A new house taking shape – or rather, the courtyard where the new owners have bowled over an existing house to create a little entranceway.
How to remodel a 300 year old house!
One of the challenges of living in a French medieval vilage is that houses are built very close to each other, and often light is a problem. These new Ménerbes residents found the solution to light during their renovation – they bought the house next door and knocked it down!
Here it is..
The mushrooms are starting to appear!
Health Notice: Mushrooms can be very dangerous unless you know which ones to pick and eat. Local French pharmacists are the best bet to get an accurate decision on edible or poisonous.
A ‘vide grenier’ is what we Anglophones know as a Flea Market. At this time of the year, may French people decide to clear out stuff and park it on the road, driveway, front garden, put a price on items and have a ‘vide grenier’. The literal meaning of the word is “emptying the attic”.
It is a lively encounter with everyday French culture, an exciting way to spend a few hours, and a chance to pick up a unique souvenir or add to a collection.
Each year there are more than 15,000 flea markets and garage sales across the country, gathering crowds of fans and onlookers in search of a bargain, a rare item, a decorating idea or a souvenir.
The new 2016 South of France Summer ‘must have’ – an inflatable swan. This one is called ‘swannie’ and is already in high use over the now hot summer.
Thanks to Michelle, Ed and Steve for providing us with one!
It’s July and the lavender is out – as good as always and everyone turns into a postcard photographer.
Fine Lavender grows on the arid mountains of Provence over an altitude of 800 metres.Only a single flower grows on its small stem, and it reproduces by seeding. It has always been used for its medicinal properties and has been called the ‘blue gold’ by perfume manufacturers. 130kg of flowers are needed to to obtain 1 litre of essential oil by the distilling process. In a good year, a one hectare plantation can yield up to 25 litres of essential oil.
Lavendin, however, grows at much lower altitudes (0-800m). It is a tall plant with two branches and grows in large clumps. It is a hybrid between fine lavender and ‘spike’ lavender. To reproduce, you have to take cuttings – it is sterile. Growing of lavendin started in the 190s and it has great commercial properties. Often confused with fine lavender, it is used not only for medicinal properties but also for cleaning, detergent and other industry products.
The iconic sachets found at every Provencal market contain lavendine (or lavendin). 40kg of flowers are need to provide 1 litre of essential lavendin oil.