his body of work is a treasure to behold. After closing at the Tate, the exhibition will travel to the National Gallery in Washinton D C from February 27 to June 5, 2011.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Paris LIterary Prize

Photography by Simple Dolphin

For all you writers out there it isn't too late to enter your manuscript to Shakespeare & Co.'s Paris Literary Prize.The dead line to enter a novella for consideration is December 1, 2010. The competition is the concept ofSylvia Whitman, owner of the renowned Shakespeare & Company Bookstore & is co-sponsored by the De Groot Foundation.The bookstore situated on the Left Bank just across from Notre Dame has a long & illustrious history of championing
unpublished writers. The prize of 10,000 euros may be only the icing on the cake for some lucky winner.

Having fallen in love with the musty old bookstore many years ago, on my first trip to Paris, I enjoyed reading the bio.
of it's founder George Whitman, who was originally from Salem, Ma. Even if you don't have a manuscript to enter I
think you may find the story of the store & it's owners an interesting read.

All entries may be made on line.... so what are you waiting for ?? Finish up that first draft & download it never
know what may happen. Bonne Chance!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Little Circus Story

I simply fell in love with this pop up book turn video. I played it over & over again. I was charmed from the first moment, by the story of a young girl, who wants to join the circus.

Circus Zingaro was created by the German artist, Tina Kraus, as her design & illustration final, while still a student. It is a work that she says is still in progress.

A big thank you to Kickcan & Conkers for this gem. I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I have!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

House as Art

After the tragedy of 911, Brooklyn artist, Susan Gardener, began to decorate her house with shells, beads, buttons, jewelry, tiles, mirrors, broken cups/dishes and much more.

She started with a simple flower as a way to lift her spirits & those of her neighbors. Since 2001 the mosaic has grown as her house has become a work of art.

I discovered her story on the blog Mille Fiori Favoriti & was instantly intrigued. Ms. Gardener, a teacher as well as an artist, works on her mosaic every summer with the hope of some day covering the entire house.

Her neighborhood has enthusiastically embraced the project, & often bring gifts of broken objects to be added. It is easy to see how this work of art gives joy & inspiration to everyone that passes by.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


OK, I have been back in the states for two weeks now. It seems that it takes more effort to change from the peace & tranquility of country life to the hustle & bustle of city life, than the other way around. In other words, it is easier going from chaos to calm than from calm to chaos. I am having a bit of a hard time adjusting. Not sure how to organize my thoughts or which direction to take. I find myself acting out all the rituals of procrastination. One thing I have been doing & enjoying, is catching up on other peoples blogs. While lolling away the hours in cyber space, I found the above video, which seems to say it all. I discovered it on the blog A Little House In The Clouds. I actually met, Molly, & her lovely mother, Kay, this summer in a cafe in St. Antonin & we exchanged blog addresses. You can read about Molly & Kay's adventures in my little corner of France starting here. Their experiences were very different from my own. They traveled with a group of like minded women, stayed in a chateau & ate meals catered by a gourmet chef. Very luxurious, even I felt a little jealous & I was just a stones throw away. Molly's sister arranges these trips, you can check out her website to learn more.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Back in Boston

I am back in Boston. I am still a little tired & jet lagged. Already my summer in France seems like a distant & beautiful dream. It is always sad for me, when it is time to leave....

But here are some very good reasons that I am happy to be back.....

Happy weekend everybody & thanks for following along & leaving all of your wonderful comments this summer. They were greatly appreciated.

Location:Boston, Ma.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Last Market

Today is my last Sunday in France, my last market. The sun is rising later & there is a chill in the morning air. The shadows are falling longer as summer turns into fall. And sadly it is time for me to go.

I am taking in all the colors & shapes, the sounds & smells. I do not have much need for provisions now, as I leave early Tuesday morning.

I am looking for gifts to take back to grandchildren, family & friends.

Homemade jams & fruit syrups ? Too hard to carry back......

I will try to take in the simple beauty of the fall produce in order to keep the memory alive all winter long.

Back to reality ....or is it?


Friday, August 27, 2010

Quiet Places to Sit

Just a few photos, glimpses into gardens or patios, where one can imagine sitting & wiling away a dreamy afternoon.

The bright orange of these typical French table & chairs gives a punch of color to this shady spot.

In this tiny terrace, a profusion of potted plants creates an enchanting place to repose & reflect.

Old stone benches, like this one, can be found through out medieval towns. They offer, today, just as they did in the middle ages, a place to sit & watch the world go by.

And last but not least, my favorite place to sit, my table & chairs in front of my house. The photo was taken after coming back from the market with geraniums to plant.



Gates, like doors, are entryways into other worlds & with gates sometimes secret gardens.

What you can not really tell from the above photo, is that the sweet little gate pictured, is tiny, less than 2 feet high, bringing to mind a children's fairytale.

This has to be my favorite. Although the gate is no more than an old piece of board, it guards an enchanting garden planted within the walls of an old ruin.

Above is a typical French garden gate. The sun ray pattern is one that you will see repeated through out French design.

What you can't see in this photo, is that behind this weathered & lopsided gate is the most beautiful & immaculate vegetable garden.

New, beautifully crafted gates, open into a lovely courtyard, with flowers planted against an old stone wall.

Some gates are not so inviting. However, the mystery surrounding these entries, makes them all the more alluring.

Other gates are begging for you to enter, while still others make it most clear that what lies behind is strictly private.

No matter what type of gate one encounters, there is always the feeling that there is a story to be told.