Monthly Archives: August 2016

Snow capped summer

The Pyrenees viewed from Carcassonne

The Pyrenees viewed from Carcassonne

American humorist author Mark Twain once wrote that the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in San Francisco. He apparently never made it to Carcassonne in August. We’ve been in the City by the Bay shivering in the fog with only short sleeve shirts and shorts and know exactly what he was talking about. What we didn’t know however was that we’d have the same experience here in the south of France and we’re not complaining at all. Read the rest of this entry

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Carcassonne, Spain

La Feria poster on the stage at Place Carnot

La Feria poster on the stage at Place Carnot

Like you, probably, Bill and I thought that we lived in France. For the past 4 days however, it seems that we’ve slipped south of the border into Spain. For the last 10 years the city has held an increasingly popular music festival for 6 weeks during the summer that literally fills the air with sound from concerts that stretch from inside the walls of the castle to the banks of the river and canal. While the majority of those events are in French, lots of what we heard and saw this weekend had a distinct Spanish accent as the city celebrated La Feria. Read the rest of this entry

Silly questions

Some of the chocolate we have in the house at the moment

Some of the chocolate we have in the house at the moment

Before we head off to the market a couple of days each week, Bill and I always check the refrigerator to see what fruits and vegetables we might need. That really is only the starting point since we kind of just say “yes, we need fruit” or “no, we don’t need potatoes but we have no other vegetables” and then just see what’s available as being in-season and a good value. Since the open-air market can’t supply everything for us, we do have to walk to the supermarket about once a week. Bill was checking the cabinets and asked me “Do you think we have enough chocolate?” as he held up the 7 large bars we had on hand. What kind of question is that? Read the rest of this entry

Traces

A trace of blue in the kitchen

A trace of blue in the kitchen

Once we figure out what “Mediterranean Style” means we think that’s how we want to decorate the house. After all, we’ve moved to the south of France so we want our home to reflect that choice but just what does that encompass? There are the colors, the styles, the materials, the furnishings, the accessories, etc. I think that we’ve discovered the traces of where to begin. Read the rest of this entry

A line to The Da Vinci Code

Louvre museum and the Seine river

Louvre museum and the Seine river

One of the nice things about not having a car is that when you walk everywhere you have time to stop when something catches your eye. It doesn’t matter if it’s a shop with an interesting window display, a Medieval carved doorway that you want to investigate, or even those flowers you want to take the time to smell. We sometimes take the city bus to a shopping area outside of town and near the stop where we get on is the marker you see in the photo. Of course I had to find out why this stone had an upward pointing arrow and the words Meridien de Paris. Read the rest of this entry

Liberation of Carcassonne

Flowers at the Monument of the Resistance, Square Gambetta

Flowers at the Monument of the Resistance, Square Gambetta

Earlier today at three different locations the city marked the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of Carcassonne from Nazi occupation; at two memorials and at the site of a former prison. Each ceremony was similar including the national anthem, a moment of silence and the laying of a wreath. Bill and I have long maintained that learning history is much more interesting when you actually see a castle in person, visit a museum where a famous painting is displayed, or walk through a cave that humans inhabited 20,000 years earlier and view the artwork they created. What I didn’t count on is how moving it can be as well. Read the rest of this entry

In the market for music

Fresh lettuce at the market

Fresh lettuce at the market

Carcassonne has an open-air market 3 days a week and we often walk over there even if we don’t need any fruits or vegetables, just for the free entertainment. The colorful displays of fresh produce, some of which might have been in the ground or picked just hours before, are interesting enough. Add to that perhaps a guitarist, a dance troupe, drummers, a jazz or pop trio, and your morning is off to a great start. Last Saturday was no different except that Bill told me we’d be listening to “The Winds of Angels”. Now I was intrigued. Read the rest of this entry

Renestance

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Southern Fried French

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Chez Loulou

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The Vicious Cycle

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Post-Industrial Eating

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