Friday, May 31, 2013

ants in my pants

This is my little terrace. I love it. Not that I've spent a lot of time on it this spring, or that I will in the near future. I'm not even there now. I'm in Toulon. Yesterday, The Husband and I dropped Fifty at camp, went to Aix-en-Provence for a lunch à deux, and then continued on our way southeast to Toulon. Mr. London is playing in the Top 14 championship in Paris tonight (that's the French rugby championship... Toulon may be champions of Europe but they still haven't been crowned champions of France) and he asked if The Husband and I would cheer him on... oui, bien sur. So that's how I find myself sitting here in Mrs. London's kitchen typing away before heading to the TGV station to take the train North later this morning.

The thing is, I'm barely going to have time to spend on that lovely terrace when we come back. Because even though we're only spending one night in Paris, on the 6th we leave for Devon in England for a few days and then on the 15th we're going to Lyon.

It's all go around these parts, and I swear, one would think I have ants in my pants since I can't seem to sit still. But I'm an old girl, and as much fun as I'm having, I can't wait to get my butt back to that terrace, book in one hand, glass of Rosé in the other. In the meantime... no rest for the wicked.

A bientot mes amies!


P.S. My Dublin days aren't finished! Stay tuned because the best bits are still to come... 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dublin: Day 2

I forgot how cold and damp Dublin could feel. I'm not sure how I could have forgotten that, I spent six years living with it and countless holidays as a child shivering to the bone, but I guess living in Le Petit Village has made me delicate. It's not the cold that's bad, it's the damp. The air feels wet, and not in a hot, humid way. And another problem with the damp, it tends to come with dull grey skies. Fortunately, Dublin is a pretty festive city and that makes up for it some, and on Heineken Cup weekend, it was extra festive.

Now you know that I get like a D- in the photo department,I try to remember to snap photos, but then I get so excited just being in the moment that I forget, and then the moment passes. I should have taken loads of photos of the city, because 1. it was full of Clermont and Toulon supporters walking around in head to toe team gear (lots of yellow and blue, or red and black) and 2. loads of pubs had red & black and yellow & blue balloons decorating the outsides. Dublin certainly did roll out the rugby red carpet and I failed to capture it, I apologise.
This is the one that I got...

At least the banner is there and the Clermont supporter. How cute is he in his petit beret by the way? Cute.
This photo is better, but I didn't take it.

And I've looked and looked for a photo of a pub with the balloons outside of them, but I can't find a single one. Please make due with this photo of Dublin Bus decorated in it's Heineken Cup finest... 

Bonus... the bus is parked outside Toddys. I meet one of my uncles in Toddys everytime I go back to Dublin (I got a two for one with that one).

Back to shivering through Dublin... Friday morning (Dublin Day 2), The Husband, Mrs. London and I were heading into town for some shopping. Normally we'd take the bus (€2.40 the bus costs now!) but my Uncle said he'd give us a lift in. If I had been the only one in the car, the lift would have been straight in on the N4, ten minutes, tops (who am I kidding, if I had been the only one in the car, I would have had to take the bus), but because The Husband and Mrs. London are 'guests', they got my uncle's 'tour'...

The tour that brings us through Ballyfermot ("That small building is where my father went to school"), and Inchicore ("See that pub there, the Black Lion, I had my first pint of Guinness there when I was eighteen") and takes twice as long. It did turn out to be lucky though because as we drove through Inchicore, Mr. London called to say that he was free that morning and could come into town with us, and as his hotel was in Kilmainham, we were right down the road ("That's Kilmainham Gaol there, your great-great grandfather was in there. It's where the English executed everyone. If you were injured, and couldn't stand up, they'd tie you to a chair and shoot you like that"... the tour took a morbid turn quite quickly).

We shook off the tour of sadness with Starbucks and a stroll through town... Penny's, Boots, Topshop... it felt good to be home. And with a plate of Wagamama's yaki udon for lunch, it felt like I had never left.

I got a haircut too, a haircut I've been waiting months to get with my old stylist. I was so excited. But somehow when I said 'two inches' she heard 'four' and I don't even want to talk about my fringe. Ugh. All I'm going to say is, I'm never cutting my hair above my shoulders, or getting a fringe ever again.

But before heading out that night (drinks and Doheny & Nesbitts followed by dinner at The Green Hen with the girls while The Husband cheered on Leinster at the match), I managed to style it in a kind of a chic and messy, Alexa Chung kind of way. It wasn't as bad as I thought. And then my aunt saw me... "There's something wrong with your hair" she said as she raked her fingers through it smoothing out my carefully constructed tousled look. My stare said it all and she looked at me, "Oh, you want it to be messy?!" Duh.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Dublin: Day 1

We had been planning this trip to Dublin for months; three to be exact. It started in February, when The Husband being some kind of rugby savant, looked at how the Heineken Cup matches were playing out and predicted that either ASM Clermont (his beloved team), RCT Toulon (the team Mr. London plays for), or both would be in the finals on May 18th in Dublin. We booked our tickets and waited. Worst case scenario, The Husband's predictions would be wrong but we'd still have a week in Dublin holidaying and visiting family, best case scenario, he'd be right and we would be in for one wild ride.

He was double right. It was Clermont vs. Toulon for the title of European Champions. (I've since asked The Husband if he could somehow project his rugby savant insights into other more pertinent areas of our lives... he simply stared at me like I had an extra head growing out of my neck.)

Our wild ride started with a trip to Toulon. Mrs. London was flying over with us and needed a lift to the airport... the perfect excuse for The Husband and Mr. London to get in some quality time before the big match.

Their quality time included eating 21oz burgers and topping it off with the 'free if you finish' milkshakes (they finished the milkshakes too) and then rolling around later saying that they didn't feel good. Well that's what happens when you eat half a cow. 

The next morning they played cards at 6AM before leaving for the airport. Seeing your husbands sit on their derrieres playing cards while you run around doing all of the last bits is rather infuriating I can assure you. And who wakes up and starts playing cards anyway? That's just weird. Luckily, our 9:15AM flight from Marseille cut the card playing short (Mr. London's flight with the team was leaving from Toulon later that morning).

Dublin Airport was decked out in blue, white and red to welcome the French (there were three French rugby teams descending on Dublin that weekend... Stade Français [Paris] was playing Leinster [Dublin] on Friday in the Amlin Cup Final before the Toulon/ Clermont clash on Saturday). I'm not gonna lie, it was weird to hear so much French being spoken in Dublin. It confused me.

At least my Auntie's house is a French-free zone so I was able to give my wee brain and rest and settle in. I tried to settle in anyway... I got in trouble for not unpacking The Husband's suitcase. SERIOUSLY. It's like 1950 in that house. The Husband thought it was funny until he saw that my Auntie wasn't joking. FYI: his suitcase never did get unpacked.  Oh well, nothing that an episode of Eastenders and a few pints in the local with Mrs. London and Claire wouldn't cure (I like to think of Claire as my big sister, but she's not, but she's so awesome, I wish she was). And after Auntie's big Irish fry-up Friday morning, I was ready to get my Dublin on.


Sunday, May 26, 2013


I messed up.

About a month ago, when I planned on meeting Auntie Ilene and her friends (Les Bargettes as they're known) in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, I was sure that I would be there for the whole Gypsy ode to St. Sara because after all, seeing St. Sara worshipped and paraded about has always seemed like a destiny of mine (I told you all about it in this post).

But what I didn't pay attention to, was that the whole procession thing occurs on the Friday, not the entire weekend, and since on Friday The Husband and I were catching up on sleep and laundry (I'll give you one guess on which one of us caught up on what), we planned on meeting them on Saturday and well by Saturday, all of the fun and games were just about over. Luckily however, having lunch with Les Bargettes is still reason enough to visit Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.

Sidenote - Auntie Ilene is not in fact my Aunt. She is my friend's Aunt but I have adopted her (and posted about said adoption here). Les Bargettes are a group of friends from Texas who go on holiday every year to a different area of France and after a few days of traveling about, set sail on a barge down one of the rivers. Hence the name Les Bargettes. And P.S. I kind of want to be a Bargette. 

We had raw oysters, cooked oysters, and the cutest darn waiter there ever was.


Since it wouldn't be fair that just because I messed up and missed the whole St. Sara Gypsy thing, you guys all had to miss out, Auntie Ilene was kind enough to share her photos of the festivities...

I decided that that colorful lady up there is named Esmerelda. It could be something like Jane for all I know, but to me, she screams 'Esmerelda'.

And because Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer is in the Camargue, Auntie Ilene through this picture of flamingos in for good measure....

And I couldn't help but snap some of the wild horses hanging out alongside the road on the way home. They aren't Gypsies, but they'll do.


Friday, May 24, 2013

guest post: Betsy Transatlantically

Coucou! Guess where I am? THE LPV! The Husband and I arrived yesterday absolutely shattered after the 6AM flight and our crazy, non-stop week in Dublin. I'm knee deep in unpacking and laundry with hardly a moment to spare because tomorrow we travel to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer for the Gypsy Festival only to turn around and head back after a few hours to be fresh for la fête des mères (mother's day) at Papa's house on Sunday, and then on Monday we hit the road North to Clermont to visit my other French mother-in-law (a bucket of Red Bull would not go amiss). I'm like a spinning top so while I spin, keep on reading below, and meet my friend Betsy. TTFN. 

Salut, mes amis! I'm Betsy from Betsy Transatlantically - like Sara, I'm one half of a glamorous international couple! Except that my fiancé is English, not French, which means that any linguistic misunderstandings are really justembarrassing, and we lived together for three years in London, which isn't exactly a petit village. (The glamour thing is indisputable, though. I mean, right?) So now that you know all of that, you'll understand why Sara suggested that you might like to hear about an international relationship from a different angle than the one you usually get here in LPV. That's why I'm going to tell you all about... my first kiss.

Hey, it happened in France! And it was with an Australian! How much more international can the story get?

Let's start at the beginning. I was on a study abroad program through Concordia Language Villages; I'd spent two summers immersed in their French village in Minnesota and, the summer I turned 15, I went with their group to France for a month. (You'd think I liked studying French! I actually hated it until college, when I had an amazing professor freshman year who convinced me to minor in French, but that's another story.) We were all high schoolers - I was the youngest of everyone - and it really was like something out of a novel: we played tourist for three days in Paris to start and then we were based in Saint Malo for two weeks of intensive language classes, after which everyone did a week of homestays (my family lived near Rennes) and we finished up with another two days in Paris.

clockwise from top left: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Now, you have to appreciate how magical St. Malo is to understand how my first kiss could have happened there with an Australian. Pronounced sah-mah-loh, all as one word, it's a walled port city in Brittany, in the northwest of France right on the English Channel. It was founded centuries ago and boasts some incredible medieval history - an 11th century love story I wrote a college paper on was based there and Jacques Cartier, one of the first Europeans to explore Canada, was born there in 1491 - as well as the dubious fame of being a notorious base for French piracy in the 18th century. Our youth hostelwas two blocks away from the beach, and in the evenings we'd either sit on the high stone promenade and watch the tide wash out miles down the shore or stroll into town to get ice cream. It was glorious.

On our first night in the youth hostel, I was giddy with France and the sea air and the adventure of it all. It was also the last night that a group from Australia was staying there, and we all gathered in the courtyard after dinner to compare stories. I ended up talking to a very cute boy who was a year older, and try as we might to sneak away... well, there were chaperones everywhere. So, caught up in the moment and the romance, we agreed to meet on the beach at sunrise the next morning an hour before his group's bus left to take them back to Paris, the airport, and Australia.

We did, dear readers. At 6am, we met in the courtyard, snuck out of the gate, and scampered to the promenade overlooking the channel. After excruciatingly awkward small talk, he kissed me. The setting was perfect: waves crashed against the stone walls, rosy clouds flitted above the golden orb peaking above the horizon, seagulls called to one another over our heads... and the kiss was awful.

I mean, terrible. Of course I didn't know that then, since I'd never been kissed before, but I can tell you now - twelve years and several (ahem) kisses later - that it was a horrible kiss. But it was blissful nonetheless. After all, I'd had my first kiss in France with an Australian! I was in heaven for the rest of the program, and my destiny to become part of an international couple was set.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

guest post: kisses and croissants

We're on Dublin day five now and slowing down a bit (#notasyoungasweusedtobe). Two more days of getting my fill of my old town and then it's back to life in The LPV. While I sip my cuppa and contemplate what to do today (and how to get The Husband up and out of bed), I leave you with my new friend Patricia...

Bonjour les amis! My name is Patricia. I blog over at Kisses and Croissants, a name I picked  because, like Sara, I moved to France for love (hence the Kisses), and I'm obsessed with all French pastries, especially croissants. :)  Sara asked me to guest post for her today while she's on vacation, and I was thrilled. She is one of my very favorite bloggers. Of course, you already know that she's awesome - that's why you're following her!

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The Husband and me. Isn't he adorable?

Currently,  I refer to the husband as Monsieur Right on the blog. This is because I tend to like nicknames that are ridiculously corny, and a lot of people can't stand when bloggers refer to their husbands as "The Hubby." Personally, I think it's kind of cute. But maybe that's because I jump at the chance to give him nicknames in English. We only speak French at home, and there is nothing cute sounding about the words "le mari" (the husband). That French word just sounds too girly, and I don't like calling him that.

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I love reading other people's "How we met" stories, so today I'm sharing ours with you.

When I first came to France, I didn't know anyone. I showed up in the city all alone, 19 years old, with two suitcases and a bad accent. My French was terrible. That first week I headed over to church, hoping to meet a friendly face and that's where I saw my husband for the first time.

I remember thinking, "God, please let him be a regular here. He's SO beautiful!" To my delight, the next week he was there again. But he didn't have the courage to come talk to me, so he sent his brother to invite me to their mom's house for dinner, where we officially met for the first time. Now I know what you're thinking, love at first sight stories are cliche and a little too sickeningly sweet. But that's really how it happened.

That first night I met his whole family. Everyone was wonderfully kind. Or, at least I assume they were. I couldn't understand half of what they were saying, but everyone sure was smiling a lot. In France, we do the "bises" when we greet someone. These are little kisses that you give on the cheek, and the number that you're supposed to do changes by region. In my region it's two. When Monsieur Right leaned over to kiss my cheek, I about died of happiness. I totally had a fan girl moment. Please remember that I was 19 at the time and pretty naive when it came to romance. Getting to kiss a hot foreign guy on the cheek seemed like a pretty exciting custom to me.

It took us about six months to figure out that we liked each other and to actually start dating. Apparently, we both have a fear of rejection and suck at taking hints. To make a long story short, after doing the long distance thing while I finished my degree back in the states, Monsieur Right and I ended up getting married.

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If you'd like, you can check out the rest of our love story here. I just want to give a big thank you to Sara for letting me taking over her blog for the day!

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

guest post: The Rich Life

Bonjour tout le monde! Today I'm introducing you to my friend Adrienne. I'd love to give her the fantastic introduction that she deserves but nothing I could write today would do her justice... Mr. London and Toulon won the Heineken Cup championship last night here in Dublin (that means they're the rugby champions of Europe for those that don't know what the Heinken Cup is) and boy oh boy did we celebrate... like getting home after 5AM kind of celebrating. It's like zombie central around here. So please give Adrienne a warm Le Petit Village welcome (I'm going night night).

Bonjour! My name is Adrienne and I write the blog, The Rich Life (on a budget). Sara Louise asked me to guest post for her while she is away.  And I am honored to write in her absence.

I decided to tell you about how I contracted a Paris-ite several years ago, which led me to find Sara in Le Petit Village.

Like many people, I wanted to visit Paris since I was old enough to know what Paris was. I knew my life would be complete if I could just stand under the Eiffel Tower, a baguette in one hand, a wedge of brie in the other while wearing Breton stripes and a beret.

When I was 35, I asked my husband if he would take me to Paris for my 40th birthday, giving him plenty of time to prepare. Being the awesome man that he is, he didn’t disappoint and surprised me with two plane tickets and a week-long stay at a pied-a-terre in le Marais.

I fell hard for Paris, like a lovesick girl. I cried actual tears when I saw the Eiffel Tower for the first time, brought rocks and leaves that I found in parks and carried them home on the plane with me. I even kept the wrapper off the cheese we bought. That’s about the point where things got a little weird. I believe I caught what I call a ‘Paris-ite’, which I define as an unreasonable and intense obsession with all things French. ALL things French…even garbage.

When I returned home to California, my obsession didn’t lessen. Wanting to capture more of France, I spent untold hours scouring the web for anything and everything French. And that’s how I found Sara in Le Petit Village. I instantly adored her blog and thought to myself, If Sara, an American, can live in France, why can’t I?

I decided to learn French like Sara did and become fluent enough to teach English to the French. During the time it took to learn French here in California, I would convince my husband to move to France, bringing along my teenage stepdaughter, four dogs and a cat.

Pas de probleme! So what if my husband is not French like Sara’s and says Bonjour when he means Au Revoir. So what if he has a long and successful career in California as a firefighter! They have firefighters in France.

Convincing my husband to move was impossible. But I did manage to convince him to go back to Paris to celebrate our 10-year wedding anniversary.

When I returned from that trip I slowly started to realize some of my ideas might be just a tad extreme and an isty bit unrealistic. Eventually, I recognized that living in California’s wine country ain’t really so bad.

France will always be there, it’s just a really long and really expensive flight away.
While I still dream of living in a pied-a-terre in Paris or becoming Sara’s next door neighbor in The LPV for a month or two (don’t worry, I am not coming to the LPV anytime soon), I can appreciate France from afar.

On my next trip to Europe I hope to meet Sara, The Husband, and the whole cast of characters in The LPV. Hopefully I won’t pick up a LPVV - Le Petit Village Virus - while I’m there. I hear it makes people want to suddenly quit their jobs, move to the French countryside and become honey farmers.

Friday, May 17, 2013

guest post: Lost in Arles

Dia Dhuit!

That's 'hi' in Gaelic. Yep, I'm in Ireland. Dublin to be exact. But honestly, I would never say hello like that. In Dublin, I say, "hiya".

Mrs. London, The Husband and I arrived yesterday and have settled into our Auntie's house. (Mr. London did as well but on a different plane, and we haven't seen him yet because he's busy preparing for Saturday's match. Mrs. London's brother and Mommy London arrive tonight, and Gatz gets in tomorrow.)

I've got a full day planned... shopping at Penney's, getting my haircut, lunch at Wagamamas followed by tapas tonight with Mrs. London and a friend (The Husband will be at the Amlin Cup Final watching Leinster take on Paris... and yes, The Husband is rooting for Leinster). So while I'm getting my Dublin on, I'll take you back to France with my friend Heather from Lost in Arles and her post about her love of the land near The LPV.

"Well, it is up to you to choose",  Remi, my companion, offered gallantly. The Easter Bullfights in Arles were fast approaching and so it was time to flee, to be anywhere but in the midst of the partying hoards that swallow our small town each spring. I had done my homework. We don’t travel as much as we used to, so I wanted to choose just right, certainly as we had gone through a stressful past few months and were in need of a dose of quiet. I had found an amazing cabanon, miniscule but beautifully placed on the Gardon River outside Uzes to the east. It was the definition of idyllic. I imagined dipping my toes in the cool water with a glass of rosé in hand as our two Goldens took their first swim of the year.

And yet…my thoughts kept returning to the Upper Luberon, the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. We had gone twice in 2012, first as an escape for the September Bullfights (yes, thankfully they are only twice a year) but also a following visit just for the pleasure of digging in to what we had found. 

I admit that I was thinking back to the food. We love to cook and were blown away by the regions fine, fine ingredients—the pungent ooze of Banon cheese wrapped in chestnut leaves, the free range lamb from the Pays de Sault and the tender porc de Mount Ventoux, lavender honey, the earthy Pays de Luberon red from the Sylla Co-operative in Apt. Did I mention that I am a bit of a sybarite? Guilty as charged.

But it was the lay of the land that forced my hand. There is an inherent peace in the rolling hills and an infinite variety in the trees that charm. Remi, who grew up in Grenoble, was happy to rediscover a smaller version of the mountains of his childhood while I was reassured by topography similar to our horse farm of my Ohio youth. What is it in that as we get older we want what we used to have? The comfort of the past with a dose of new was just what the doctor ordered. 

And so we left the crowds behind and headed north. For there is relatively no one there. While the area that I love, around Simiane-la-Rotonde, is only a mile away from the border of the Luberon, it is a very different atmosphere. It is authentic, not trying to impress. Because it doesn’t have to. As we had on our previous trips, we drove and drove, exploring from the red rust dust of the Colorado Provençal to the zen garden stripes of sleeping lavender fields above Revest-du-Bion and the still powdered peaks of the Lure Mountain. 

We hunted for cabanons to inhabit in our imaginations as we went but we knew it was a sign that this gorgeous land spoke to us. And that we would be heading back to the land near the LPV all too soon.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

ciao ciao

{La Petite teaching her Tonton}
++ I've not gone Italian on you, it just so happens that we say ciao in the south of France too. Papa says it, Honey's Honey says it, The Husband says it... we all say it. I guess it's because lots of people here are of Italian heritage (The Husband's grandmother was from Rome). Plus who doesn't like saying, 'ciao'? It's fun. And adding that extra 'ciao' gives it an extra something, something. Say, 'ciao', now say, 'ciao ciao.' See? Moving on.

++ Brother-in-Law got a brand new car; a Renault Clio, in powder blue with racing stripes on it and a big number 7 on the hood and the roof. It looks like Herbie the Love Bug, only French.

++ Brother-in-Law's psycho dog, Python (pronounced: Pe-than in French) has been temporarily living at Papa's house and terrorizing Papa's Wife's cat Rosa. Poor Rosa. And she should be frightened. Python has killed like thirteen chickens (that Brother-in-Law was raising) and countless cats. He's a freaking psychopath. I want to get him locked up with a Hannibal Lecter mask but one for a dog instead.  He's a tiny, Jack Russell, serial killer and even though I'm not a fan, I feel bad for him. It's not his fault he's psychotic.

++ The Husband returned home from bee duty with only seven stings. Not bad at all, except one on his jaw made the right side of his face swell up like Popeye and the two in his belly button (two bees actually wiggled their way INSIDE his belly button) made his tummy stick out like he's three months pregnant. If I had to guess, I'd say it was Mr. London's baby.

++ Do you want to hear the sweetest thing? Fifty says goodnight to me every night. Every night, after I get into bed, Fifty comes upstairs, walks around to my side and rests his head on the bed for a couple of minutes. I pet him for a bit and then when I say, "goodnight Fifty, goodnight bébé chien", he turns around, and goes back downstairs. It's heart melting stuff.  

++ Tomorrow morning The Husband, Mrs. London and I are flying to Dublin for the week. (We takeoff in about 27 hours!) While I'm off pub-crawling and catching up with family, Heather, Adrienne, Patricia, and Betsy, will be watching over this space and keeping you entertained with guest posts. I'm sure you will all be on your best behavior and make them feel very welcome, because Le Petit Village readers are the very best readers (please do not terrorize the substitute bloggers). Ciao Ciao!


Monday, May 13, 2013

mon parfait dimanche

That means, 'my perfect Sunday', but technically I should have titled this post, 'mon parfaite dimanche de printemps', which means, 'my perfect spring Sunday', because this type of Sunday really only applies to Spring and Summer. If it was winter, then this would all be malarky.

When spring is in full swing in Le Petit Village, as in when we get all of those pesky April showers out of the way (I swear, April is ark building weather here), I like to get out and about on the weekends. The Husband not so much. It's not like he likes to spend sunny days huddled up in doors or anything, but for him, sitting outside on the terrace or going to a barbecue is enough for him. Me, I like to go out, out. And by out, out, I mean strolling through a market or having a coffee or apéro at a table outside a cafe.

Luckily, I had the perfect excuse to go to the market and to drag The Husband with me; our upcoming trip to Dublin (only three more days!) means I need to buy little presents to bring with me, and the market is the perfect place for that.

In the spirit of marital compromise, we breezed through the market fairly quickly, got the goods and left. Heck I was just happy to have gotten him there in the first place.

The next stage in my perfect spring Sunday, is to take an apéro outside somewhere. (Me saying, 'take an apéro' instead of 'have an apéro' is an example of how my English has altered since living in France. I also now say that Gregory 'does his sport' instead of 'works out'. I have a feeling that I'll have to start taking English lessons soon.) But in another moment of marital compromise, we had our apéro outside on our terrace instead of at a cafe (The Husband likes to keep the purse strings pulled tight). It was still lovely though. It's hard to complain about sipping a Martini Bianco in the Provencal sunshine even if it is on my own terrace. What I can complain about however is Gatz calling for the third time that day (barely noon and three phone calls... somebody needs a hobby).

Gatz's multiple phone calls aside, my perfect spring Sunday continued with lunch at Papa's house. I love having Sunday lunch over there, it beats spending my morning cooking. I show up with a bottle of wine, set the table, and voila. Easy peasy pudding pie.

After Sunday lunch, we rolled home with happy bellies full of poulet rôti romarin et citron and I got to have quiet time while The Husband and Fifty took a nap. For some strange reason I decided to use my quiet time to clean the kitchen. It felt like a good idea at the time but writing about it now I kind of feel like berating myself for being such a fool. Oh well, at least it was sparkling clean when I cooked dinner... seafood linguine and another bottle of Rosé because why not, it's Sunday, it's sunny out, and it's Provence. I'm pretty sure it's the law around these parts.

One episode of Grimm, and one of Nashville later it was a little after 9PM...  just in time for us to curl up on the couch while The Husband watched Gladiator on the telly and I read my book (Winter of the World if you're interested) #maritalcompromise.


Saturday, May 11, 2013


The Honeys produce over thirteen tons of honey a year. That's a whole lot of honey, especially when you consider that's there's only three of them harvesting it (Mr. & Mrs. Honey and Honey Jr... but soon Honey's Honey will join them), so it's no surprise that they need a little help from time to time, and that's where The Husband comes in.

Two nights a year, The Husband helps The Honeys move their hives from the outskirts of Marseille up to Grenoble, three hours north. They do this at night when the bees are supposed to be sleeping, but just because they are 'supposed to be' sleeping, doesn't mean they are, so the work and the journey aren't exactly sting proof.

(Getting stung doesn't bother Honey Jr.... being a fifth generation honey farmer, his body is practically immune. Bee stings to him are like mosquito bites to us, annoying, but not a big deal. I'm sure Professor X will be coming for him any day now. Poor Honey's Honey on the other hand, well she's still trying to build up her immunity. It's not always pretty.)

Last year after the second bee run, The Husband came home with twenty-one stings. (Apologies, I reported twenty-three on my Facebook page last night. And get this... somehow, he managed to escape with only three on the first run last year!) I asked him to keep track again this year for me, and as of 7:30AM, there had only been seven with only two hours left go.

But my money is on ten.


Thursday, May 9, 2013


I've got nothing to blog about at the moment. Nothing. It's not like there isn't stuff going on here right now, there is. To be honest Le Petit Village can be a rather scandalous place and there's usually some liasons dangereuses or petits scandales going down but it's not stuff I can blog about per se no matter how interesting it is (if I ever get around to writing that book, I promise that all of the juicy bits will be in it).

And The Husband and I just had a nice extra long weekend down in Toulon and that was lovely but I didn't want to blog about it because my last post was about the the time we were there before that. But truthfully that's all that I've got for you guys at the moment.

I've discovered that the French Riviera is the perfect place to escape to when life isn't all that sunny. Some major stuff went down in The LPV the past couple of months that has thankfully now finished, but the ghosts of it still haunts us all (everyone is OK, everything is fine... I struggled with blogging about it for cathartic purposes, but The Husband asked me not too and I've respected his wishes... clearly there is a first time for everything).

So my cousin's house in the Côte d'Azur (my holiday home as I like to call it) became the perfect escape for us refugees from The LPV. And now you know that it wasn't only fun and rugby that was pushing us down south but that's all I'm going to say about that.

But please stay tuned. I promise that there's delightful snapshots of Le Petit Village life on the horizon just waiting to be recorded. A bientôt mes amies.


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