July 15, 2009


Saint-Aygulf itself is quite a charming place from Xavier's childhood. We walked into the Joly family's house there (the "Joie de Vivre") and Xavier's eyes were filled with nostalgia. The weekend became a series of stories of years gone by, one month every summer dedicated to the house, the beach, cousins. His grandparents purchased the house just after World War II and generations of Jolys have the same wistful memories of the place.

We were there with Xavier's aunt Christine, uncle Philippe, cousin Elsa and her friend Marion and then a few other cousins came and went along the way.

As an aside, breakfast in France continues to beguile me. I come from a certain breakfast heritage. My mother's father's breakfasts are famous: pancakes, bacon, eggs, sausages, orange juice, toast: the works. A real meal. For him, it is a ritual and a meal to celebrate. He gets up and starts it at 5 or 6am and calls his kids to the table for second and third helpings of everything there.

Breakfast in France is another thing entirely. It is comprised of liquid in a bowl, usually coffee or hot chocolate (for infants and Xavier) and bread. Perhaps croissants, but more likely a baguette cut horizontally with butter and jam (and nutella if you get lucky). Sometimes we wake up on weekends and Xavier announces that he wants a big breakfast. He prepares everything on a tray and brings it to the table. I sit down and find this formula exactly. Bread, jam, butter. Big breakfast indeed.

Saint-Aygulf is full of the things you would think a town in the south of France would be full of. Flowers, for example. Bougainvillea and hibiscus and pink things and camouflage trees.


Michelle said...

"Joie de vivre" indeed. This is charming stuff Madame Joly and a delight to read. In fact I think there is best-selling book (or a series of them avec photographes!) to be written of your life in France and unique perspective on the frenchies. Bravo et vivent les vacances! I have not stopped laughing since I read your account of the fair and the high level squirrelling.

Maria Petrova said...


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