The Parting of the Waters

We met the Market Village dwellers for dinner last night. Lori and Sheila, both aged 50 and Americans residing in Vancouver were lovely people and a nice evening was had even if the musical talent in the town didn’t match up to the terrific band from the Harley gathering a couple of weeks ago. We dined at the Mistral and the restaurateurs are relatively recently back in France after having spent 8 years in Vancouver. Their daughter was visiting from Vancouver and helping out in the restaurant on this busiest night of the year and so our guests found plenty of common ground. Being locals we started our market day today with coffee at the Café de France during which time we had a word to Pam w

Le Tour

Today we prepared carefully for our trip. The car was fuelled, sweaters found and a deep breath taken for the assault on.....Le Mont Ventoux, 1912m high, geologically part of but separate from the Alps, a visible landmark from all over the region, the "beast of Provence", part of the Tour de France last year - describe it as you will. Richard Mawle had warned us about biting winds, chilling cold and failing to summit. What he didn't warn us about was that driving up Mt Ventoux on a weekend, and particularly a weekend when there is a Belgian bike race on, is just bonkers. There were hundreds and hundreds of people riding up and down with cars also going both ways on some very narrow, twisty h

Saumane Driveway

Only two more editions from Provence before we head to Paris on the 23rd. Yesterday we went to Gordes for lunch and a bit of a wander. I managed to pick up a lovely linen tablecloth and we bought a bottle of the delightful balsalmic vinegar that we had enjoyed during the meal.....and it is made in France! The drive home was via the Plateau de Vaucluse and Saumane where we happened to come upon this impressive driveway.....the plans for the driveway at Denmark, WA have just been upscaled! You can see from the sky it was another miserable day in Provence! A spot of house hunting followed with Victoria. Two properties were viewed, one of which is only 80 metres down the road from Waterwheel

The Plombier

We have been very busy doing bricolage. We have finished the work in the living area at Market Village Apartment - photo below. The room is brighter, we got rid of some furniture and painted some to lighten it up. But today was really all about that fine piece of bathroom furniture, the toilet. It started in a harmless enough way with the application of some dilute acid to a rust stain. To do this effectively the water to the toilet had to be turned off as it was running gently. And then one should really sort the running toilet because it was causing the rust stain. A trip to Mr Bricolage produced a replacement washer which was duly installed. The water was turned back on and that's when it

Only three days left...

Not much business to do yesterday, just a visit to our favourite banker Brave, Brave Sir Robin. OK, it’s just Robin in the branch but yesterday evening was his theatrical debut in his village over near Nimes so we have a few new names for him. His character in this very modern play is attracted to his son’s boyfriend. The other name we have is Robin of Garrigue - the Garrigue being the scrubby woodland in that area. All a bit Monty Python! So, back to holiday activities for our last three days in the Isle. We started with lunch in the country. Because of its popularity we had had to book our table a week ago at Domaine de la Camarette out the back of Pernes. This is a wine estate that offers

Un Pigne

Good afternoon, We were almost going to call it “No Paper Today” but there will be a short news update. We spent the morning at Leroy Merlin (Bunnings on steroids), Auchan (the one at Le Pontet like putting an enormous supermarket and a huge K-Mart together and then enlarging your first idea), Maison du Monde (like Freedom) and Ikea (interestingly, exactly the same layout as the one in WA). We found most things although paint is a bit of a challenge because you can’t see what you are getting, only read about it. Dellas’ terrace at Denmark is going to have to have the genuine pine cone like finials called pignes. Even though we knew this word it stumped the guy at Leroy but to his credit he

Lucky Number 13

Today we had our buffet delivered - photos below. Also one of Simon in his chair. We have been detailing and doing some minor repairs at our Market Village Apartment today. I used so much Javel (bleach) that I couldn't sign into my phone using fingerprint recognition! In between the morning and afternoon cleaning we had our lunch. The desserts were particularly nice - photos below. Simon's French has moved to a new level today as he and the neighbours engaged in a very robust discussion about the location of the house number Simon had installed at Market Village Apartment. I will let him elaborate..... I don't think the neighbour likes the notion that foreigners own Market Village, o

Cucuron and the Canal

After a week and a half of dead calm the Mistral has arrived - not with a vengeance though, only like a good breeze in Perth. First thing after breakfast I was up taking photos of the satellite dish on the roof of Market Village Apartment to send to Chris the TV man. Trying to balance on the rounded Provençal tiles and hold the iPad still in the wind was a bit of an exercise but the pictures are in the can (or in the 64G of NAND memory chips which doesn’t have the same ring to it). Chore finished it was off to the Etang at Cucuron on the other side of the Luberon massif. The big rectangular pond (see pictures) is well know to fans of a Good Year as the site of Max’s “obligatory cultural enga

Our People

Friday was a day spent with people. We started with a coffee with Elayne our new 'Quality Control Consultant' at the Cafe de France. Robin our banker was next with a meeting at the Banque Chaix followed by lunch with both he and Victoria our RE agent at La Prévôté. We sat at the table in the foreground of the photo below with Thelma the border terrier twitching her nose at all the lovely smells. The restaurant has an arm of the river running through the middle which is a bit of a novelty. The square things hanging from the ceiling are concealed lights made from zinc guttering. Not seen that done before.Home for a quick nap before a 5:30 meeting at Rue Ledru Rollin with our neighbours the Tat

Another Late Edition

Different excuse this time. After our late night and a pretty busy day cleaning and lugging we were early to bed last night (although we are French now so stopped for a couple of hours at lunch and went to Aparté which is right on the river. They have a pipe along the top of their awning which sends arcs of water back into the river for a bit of natural cooling). Still mid thirties every day, very much like an Australian summer until the big, black thunderstorm rolled down off the plateau de Vaucluse yesterday evening and chucked raindrops the size of large marbles down on the town. The middle of the street ran brown at the start as all the accumulated dirt on the cobbles washed away. We hav

Magical Provence Evening

No daily blog last night because we were home after midnight. It was the final night for our New Zealand guests in Waterwheel and so we invited our Philadelphian guests from Market Village along as well and went to Au Fil Du Temps in Pernes-les-Fontaines about 10 minutes north of the Isle. The restaurant name means “As time goes by” and it certainly did. We sat down just before 7.30 and left close to midnight. After another hot day it was one of those perfect evenings for sitting outside. Still, warm and tranquil. As the evening drew on, the cats of Perne obviously thought it was a perfect night for prowling too but they gave the restaurant tables a reasonably wide berth. The daily excursion

Bellissimo!

Another hot, dry, blue-sky day in Provence. This morning we went for a pleasant walk in the fields and lanes over near Lacoste. It was meant to be a circular walk but there is a bit of further route finding to be done before this one can be written up. The first photo is of a beautiful driveway that we go past frequently. It always looks great and will be stunning in a few weeks when the lavender is in full bloom. (I think Dellas wishes our driveway at Denmark, WA was longer) For lunch we decided to try an Italian Deli that received great reviews on Trip Advisor. Reading these we were not really sure if it was a restaurant or a shop. We threw caution to the wind and decided to investiga

A Day of Contrasts

A day of contrasts today. A tranquil start with the Gordes to Abbaye de Sénanque walk just after breakfast. Tourists don’t get up this early so the Abbey was quiet except when its bells rang out the hour. It nestles right in a steep valley and while only a few kilometres out of Gordes, might well be in the middle of nowhere. The lavender was starting to flower but was definitely not up to postcard view standard yet. We almost had the trail to ourselves at that time of day. We did battle with the markets again (an extraordinary Monday public holiday version) and carted home a white coffee table for Janette. Hot again today (although we are dropping a degree a day until the weekend according

Cabinets and the Coast - Provence

Greetings from a beautiful L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue - photo from 8am this morning below. Got up early and went to the markets. Actually we got up too early and were at the markets before some of the stall holders so had to go and have a café crème at Café de France to kill some time. We bought a lovely buffet (photo below) to put in the living area of the Rue Jean Théophile apartment after I fell instantly in love with it and managed to convince Simon that he really liked it too and needed to buy it immediately. The vendor was really funny, jumping around and trying to encourage Simon. We were busy discussing how we could get it delivered next Sunday, and I think he thought we were agonising ove

Celeste for Lunch - Provence

A perfect day in Provence. We drove to Simeon la Rotonde and had a wander. It is a charming perched village about 40 minutes from the L'Isle and then on to Viens before stopping at Cereste for a fabulous lunch - see photos below. Home for the afternoon nap and a wander around the market stalls as there is an art market on in town today. You couldn't say we were doing it tough although it is a bit warm at 35 degrees. Here is Simon's Trip Advisor review: La Pastorale is one floor up and the balcony looks over the main street and commerce strip. You might, as we did, look down over a cyclist fail to unclip in time and have a close and ungainly encounter with the roadside planter boxes. Yo

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