December 29, 2018

December 20, 2018

Sheep baa-ing

On a December day, just before Christmas, we heard a tinkling of baa-s. A chorus. The girls and I ran to follow the carol and found a whole field behind our house a flock of sheep. They were so beautiful, wearing their thick wool coats, not yet shorn. Tiny lambs clumsily loped around, close behind their mothers' tails. Colette was just terrified. Marguerite bright and fascinated, watched them. Romy basically joined the flock. They would scatter as she tried to get right in the middle, a bit jumpy by her overly friendly ways.

November 23, 2018

La Côte Bleue

Here they are, soaking up the November sun on the Côte Bleue at our favorite sandy beach: la Plage de Sainte-Croix. Surfers out in the water and glowing warm sand.

November 22, 2018

November 7, 2018

Pruning the giants

We have giants who live in our yard. Soaring cypress tress in a succession; their proportions make us swoon while hanging laundry or lying in the grass. They need a hair cut every few years. We were all thoroughly amused watching the process. Patrice, jardinier extraordinaire (whose very local accent gets the better of both Xavier and me), started at their base and groomed the bottom-half of each coniferous cone with a hand-held trimmer. That part of the job was a day's work, so when he left that evening they looked so funny; perfectly coiffed on bottom and wild tufts sprouting everywhere on their top halves. The next day he came with a crane to attack the rest. The trees tend to grow thick and bulbous if they aren't trimmed...and we so admire their sleek form.

November 1, 2018

Halloween 2018

On any random day of the year Romy pipes up and asks, "Is it Halloween tomorrow?" (eyes big and full of hope). The French in our village may not celebrate Halloween exactly as we did in NYC, pumpkins may not be quite as easy to get a hold of and trick or treating is redefined, but we carry on the tradition...and I am pretty sure Colette will be an eternal Egyptian.

October 31, 2018


A very good friend and I took a day to go on an October adventure along the coast. We headed to Bormes-les-Mimosas and started our odyssey at the Fort de Bregançon, the French President's Côte d’Azur retreat. The Sentier du Littoral (the shoreline trail), which runs along the entire coast of France, gets garbled here - purposefully we surmised, for Presidential security.

We had to make our way down a cliff, hanging on branches and sliding on our bums. Then we had some rock climbing and jumping into the water to make our way along the shore.

It was intense, so we stopped at a tiny pocket cove beach. We stripped and dove in for a good swim. The day was a mistral day, intense gusts creating white accents across the surface of the turquoise water, taking our breath away, especially as we swam out beyond the protection of the enclaves of the rocky coast. Soon we found ourselves drifting far. My friend wasn’t as keen on the rock climbing and scrambling we had been doing and we spotted a wide, sandy beach along the coast ahead. We agreed we could split and meet there. She would swim and I would grab our stuff and take the rocky shore passage.

The swim back was wild. I was being pulled by the current and I had to swim hard against it to make it back to our cove beach. With the wind I was gulping water and was actually a bit nervous by the effort (and I am a strong swimmer). In any case, my friend was helped by the current and made it relatively quickly to the beach far to the east.

I loved the scramble once back on land. Several times I had to pile everything on my back and on my head to jump into the water below, the cliffs were so steep above me.

We met back up and sat on a rocky cliff staring out over the sea to eat our lunch.

Bellies full, skin salty, hair wind-wild, we kept going. We ended at a beach just beneath the Domaine de la Reine-Jeanne. We were all alone in what felt like a wild fragment of the Côte d’Azur perfectly preserved (so rare on that coast). Just indigenous plant and sea life - dreamlike conservation of the natural biodiversity. It was a day to wish for. We were glazed by the beauty by the end. Good friendship in the context of perfect beauty.

October 30, 2018

Skeleton Wedding

One of my favorite things about Marguerite is her constant creativity. She is always in production mode, building and crafting, researching and devising, giving birth to all sorts of new creations. For Halloween she thought it appropriate to orchestrate a wedding between the two skeletons that were hanging around outside our house. Baskets full of costumes, hats, wigs - options for the big day materialized. Each girl carried more than her arms could handle, tumbling down the stairs in a rush to get the bride and groom ready. Wax rings, a veil and a marriage certificate, music from the Fisher Price record player, flowers and wedding attendees. All symphonized by Mademoiselle Marguerite, the great. She's convinced she wants to be an event planner one day...the possibilities are endless for this one.

Love was in the air

Making it official
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