Fête Locale Durban 2013

The most recent fete in our village was last weekend.

Men from the audience recruited to learn the can can!
Men from the audience recruited to learn the Can Can!

Fête Locale Durban 2013 was celebrated over three days and nights. Friday night began with the apéritifs. Later a music and dance act (Plumes de Nuit). The

Bonne appètit!
Bonne appètit!

Master of Ceremonies and several women dancing. Among the dances was the can can.  Food was for sale: Salade, Plat du jour: rôtis de porc, haricots verts, pignon tomate confites.  Also available were Fromage et Glace.

At 11:00, the band, LONDON, started and the dancing went on until five the next morning. This is typical for these festivals.

The second night began with apéritifs and then a meal including: Salad of fresh spinach with strawberries,  Lapin  à la moutarde (Rabbit in Mustard) tomates provençales, fromage, Confiture de pastèque brulée, café, vin compris.

People who had not attended the dinner from this village and surrounding villages started arriving as the dinner was ending. There were other things to entertain such as rides for the little ones and a few arcade type games. at 23h or 11:00 pm the evening’s band ( FEELING) kicked off and went on, once again, until 5:00 am.

A Pètanque team
A Pètanque team

The final day of festivities got an earlier start.  At noon, Moules Frites were served to those who had purchased their tickets in advance. At 14h30 teams reported for the Pètanque tournament.  If you are interested in learning more about the game, please check out my post from February 14, 2012.

At the same time there was also trout fishing and pony rides for the children. Then at 19h, the band EQUATEUR made their appearance. It was a small group that played basically folk and local favourites. It was a warm up for 22h when the Disco began. If anyone was hungry, you could purchase a salad of greens, tomato and cucumber, brochettes of turkey with a yogurt and herb dipping sauce, cheeses and/or ice cream.

As usual, a good time was had by all.

A pony ride!
A pony ride!

Bisous,

Lèa

A pony ride!
A pony ride!
Bonne chance!
Bonne chance!
Stage for the band FEELING!
Stage for the band
FEELING!
Whee!
Whee!
Bonne chance pour les enfants!
Bonne chance pour les enfants!
Stage for the band FEELING!
Stage for the band
FEELING!
Trout fishing
Trout fishing
Stage for the band FEELING!
Stage for the band
FEELING!

L’ Art Caché

L’ Art Caché
L’ Art Caché

L’ Art Caché or Hide Art. Once a year, artists in the area come together in the small village of Albas (Pop: 74) and show their work. While there are art shows all over France all year round, this one is close to home and lots of fun. A chance to meet artists you haven’t met before and see what the ones you know have been up to.

Of course there is always food on offer from a free apéritif to a sit-down meal with art lovers and the artists themselves. Patric who appeared at the recent Bio Marché was there with his fiddle, a choir, animations for the children all topped off with a large dinner in the evening.

This is the third year that I have attended (and posted) this event and each year and delighted to see what is available. With the exception of the performance artists/ installation arts, the artists are available and happy to discuss their work.

Open up here!
Open up here!

I do hope that you enjoy the work presented here and that you find some inspiration for your own creative endeavors. Personally, I can barely wait to get back to my brushes and oils.

Perhaps a follow-up post is needed to include more of the photos from yesterday’s event.

Bisous,

Léa

...
                                                
Not all work is hidden...
Not all work is hidden…
Allégorie du souffle 9m x 10m
Allégorie du souffle         
9m x 10m
Tile
ANNEGRET GRÖNE – Tile
Books of poetry & art by Annegret Groene
Books of poetry & art by
Annegret Groene
...
Artist Corneilus Blum -  The Flying Dutchman Dreams
Artist Corneilus Blum –
The Flying Dutchman Dreams

Cabaret: Après-midi avec le Maire

monsieur le maire et son épouse
monsieur le maire et son épouse

Each year, monsieur le Maire hosts a soirée. If you follow this blog, at some point you begin to realise that the French take their sense of community seriously and love to enjoy the company of family, friends and neighbours.

Notice of the date is delivered about the village with a request for those who will attend to R.S.V.P. as they do want to have sufficient to serve all in attendance.   Those needing a ride will be accommodated.

At the appointed time, villagers begin arriving and immediately the socialising commences. As everyone takes a seat, the Mayor welcomes the participants then gives a brief update of plans for the year.

It is now time for the entertainment to begin. This year we were treated to songs by a chanteuse, Nadine, who was accompanied by Yves. Her songs took us through a melody of French and American songs. There were numerous costume changes and at one point she re-created the famous scene of Marilyn Monroe having the wind send her white dress flying high! While there were a few lulls in the entertainment due to costume changes, she made up for it with her unbridled enthusiasm. Of course, no review of Marilyn would be complete with a rendition of Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend.

...

As she wraps up her performance, plates of pastries and other treats began to arrive. The decorated tables sported plates of chocolates. Small pots of flowers and tiny straw butterflies were strewn about. Once your plate was served someone followed up pouring you a glass of Blanquette. For those who prefer there were bottles of water on each table.

The chanteuse took a short break and changed out of costume then joined us for a small respite. However, she soon picked up her microphone and the music started again. The dancing commenced and the party continued for quite some time.

Bisous,

 

                                                                                                                                                               Léa

...

Bernard gets into the act...
Bernard gets into the act…
Marcel et Viviane
Georgette
Georgette
Plates assembled and ready to be served
Plates assembled and ready to be served
IMG_7080
Pierrete et Rolande
Dancing...
Dancing…
Costumes finished, Nadine keeps on entertaining
Costumes finished, Nadine keeps on entertaining

Soulosse-Sous-St-Elophe

Hiking/walking suggestions
Hiking/walking suggestions

Nestled in the Lorraine Region is the small village of Soulosse-Sous-St-Elophe. Returning to France from a visit to Holland and Belgium, an overnight stop was needed. Unfortunately, my friend’s son had to return to the village for school to resume. However, if you ever want to find a place with stunning vistas and tranquility, this could be the place you dream of.

The Chambres D’hôtes has stunning views from its rear balcony as well as just down the lane. You could walk the paths or take to the hills. Unfortunately, one night was all we had so it will have to be on my list to visit again.

Despite the fact that we had no reservation and simply took our chances, we had a lovely suite and a grand breakfast which included local cheeses, homemade preserves and fresh breads, croissants, coffee, tea, juices and more.

Since my time there was so short, I will not waste a lot of words attempting to do what the camera will do much better. I shall look forward to stopping by again. Perhaps when I visit the Champagne Regions?

Bisous,

Léa

L’église
L’église
Breathtaking view
Breathtaking view
...
IMG_2746
Invitations to explore are all around
Invitations to explore are all around
...
IMG_2743
IMG_2748
...
The Chambres D’hôtes
The Chambres D’hôtes

IMG_2686

IMG_2776
The Chambres D’hôtes
Petit déjeuner
Petit déjeuner
IMG_2771
It beckons you onward

Sigean

Center square: Museum, Mairie, Police, Shops and Art Gallery
Center square: Museum, Mairie, Police, Shops and Art Gallery

With a population of approximately 5,000 situated on the coast, Sigean has much to offer. There are a number of excellent boulangeries, cafe’s (including a personal favourite), museum and even an African Wildlife Reserve.

There are open markets each Tuesday and Friday. There is so much on offer that the vendors spill over from the square and take possession of part of the main road.

The charming gentleman who showed Jan and I around the gallery is one of the four artists who displays his work there. He was kind enough to pose in front of a few of his paintings and to allow my camera to click away. One of the artists is a glass blower  and has a workshop in the area so that could provide pictures for a future post?

To be honest, initially, Sigean was a town I passed through on the way to a few of the local beaches. It is also a place where I do quite a bit of my shopping. However, it was once I stopped for a café at La Rotonde that I became hooked. Back several years ago I fell in love with the atmosphere which reminds me of an 1890’s French café. This one has atmosphere and the people are charming. On your second visit, you are greeted as a regular. Three years ago they began serving lunches and dinners when the son took over the family business. The food is excellent and mom and dad come in to lend a hand a few hours a week. It is always nice to see them as well.

As I got to know Jan, my trips to Sigean increased and I began dragging her out of the house for a café. There is much more to Sigean so I imagine there will be another post about it one day.

If you want to know more about the café and some of the music events, and others, they host, you can find them on facebook.

Bisous,

Léa

L'eglise
L’eglise
Gallery entrance
Gallery entrance
Courtyard off the square
Courtyard off the square
The owner of La Rotunde at work
The owner of La Rotunde at work
Center of Sigean
Center of Sigean
Petanque Club Sigean
Petanque Club Sigean
Inside the gallery with one of the artists
Inside the gallery with one of the artists
Some of the work on display
Some of the work on display
Blown glass and a mask
Blown glass and a mask

IMG_7001

A votre santé!
A votre santé!
Jan and a few regulars
Jan and a few regulars

Art, Art and even more Art!!!

Boxed in
Boxed in

While I have previously written about the annual Art Exhibition in Albas, there were photos left that wanted to be shared. Additionally, this is from the exhibition 2012. Furthermore, being yearly event and there are always new works on exhibit. There is often something on the grill and the day’s menu included local sausages on rolls, salad and a few desserts. Do save room for some fresh, local goat’s cheese ice cream with fresh figs or one of the other tempting flavours.

I hope you enjoy some of the local work. I always do and find things to stretch my imagination, enjoy the music, food and chatting with the artists. In addition, creativity can be contagious and you leave wanting to create something…

Be sure to click on each of the photos to enlarge them and see as much as possible.

Bisous,

Léa

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Claude Roux – Sculptor
Boxed in 2
Boxed in 2
...
A tight fit!
A tight fit!
The beat goes on...
The beat goes on…
Food, wine and music always go well with art!
Food, wine and music always go well with art!
...
L’Art Caché
There are always wonderful things on offer
There are always wonderful things on offer – goat cheese ice cream… and soaps made from goat’s milk
Just follow the trail from one exhibit to the next. Maps provided.
Just follow the trail from one exhibit to the next. Maps provided.

La cascade

 

 

Cascade de cradies
Cascade de cradies

Off the beaten path, about five minutes from my front door is the Cascade (Waterfall). It may not be large and is best viewed in the rainy season. Yet, it is ours and a lovely place to sit and contemplate, paint, draw, write or share with a friend.

Despite living in the village for several years, I continue to marvel at how fortunate I am to be here. The cascade is best viewed immediately after it rains. Les poissons swim about on their way to a creek and then to la rive berre and the ruins of an ancient mill provides a stunning backdrop.

Tranquility and beauty provide a perfect setting for contemplation of the year soon to pass and thoughts about the year to come.

Bisous,

Léa

 

Mill ruins
Mill ruins                                      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3534
Moulin – mill                                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A spot for creating or dreaming...
A spot for creating or dreaming…                              

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A creek
A creek                                        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

en route
en route                                                      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC00271
Photo by: Natalje                                              

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by: Natalje
Photo by: Natalje

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DURBAN, MON VILLAGE

Apéritif table
Apéritif table

The heart of any French village or town, is the foyer. Foyer translated means the hearth. It is frequently the gathering place and while the french word for house is maison, the nearest thing to the word home, is the foyer. It certainly has been a central feature to my life here and I return frequently. This past Friday night, once again at the foyer, we viewed a slideshow about L’ILE DE PAQUES or Easter Island.

While I was unable to photograph the slideshow, too disruptive, I do have a few photos from some of the displays. As usual, the program was followed by an aperitif and then later a community meal. Each of us contributed and we all shared in this beautiful sense of DURBAN MON VILLAGE or Durban my village.

As for the repas (meal), everyone brought a dish to share so there was quite a variety. Several long tables were covered with the dishes on offer and everyone served themselves.  While it was a small event, a good time was had by all.

Bisous,

Léa

To your good heart
To your good heart                                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foyer set up and presentation to begin soon
Foyer set up and presentation to begin soon                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indigenous crafts
Indigenous crafts                                             

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Display
Display                                                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Showtime!
Showtime!                                                    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bisous!
Bisous!                                        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A beautiful blend of conversation, food and fun
A beautiful blend of conversation, food and fun  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decisions, decisions...
Decisions, decisions…                         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dancing
Dancing                                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Craft
Craft

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Châtaignes

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire!
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire!

Once again I am spirited back to the foyer in my little village. Tonights event is Châtaignes and a presentation. Fresh roasted Chestnuts. The evening was sponsored by the village association and for a fee, read fundraiser, of five euros, you had a presentation of restoration work and archeology on the village Château topped off with tables covered with hot, freshly roasted chestnuts, red and white wine and neighbours and friends. What more could one ask for?

As the presentation finished, tables quickly appeared and were covered with newspapers then large containers filled with Châtaignes right off the fire. Naturally bottles of wine were on the tables and magically your glass refilled.

Friends and new friends were gathered around the tables enjoying the spread and company! I had eaten chestnuts once back when living in New York City. However, they were burned, lukewarm and tasted as if they were stale but re-heated. After that, I

Family, friends and fun!
A table filled with goodness and shared with family and friends.                              

 

 

 

 

had no further interest in Chestnuts, that is until I moved to France. That first chestnut quickly surrendered its cracked and willing shell. Warm, soft and nutty deliciousness melted in my mouth. One was not enough and there was no need for dinner this evening.

Another word for Châtaignes, chestnuts, is Marron. As you travel around France you will see vendors selling crêpes. One of the menu options will be Marron and it is a spread made from the chestnut. It can be used on crêpes in pastries of even on plain toast and it is delicious.

Bisous,

Léa

 

Crème de Marron de a Ardeche – Chestnut Spread                                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serge, french teacher, caught in the act!
Serge, french teacher, caught in the act!       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As one box of chestnuts disappears, another box of hot ones magically takes its place. Naturally, there is plenty of wine to wash it all down with.
As one box of chestnuts disappears, another box of hot ones magically takes its place. Naturally, there is plenty of wine to wash it all down with.                              

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plenty to eat at this table as well. Just so it doesn't get in the way of conversations. Of course there is movement between the tables as well.
Plenty to eat at this table as well. Just so it doesn’t get in the way of conversations. Of course there is movement between the tables as well.                                           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Le Château de Durban
Le Château de Durban

 

Trèbes

 

...
Trèbes – center of the old villlage and eglise

I have a soft-spot in my heart for this village. When first visiting France, I met a woman from Leeds, England named Yvonne. We shared a room at the hostel in Carcassonne and spent time exploring the city and looking at properties. She bought one of the houses we looked at as a vacation home. When we parted, we stayed in touch through email and snail mail. She made me promise to let her know when I would return. When my house in California finally sold, I grabbed my Carte d’ Sejour and headed back to France. Yvonne met me and gave me a key to her house to stay while house-hunting for my own home. Her place was located in the heart of the old village with its door directly across from the église. Each day, I took walks along the beautiful Canal du Midi (another post in the future).

The day started out grey but the sun had other plans as you can see from some of the photos.

Just off the main road (old center of town) you can find the art gallery of English artist, Kathleen Burlumi. Kathleen teaches painting and drawing and give lectures (in french and english) on the work of her late husband, David Burlumi.

Bisous,

Léa

 

...
One of the bedrooms in the house Yvonne was to buy, photo taken that day we first saw it.                                    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The kitchen with much work to be done                         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canal du midi
Canal du midi view                                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Art gallery – Kathleen Burlumi   Artist                          

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mairie
Mairie                                                        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One of many spots to sit with a book or…                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canal du midi
Canal du midi                                                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

River Trèbes
River Trèbes                                    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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L’église                                        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday market
Sunday market                                                

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday market - Cha
Sunday market – Charcuterie                                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seafood Restaurant along Canal du midi
Seafood Restaurant along Canal du midi