December 6th, 2014

St. Nicolas le chocolat

Our daughter has been so good all year that St. Nicholas found her even at her new address in this tiny hillside village. And brought a treat from our favorite bakery too.



November 27th, 2014


For Thanksgiving Day, a poem by Robyn Sarah. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! May this day find you among those you love.


Make much of something small.
The pouring-out of tea,
a drying flower’s shadow on the wall
from last week’s sad bouquet.
A fact: it isn’t summer any more.

Say that December sun
is pitiless, but crystalline
and strikes like a bell.
Say it plays colours like a glockenspiel.
It shows the dust as well,

the elemental sediment
your broom has missed,
and lights each grain of sugar spilled
upon the tabletop, beside
pistachio shells, peel of a clementine.

Slippers and morning papers on the floor,
and wafts of iron heat from rumbling rads,
can this be all? No, look—here comes the cat,
with one ear inside out.
Make much of something small.
—Robyn Sarah



November 14th, 2014

In Monet’s Kitchen

In honor of the birthday today of Claude Monet (1840-1926), I post a detail of a sketch from a trip to his house and garden in Giverny earlier this fall. Wouldn’t you like to whip up an omelette on this stove?






November 11th, 2014

Armistice Day

We walked down to the monument aux morts—a memorial to be found in every French city, town, and village—to attend today’s ceremony.



October 12th, 2014

Sunday Market

The street market is only in part a convenient way to obtain fresh seasonal produce for the next few days. It’s also a time to find useful household goods or special gifts, greet neighbors and make plans, obtain cooking suggestions for a new food from its merchant, and enjoy the endlessly fascinating scene. The shops, bakeries and cafes are open (until early afternoon only!) so after shopping you can sit down with your full market-basket at a tiny table for coffee and people-watching.


October 11th, 2014

Hanging Gardens of Marqueyssac

We spent the afternoon exploring the Jardins Suspendus de Marqueyssac, perched high above the meandering Dordogne with stunning views of the surrounding valleys, villages, farms, and cliffside fortified castles.




October 11th, 2014

Saturday adventures

Saturday means an adventure somewhere. But first, boring old chores. Even in France.



October 4th, 2014

Meet Les Briconautes

To set up a painting area for me, we first ventured forth into the store of do-it-yourself.

September 30th, 2014

A Visit to Evreux

Our city wanderings, on one page. Had to draw tiny pictures!–click twice if you want to see the map larger.




September 29th, 2014

Roman Baths, Gisacum