during this 3h-hike, I was in awe at the wonderful landscape, and after I saw the ruins of an old farm among the Andorran chalets, I recalled Steve Jobs’ wise and realistic encouragement:“I’ve looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: if today were the last day of my life, would I want to […]

via TODAY is here and now…:-) — my virtual playground

On The Street Where I Live… a challenge

Our friends at Fandango have thrown down the gauntlet. The challenge, On The Street Where I Live. You can visit them at:  https://fivedotoh.com/2018/08/01/on-the-street-where-i-live/  Thank you Fandango. 

“Home is where you feel loved, appreciated and safe.”  – Tracy Taylor

While France may not be the land of my birth, it is the home of my heart.

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Boulangerie (Bakery) not yet open for the evening rush

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Most of the opposite side of our street is the wall dividing between village and the river.

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The old pharmacy is for sale and has much to offer. It would be ideal for a business with residence above.

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The old café is for sale as the new owners moved it down the road so they had more room and plenty of outside space. Upstairs is a working hotel.

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Stop and smell the roses, or whatever else is in bloom and perhaps a sprig of rosemary.

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The bank is to the left but we shall stay on my street.

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Chambre d’hotes and large houses (similar to a bed and breakfast)

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Bibliothèque (Library) During the summer months it also doubles as the Tourist Office.

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War memorial

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Foyer (for indoor events including cinema)

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Small market with gas pumps

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The new café

Alas, it is a long road that I live on. What you see here, barely scratches the surface and at best, I shall hope it tempts you to visit the small villages in France. We have much to offer.

Bisous,

Léa

 

 

 

Fête Nationale 2018

Mea culpa, mea culpa… I’ve been so wrapped up in the season, I have failed to get the post and photos out. Fête nationale celebrates Independence. It is a day of feasting and of remembrance. At 11:30 am, each village will gather at their memorial to remember those who gave their lives for France.

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A short walk across the footbridge and I see people arriving and reserving their seats. Some chairs are already turned inward and names written on the white paper tablecloth. Of course there is always a bit of switching at some point. A seat is often found for anyone who might arrive late or be alone. Here you are never alone long unless you choose to be.

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To the left of the footbridge is a picnic area, well shaded, and four massive barbeque pits. To the right of those pits is a smooth area where, in good weather, you will find groups playing boules / pétanque. 

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The gathering begins. You can see a bit of the roof over the snack bar where you can pick up your chosen apperitif. The socializing has begun and will last until the wee hours of the morning.

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As you can see, things are set up for the DJ in the background.

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Looking at this photo just now, I can see the green shutters of my house in the space between Michel and the young girl he is speaking with. 

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After sunset, the chateau will be aglow. After dessert, about 10:30pm the fireworks will begin. They are shot from just behind the chateau and is quite a vision.

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Manon is as sweet as she looks. Her father is one of the four doctors in the village.

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Baugettes, wine, and salad ( baby spinach, red onion and sliced apricots in a smashing vinegrette) and the meal has begun. Besides the bottles of wine, and there are many, there is also bottled water. There is a large variety of tableware as here, each person or family, bring their own. 

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While you cannot see the chateau through the trees, the old clock-tower is well lit. Next year I shall have to remember to sit on the other side so I have a better view of the chateau.

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A literal cascade of feu d’artifice down the front of the chateau. Alas, I’m afraid it didn’t photograph well.

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C’est magnifique! You can see the cascade of fire pouring down the front of the chateau and the rockets shooting toward the stars.

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La chateau in all her glory.

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Dance, dance, dance… The tables have been cleared away as were most of the chairs. The remaining chairs off to the side. The dancing will continue most of the night. Even people from nearby villages will come over to dance having had dinner in their own village first. You will often see parents and grandparents dancing with even the youngest of babies in their arms. As soon as they can stand, they are out there dancing the night away.

Bonne Fête et Bisous,

Léa

L’Art Caché – quatre 2018

Being that this is my favorite art expo of the year, there is a sad parting. Alas, this is to be the last in the series of four posts from L’Art Caché in the charming village of Albas. 

Catherine Juge Thouroude has a number of pieces I enjoyed. Alas, there is neither an email address or website. Once again I shall direct any questions to the fabulous people who bring us this exhibition each year. Eurocultures: https://eurocultures.fr

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There were several additional pieces that the artist delined to be photographed as they were a new variation she was working on. Perhaps at a future date I will find her exhibiting them when I can share the photos? 

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Josiane Coste Coulondre is a textile artist. https://www.artmajeur.com/josianecostecoulondr

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Josiane can also be contacted by email: jococoul@gmail.com

Patricia Maffli: Painter

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I have just checked out her blog. https://patriciamaffli.wordpress.com/ and was thrilled to find much more than what she had brought with her. In addition, she shares her workplace with her sister  who sculpts. Perhaps it would be possible to visit them and create a post on the work of them both? 

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This last photo is from Patricia’s newest collection. I do hope to see more of her work. I should enjoy being alone in a room with just her paintings and my laptop… there are many stories / poems just waiting to be written.

MERCI MILLE FOIS! My sincere thanks to all the talented artists who shared their work and to our friends at Eurocultures for giving us this opportunity each year. Also, I thank all the readers that take a moment to let me know that they enjoyed this  I am already looking forward to next years exposition. 

Bisous,

Léa

 

 

L’Art Caché trois – 2018

If the last two posts haven’t inspired you, perhaps you will find something here?

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Antoine Bonnet creates in wood, stone and earth. Please visit his website and learn more.  http://www.antoine-bonnet.com/

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Oana Damman is one local artist that I have had the pleasure of meeting a number of times over the years. She is inspired by the works of Van Gogh, Cézanne and Chagall. Please take a few moments and visit her website: oana-damman.com You won’t be disappointed.

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Jacques Duault graciously allowed me to photograph his work. Alas, he himself does not care to be photographed. A position I respect and share. Please visit his site: http://jacquesduault.com/

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Gerard Engels is hard at work and grateful for a small amount of shade as it is a very warm morning and the full summer heat is upon us. Alas, there is no website for monsieur Engels. He does offer an email address: gerard.engels@hotmail.com or you could direct questions about him or any of the artists by contacting the gracious hosts at Eurocultures.  https://eurocultures.fr/   You will also find a calendar for upcoming events and information should you want to be included in this event next year or any of their other projects. 

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Albas is such a charming and tranquile village. However, when they put on an exhibition or other event they do themselves proud. Before signing off today, I will share a few more photos from my wandering about. 

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Even the smallest village will have a foyer for indoor events and an outdoor space such as the one above. You don’t see it in this photo but there is a small, shed/kitchen to the left and to the right a large concrete circle often used for dancing under the stars, village feasts… 

 

There are still photos and artists to be shared. There will be one more in this series and I thank you for joining me.

 

Bisous,

Léa