Thursday 29 August 2019
It is very nearly ten years since we first arrived in Annecy. We will celebrate the day hopefully with a family gathering, but definitely with a touch of nostalgia as we are not the same family anymore. I don't mean that in any sort of outlandish, sensational way. Time does what it wants and children of 6, 9 and 12 need their parents in very different ways to children of, well, you can do the maths.
But, the maternal emotion of that memory can wait for another post.
Today, I remember instead the magic of seeing what was to be our new home for the first time. Even through the fog of tiredness brought about by the long journey across the world hot on the heels of the mammoth job of packing up our entire Australian lives, the Annecy lake sparkled; an inverted diamond in its mountain clasp.
I remember asking whether one day I would take the beauty for granted, not notice the mountains, or care not whether the light on the water was starkly reflective or announcing the cacophony of an approaching storm.
"No," was always the answer, accompanied with a look sometimes quizzical, sometimes stern.
They were right. The beauty of this lake and mountains will not fade like that of this ageing mother.
Nonetheless, like mother and child, we took time to get to know and love each other. We walked, climbed, skied, photographed, swam, water-skied...played together and the bond became stronger, even though we knew instinctively that one of us was always going to have the upper hand. As such, the climb to the top of the highest mountain around the lake, La Tournette, took on a bit of a mythical turn in my mind.
I made it this summer. And the photos of that day are the ones that I want to share with you.
Would I do it again? (am I talking of our original journey to France or the climb, I ask myself)
Yes. I know now that I can . That bit of fear that accompanied me would still be there, but it would not be the fear of the unknown, just a healthy, cautious instinct relating to my own capabilities.
Ten years, though. A reminder to just do it. As clichéd as it is, maybe this post will make you re-think a goal, a dream, a possibility...I hope so.
For the first part of our French adventure, as re-counted in 'But you are in France, Madame' (print or e-book) click here.
And, if you do click and purchase - thank-you.
Finally, I am linking today with #AllAboutFrance - another opportunity to travel vicariously, prepare for your next French holiday or just enjoy reading All About France.
Tuesday 20 August 2019
|Night falls over the village of Cabrières d'Avignon|
I spent a long time looking at possibilities for our summer holiday in the South of France, knowing that any one of hundreds of little, extraordinarily beautiful and tempting villages would have made us happy. I was aware, though, that unlike our previous holiday in the area, this time we would be there pretty much in peak tourist season. I did want atmosphere and access but I didn't want interminable queues and contrived quaintness. Cabrières d'Avignon is small with a limited nightlife (one restaurant), a single bakery and small épicerie (with very expensive but fine goods) but, after a week in a much bigger village, it was exactly what I was hoping for.
And, then there was our accommodation...rather sumptuous... and with a pool and parking, just wonderful for chilled early evenings after our hot summer's days.
So, let me show you around.
|Come on in|
|Cute balcony. Perfect for one's first cup of tea of the morning|
A gorgeous old house, lovingly restored and filled with a special something. Ambiance, I guess, which doesn't require a lot of commentary.
In my next post, I'll take you inside.
In the meantime, if you'd like to read about our early years of French living, 'But you are in France, Madame' is available here in both print and digital versions.
Sunday 11 August 2019
Just a smidgen of competitiveness infiltrates the good-natured event:
"Ils sont à vous, Madame?" I was queried after Monsieur-across-the-road scurried to join me and my advantageous position, and eye off my pile of goodies.
For more little excerpts and images of our French life, you can find me on Instagram @butyouareinfrancemadame or here on Amazon (print or ebook available for purchase)