Wednesday is market day in St Remy-de-Provence. It’s hot and the village is packed with hordes of Barack Obama’s finest. In fact, it seemed as though the only French spoken was by the stall holders.

We popped into a shoe store and lo and behold!

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Here we check out our hamstrings ………


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and some back bends

                         As the world continues its fascination with the Vuvusela, 2Oceansvibe reports some interesting stuff about the vuvu:


               Je suis tres desolee. These French words – give or take a few accents – mean far worse translated literally (‘I am terribly devastated and disappointed’) into English but sums up the karma within France this week.

Knocked out of the World Cup was a humiliation. The end of the world was how L’Equipe put it. It was so bad that Patrick our local tabac and news agent merchandised the paper upside down.

We decided to watch the game from a small cafe in the tourist village of Roussillon. After a less than memorable lunch (the food not the company!) at a bistro in Roussillon we adjoined to the pub alongside – we were bedecked in Bafana/SA colours. The French support? A Canal + movie was on and only with strong prompting did the barman change over to TF1 for the match. Hardly any other patrons watched the game, save for a few Uruguay – no French. Terrified of losing, they though they should rather carry on as though it was not happening!

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[A little patch of Bafana, deep in the heart of Provence – out of view was a French hat, flag and rosette pinned up on the wall, desolee]

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The previous day June 21 was the summer solstice and the day in which over 85% of all people in France participate in some form of musical activity. From 20,000 people on the banks of the Seine in Paris to all the tiny villages, music filters through the ethos of French life.

Menerbes was no different. The village turned out in full force and the local school put on a delightful concert; there was a jumping castle for the little ones and the for the older, a French version of a sausage sizzle with ‘special’ sausages. Naturellement, wine and beer as well!

Being Menerbes we had to wait quite while to move from acoustic music to electronic – our notorious power fluctuations had their say!

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[The stage and a local technician trying to find the source of no power!]

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[How it’s done in the village.]

On Wednesday a panama hat accompanied by Chris Savage popped in on a most welcome sojourn from the Cannes Advertising Festival. Chock full of ideas and expressions (‘clutterbusters’ was one), we had a delightful evening catching up and showing Chris how the property has been developed.

Naturally, Madame spoiled us with a pork chop – not quite as large as Donovans but just as tasty. Chris rather enjoyed being introduced to tartiflette and a fine Gigondas red.

After a stiff walk the next morning, Chris returned to his day job.

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[Old friends are true friends]

We had heard from a local that there was a great non-touristy restaurant in the muscadel capital, Beaumes de Venise. Just outside the picture perfect village is a great little restaurant Cote Vignes where for just 11 euro you can start with a delicious mozarrella and tomato salad, followed by a salmon dish covered in a scallops sauce and vegetables. A 50cl of rose tips in at 6 euros. Coffee and dessert followed and we were on our way.

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[The entrance area to the Cote Vignes restaurant and terrasse]

We drove through a little track in the Dentelles mountains surrounded by magnificent broom bushes and vines. The massif Dentelles is serious hiking country and we passed numerous hikers on the way.


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[Surrounded by aromatic broom]

We left the mountains behind to reach the villages of Gigondas – centre of a prolific wine producing area and on the fringe of the Rhone Valley. Gigondas rivals its better known Chateauneuf-de-Pape for red wine.

The village is peppered with wine-tasting centres down the lanes and each one tries to outdo each other in their marketing.

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[A superb display of Gigondas wine]

In the village square is a famous restaurant – L’Oustalet. Take at least two credit cards with you.

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On the way home we passed a spectacular display of red lupins just outside the settlement of Velleron.

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And, the lavender said that anything lupins can do, I can do it better!

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We returned home to find that the previously neglected front road area outside our house has been further enhanced with mowing, plantings and general care and attention.

We’re happy about this!

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Au bientot : Lovonne and Simon xx


People complaining about the WC Vuvus should remember that they’re not a new invention – they go way back!

[Pic source: Mother]

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       [A dazzling field of what we think is either red lucern or red lupins. Situated mid-way between villages of Velleron and L’Isle sur l’Sorgue on our way back from a little day outing to Beaume de Venise, Gigondas and the Rhone Valley.]

Lunching with friends at L’Etang. Jan in full cry!

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Well, that’s how L’Equipe saw it this morning.

Everyone knows that a ‘joey’ is a baby kangaroo. But what is a ‘Jerry’?


[A Joey]

Melbourne’s Herald Sun reports from the World Cup that : “Every profession has its slang so why should the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade be any different? Confidential understands that the consular staff in South Africa have taken to referring to Australians who get into strife as “Jerrys”.

Readers may recall that two weeks ago a keen Aussie drinker got himself into two scrapes in as many days – passing out while shickered on the front lawn of a private residence, the owners of which kindly gave him a coffee the next morning upon discovering him in their yard, and referring him to High Commission, and then the following day, getting robbed while drunk at the USA-Australia friendly and calling on the consular staff again.

The chap’s name was Jerry and he’s now become the nickname of choice for any Aussie who lands himself in strife here. Mercifully there haven’t been many Jerrys, save for the odd lost passport or low-level theft.”


[A ‘Jerry’!]

That nickname is going to stick!

        A report from a US news wire –

A United States restaurant owner dreamed up a novelty meal to give customers a South African experience during the World Cup. But serving burgers made with African lion meat has generated protests.
Cameron Selogie says his Il Vinaio restaurant in Arizona has received a bomb threat and more than 150 e-mails from protesters. He says African lions are on the protected list, but not endangered.


 The restaurant ordered 4.5kg of African lion meat from a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulated, free-range farm in Illinois, which Selogie says he researched to make sure they were humane.

It’s mixed with ground beef, and the restaurant says it’s serving about 15 burgers a day.

USDA spokesman Jim Brownlee says lion meat is an uncommon dish, but he knew of no prohibitions against it.

Spotted on the side of the road between Sault and Apt. Poppies, lupins, daisies.

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