Saturday, 28 May 2016

Markets and vide-greniers

First...and last coffee of the day. No time!

I had a lovely Saturday recently on the Central coast of New South Wales attending the French Country Market, held on the grounds of the Chertsey primary school. I booked and ran a stall and it was a pleasure to spend the day chatting to fellow francophiles about my book and our French house, which we have on holiday let.

French Country Market - Chertsey

Our little stall in Chertsey

We were clearly the amateur stand alongside the well-polished stalls! The last time that we had done something similar was when we were living in France and we participated in the Talloires vide-grenier, literally 'empty attic', the equivalent of a whole village garage sale.

Vide-grenier - Talloires

  • Both days were in May and, for us as stallholders, they started at the crack of dawn, were amazingly tiring but were brilliant fun. 
  • We sold more than we were expecting!
  • Both were friendly places where people happily stopped to chat and swap stories. 

Our little stall in Talloires, looking out over the Annecy Lake.
  • The weather... A few days out of winter here in Australia, and despite the fact that I started the day wearing a coat and jumper, by 9 o'clock I was wishing that I had dressed in shorts and tee-shirt.
  • The setting - as the photos attest - French village v. Australian bush.
  • Australians don't haggle like the French do!

Friday, 20 May 2016

In the newspaper !

I know it is not the New York Times, but thank our local Sydney paper, the Manly Daily, for the mention...

Wednesday, 11 May 2016


Highs or lows; reds or blues; g'days or bonjours; same spiritual connection...

My husband returned from a work trip last night. He had been to far central west Queensland and, from Sydney, it had taken him 28 hours to get there by car, 3 planes, car, an overnight stop and then a 6-hour flat bitumen and dirt road trip. Along the final leg of the journey, a distance of nearly 400 km, he passed a car - one. There was a bit more life at the only roadside shed/pub, where he stopped to have a Diet Coke and was gently ribbed by one of the, well, I presume, locals, for "living it up, mate!"

Job completed he turned around to do the whole lot again that same afternoon, hoping to make it past Winton to Longreach for his next day's flight out. There were no rooms to be had at the inn or anywhere else. A rugby league carnival had come to town.

Undeterred, he took a room in Winton and shared it with the thousands of bugs that commandoed their way into his room around locked door and window frames, to keep him company. Astute he is, my husband. He calmly turned on the air conditioning until the flying insects could shiver no more and got a few hours of rest, before completing the last 180 km to Longreach and his next plane.

I thought I'd share his journey with you.

From the French mountains to the Australian desert plains; the bright blues and greens of the Annecy Lake to the many shades of outback red; the sensual sounds of the French oh là là to the slow, unhurried Aussie drawl - you can see for yourselves how we live our different lives.