Here’s a great Review of Footsteps from www.2oceansvibe.com:

Everyone knows the greatest holidays are the ones where “we bumped into this local guy, who knew about all the secret spots and gave us bits and pieces of information and facts that no-one else knew.” Nobody wants to go to every single tourist hotspot and, if they do, they want to tick the right boxes as swiftly as possible and indulge in the more region-centric quirks and people.” This book IS that guy who you bumped into.

It’s a highly personal thing, when it comes to choosing what to do and where to go when you visit a region of the world. Especially when it comes to a place like Provence and the Luberon Valley, where the language is different and some genuine local insight is all you really need.

The beauty of Simon Burrow’s Footsteps is that he actually lives in the Luberon Valley – Menerbes, to be exact. Ridley Scott the Hollywood director lives in the same area. And yes it is the same place that Peter Mayle lived when he wrote the famous A Year In Provence. The difference here, is that Peter Mayle’s book was never written as a guide. Footsteps is meant to be a guide but, to be honest, a few friends have borrowed my copy and they all seem to read it cover to cover. And they weren’t even planning on going to Provence. Now they are! it’s thatgood.

CLICK HERE for “Footsteps” on Amazon and Kindle

Some stunning highlights:

– Lou Luberon in Robion – owner is Lou the retired Marseilles heavyweight boxer there is no service from the bar at lunch between 13h00 and 13h15 (peak of lunchtime) due to the news being on TV.

– Then there is Ridley Scott and the Avignon Professor with his chickens. Ridley complained 6 times in court – it was thrown out, he tried to give the Prof €60,000 to get rid of his 36 chickens who crowed each morning and so the Prof refused and bought 80 more – now he has erected a statue of a crowing rooster outside Ridley’s entrance road!

And just wait until you learn about the roundabouts on the roads and how they are the link between the government and the freemasons!

Contents:

– A (very) short History of Provence
– Day Trips – The Golden Triangle
– Day Trips – The Grand Luberon
– Day Trips – Les Alpilles
– Day Trips – The Pope’s tour
– Day Trips – The Mediterranean, Cassis, the Calanques and the Foreign Legion
– Day Trips – Horses of the Camargue
– Day Trips – The Lavender Tour
– Your Home from Home – The Luberon Valley
– Les Marches – The Markets
– Something different – The Turnarounds
– Something different – The ‘Hullo’ Magazine Tour
– Something different – The French Huguenots Tour
– Something different – The Artists’ Tour
– Something different – The Waters of Provence
– Something different – The Childrens’ Tour
– Finding your way around a French Supermarket
– Special places to eat, drink and smell
– The Ladies of the Road

Merci bien, Seth!

The Menerbes parking lot paving is now complete along with some very sexy new street lights - well done Dominique, our local blacksmith!

Normally hidden by dense foliage, the little Menerbes chapel overlooking the cherry orchards has been cleared and stands proud

Plants growing out of the stained glass window of the Eglise St Luc, Menerbes

Although Maison Olive is still full for another three weeks before it too closes for a month and the new terrace building episode commences, we have been luxuriating in the free time afforded during this time of the year when you can get things done.

Like fetching fire wood. Erica was here for a month. That means, plenty of fires! At this time of the year, the search is for small, dry pieces of wood. We managed to find some and not being able to wait for a delivery, we did the work ourselves!

Seriously loaded. Over 300 pieces of 3 year old wood. Ready to burn!

January and February are really peaceful times when many restaurants and shops take their annual leave but the construction folk move into full swing with he deadline of the season approaching.

It’s also a time to enjoy our surrounds and look at what’s new in Menerbes….. I nearly forgot!! Madame has been given a new MacBook Pro by Erica, she has her iPad courtesy of William and my Orange fidelity points stumped up for a new iPhone 4GS. Tech support, is here and present.

The original Menerbes Church circa. 500AD enjoys the morning sun

A village benefactor has sponsored some new walls and olive trees under the Mairie and stretching to the Dora Maar house.

Hand cut stones are laid in front of a reinforced concrete wall to provide the 'real' look and provide support for the terraces

An old battlement tower has also been refurbished under the Dora Maar House

Au bientot: Lovonne and Simon xx

The first 29 years of my life were spent in blissful ignorance of items such as vegetables and salad. Boarding school and the army saw to that.

However, at the tender age of 29, I met Madame and was introduced to the delights of greens. Over the years, I have strangely never had reason to come across an artichoke on my plate except when it has been slipped under a few leaves in a Provençal salad.

Saturday night was different. We went out to dinner at some American friends. Helen, our hostess announced that the main course was a Peruvian pork dish, which looked and tasted very good when it arrived. At the other end of the plate, Helen had zoomed across the Atlantic and given us a genuine Provençal artichoke.

Piled high at a local market

Bowls of melted butter were laid before us and off everyone else went – tearing off the leaves, dipping in butter and then dragging the aforesaid leaf through their mouths and then depositing them into another bowl.

I was concentrating so hard on the act that I tore, I dipped and I chewed, I swallowed. Now, I know why it’s call arti-choke. And choke I did, but quietly, it was the first time was had been to Scott and Helen for a dinner party after all.

The only solution was to eat pork and then watch the others and the precise method of eating their artichokes. Our host and hostess had already had a conversation about the fact that they were one artichoke short, so I felt that to leave mine uneaten would be rank bad manners!

Ah! Dip in the butter, and then drag the leaf through your mouth, eating the white fleshy bit and discard the ‘choke’ part. I tried. I have many, natural gaps in my mouth and the artichoke leaf came out resembling a rather ragged comb with many broken teeth.

Bad manners or not, I gave up. Anyone for an artichoke?

Advance Australia Fair, mates!

One of our canine friends - Lily - now watches us on our morning walk from behind an electric fence.

An atmospheric doorway in the village of Menerbes, Luberon

This is Smokey-Bleu, our little feral cat who is becoming braver and braver. To-day she jumped on to the window sill and watched us working at our computers - milk, please!

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