A Taste of Garlic

Category: Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur


provence alpes cote dazur  Backyardprovence   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceRecently burst upon the blogging scene (and I do mean BURST! 150 posts in less than 5 months!) is backyardprovence which is written by Ashley who has this to say…

“I moved to the south of France with my husband, Michael (called dude)and daughter, Presley (Tinki). We actually have 4 children, but the older three remained in the USA, Tinki is the baby of the family, and made the big move with us. This is our journey to becoming French, I would like to think I am living the dream. Although, I have to admit there are days when it is a nightmare. I spend my days working for an international company and my weekends taking road trips to see as much of France as possible. I love history and traveling. This is my life as a tourist. I am not what you would call a “Professional Blogger” by any means. So bear with me. As in life, I am finding my way.”

provence alpes cote dazur  Backyardprovence   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceNow, I happen to be particularly attracted to backyardprovence because there is a whole post dedicated to that most wonderful of things french… The Citroën 2CV!

Now, how could I not review this blog?

So, without further ado, let’s dive in and have a good snoop round!

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Change of Address – Provence Calling

provence alpes cote dazur  Change of Address   Provence Calling   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceIn January 2010 I reviewed Angela in Provence and liked it an awful lot.

The other day I found out that Angela had moved to a new site at Provence Calling (provencecalling.com) and, if anything, her new site looks even better than the old one!

For those of you who don’t remember the review of the old site; I seem to have got quite carried away by Angela’s description of Bonking Snails at How to eat snails

For anyone who has never had the pleasure of reading Angela’s blogs (the old one or the new one), here is a little bit about her….

“Angela has lived in L.A. and London working as a costume designer on films, music videos and commercials. Directors she has worked with include Robert Altman, Alan Parker, Sean Penn and Daniel Kleinman. Music videos include Nirvana, Sheryl Crow, PJ Harvey, and Luther Vandross. Actors include Tilda Swinton, Tim Robbins, Peter Kaye, Martin Freeman, Lyle Lovett, Eric Cantona and many more……”

“Nowadays, she’s more likely to be found in her local food market, or walking her dogs, Molly and Ralph in Les Alpilles, looking for recipes and stories to bring to you about the people and customs of her adopted country, Provence, France, where she lives with her husband The Artist.”

Well worth a visit and…

For those of you who have the old site bookmarked (or in your favourites)…

Why not update it now.

All the best

provence alpes cote dazur  Change of Address   Provence Calling   because we all love reading blogs about life in France

Blogapalooza in Provence!

provence alpes cote dazur  Blogapalooza in Provence!   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceReports are coming in of a Blogapalooza in Provence!

Even though such events were strictly outlawed by President Sarkozy, a bunch of batty expat bloggers decided to defy the ban and stage a riotous reunion in the unsuspecting town of Aix-en-Provence last Saturday!

It is understood that the leader of the leader of the pack (and general organiser of the even), Aidan from Conjugating Irregular Verbs proudly published details of her misdeeds on an expat blogsite!

Police are desperately hunting down this dangerous gangster and have advised any members of the public who come across her not to try to apprehend her but instead…

Run like hell!

provence alpes cote dazur  Blogapalooza in Provence!   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceAlthough there are very few pictures of this dangerous ringleader, national security agencies have distributed this image, taken a few years ago, during a tour of duty in Vietnam before the dishonourable discharge for arranging expat extravaganzas!

Please click on the image for more detail.

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provence alpes cote dazur  expat en provence   because we all love reading blogs about life in France

expat-en-provence is a blog that came to my attention a little while ago and just simmered away on the backburner of my conciseness until a recent post on the blog asked a critically crucial question about French wine law.

I felt that I had to dive in and offer my expert advice.

I hope my advice has been taken as it will fundamentally affect the blog owner’s life for years to come.

I decided there and then to review the blog in the very near future.

expat-en-provence is Hanna’s blog and Hannah says the blog is about… “life as a jeune fille américaine working in france.”

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Nicer in Nice

provence alpes cote dazur  Nicer in Nice   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceNicer in Nice is Vics’ blog and is described by her as… “The everyday adventures of an English girl living in the South of France.”

The blog starts in March 2008 with a post where Vics promises to “go off and rack my brains for witty things to write about in the coming posts.”

Did she succeed?

Well, let’s find out!

provence alpes cote dazur  Nicer in Nice   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceThe birthdays and hen nights bits….

Although I was always told never to speculate about a girl’s (and certainly never to ask her!), Vics’ is not shy and proudly informs us that she is Dirty Thirty!

Now I can’t actually remember being particularly dirty when I was thirty but perhaps I was and just didn’t notice?

For Vics, the celebration of this special birthday included her friends from England and Norway, plus my parents and brother coming out to Nice to celebrate with her.

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Muppet Me!

provence alpes cote dazur  Muppet Me!   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceMuppet Me! is the delightful blog of Zzie who, not only happy to blog in English, also blogs in Japanese!

For some strange reason I think it’ll be the English version that I shall review!

Zzie says of herself… “Thanks for visiting. Moved to sunny Cannnes, France in Nov 07 after living in England for about 13 years.I write things happens in France and some memories in the past. Feel free to leave comments…. hope you enjoy!”

Well, Zzie, I’m sure we will!

provence alpes cote dazur  Muppet Me!   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceSaying goodbye to England…

Obviously, having spent 13 years in England (I wonder what she did to deserve that?  You’d get a shorter sentence for mass murder!), there are a few things that are difficult to find in the South of France.

Things like Ribena, Hellmans mayo, baked beans etc.

In Things I miss about England Zzie finds that she’s in good company.

The Rolling Stones also missed a few things when they were encamped there in the 70s.

And Keith Richard didn’t like the tea!

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La Fourchette S’est Emballée

provence alpes cote dazur  La Fourchette Sest Emballée   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceLa Fourchette S’est Emballée is the mysterious blog of Leslie Ray who lives in Aix en Provence.

Why mysterious, I hear you ask (go on, ask then!)…

Well this is just the sort of blog that I love and, even though it’s been going for forever and a day (well, since August 2006), I’ve only just come across it!

I hang my head in shame!

It seems such a  shame that a beautiful blog like La Fourchette S’est Emballée is not higher on the Blogosphere horizon.

I aim to change that!

Leslie says of herself…. “Leslie landed in the lavender and olives of Provence…fork in hand. Share the adventures (and misadventures) in (and out of) her little kitchen in the south of France.”

provence alpes cote dazur  La Fourchette Sest Emballée   because we all love reading blogs about life in France

All I can say is that I love both adventures and misadventures in and out of kitchens, especially Provencal ones!

And, you know what, this blog isn’t just a collection of tales from a Provencal kitchen….

No, it’s much, much more than that!

It’s also a beautiful travel guide to Provence filled with glorious photographs!

So let’s start off by looking at some…..

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Ooh La La English Demoiselle

provence alpes cote dazur  Ooh La La English Demoiselle   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceOoh La La English Demoiselle is Claire’s blog.

Claire says that she is.. “an English lady who moved to the South of France with her man to embark on new improved way of life. My boyfriend and I met in England in 2008, we danced together and then fell in love and now we are living in the South of France (Dan’s home town). I am currently learning French at language school and am enjoying getting to know people, the culture; every day brings new experiences..So far I am enjoying being une femme au foyer (mais sans enfants) xx”

I like the two kisses at the end – you see, she even bises her blog!

That shows class!

And you shouldn’t be surprised at that because this is a classy blog!

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Sky Machines

provence alpes cote dazur  Sky Machines   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceSky Machines is Brooke’s blog about her life in Marseilles.

Brook says of herself… “My name is Brooke. I am 23 and I like animals, art, and advertising. In fourth grade I wrote “Brooke is Dangerously Special” on all my notebooks. Now I keep it a secret.  I’m moving to France because I hate nickels and I can’t stand using them anymore.”

I suspect that the nickel hating thing isn’t the whole reason that Brook moved to France and I’m determined to find out the rest of the story.

So, without further ado….

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…Wherever I lay my hat, that’s my home….

provence alpes cote dazur  ...Wherever I lay my hat, thats my home....   because we all love reading blogs about life in France…wherever I lay my hat, that’s my home…. is Linda’s blog describing her life in Nice after a fair bit of globetrotting.

As Linda explains… “So who am I? A Swedish girl/woman/lady.. what should you actually classify yourself as when you are 35..? Born in Stockholm, have lived on Koh Samui, in Barcelona, two years in Bangkok and now living in Nice,France. This is my life as an expat!”

Linda’s life in France starts in November 2009 when she says Bonjour! and explains a little bit about herself.

And, getting to grips with the natives even at this early stage, she says… “These French guys on the other hand are absolutely convinced that they are God’s gift to women and cannot understand why I tell them to piss off!”

All I can says is… “French Guys in Nice; leave Linda alone!”

Moving swiftly on to…..

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Live. Love. Conquer

provence alpes cote dazur  Live. Love. Conquer   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceLive. Love. Conquer is MamaB’s blog about her new life in the South of France after more than 20 years living in Arabia.

MamaB says of the blog… “This blog is about our decision as a family to take our lives into our own hands and make a call. We chose France for many reasons knowing that it would mean that PapaB would have to work away from home but having looked at our options, several times, we know in our hearts that this is the right decision for us.

I will be sharing with you my experiences of moving to a new country, renovating the house, coming to terms with a new language and learning how to be a little self sufficient by growing my own vegetables, raising chickens and much more.”

So, where do we start?

I guess there’s no real choice other than to start with the poo, puke and bonk bits….

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Parfum de Lavande

provence alpes cote dazur  Parfum de Lavande   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceParfum de Lavande is Airelle’s bi-lingual blog about her life in beautiful Provence.

Now, I was going to do another Brittany blog to day but it is far too cold for that!

Bluddy Freezing would be too kind a phrase for the freezing weather that we’re experiencing in my little part of rural Brittany!

Airelle says of herself… “I live with my dog, Nina, between a few villages of Provence , looking for my own little piece of secret garden. I love countryside, peace and quiet, colours of flowers, scents of wet wood and grass. I am passionate about herbs, reading, writing, photography, old lace and vieilles pierres.”

Airelle starts her blog in December 2008 with the words… “Bonjour à tous! Hello everyone!”

Now, isn’t that nice?

Far better than all those Brittany blogs that dive straight in with… “It’s bluddy freezing, the pig’s fallen into the septic tank and I’ve just spent 3 hours dragging him out and those lingerie wearing nuns are driving me mad driving up and down the lane in their 2CV!”

So what does Airelle get up to in Provence?

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You had me at bonjour…

provence alpes cote dazur  You had me at bonjour…   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceYou had me at bonjour… is still a fairly young blog but one, I feel, with great promise!

The owner/author of this blog is an Australian girl called Kirsty.

Now, I like reviewing blogs by Australian girlies living in France (and ones by Kiwi girlies too!)

Perhaps this is because they seem to have a different perspective to Life in France.

Or, perhaps it’s because (although it is never good to generalise) they tend to be slightly mad (in the nicest possible way, you understand!)

I mean, just look at Mary at L’antipodeuse or  April at Le Franco Phoney (as a hatter…) or Gabrielle at Diary of an Adult Runaway.

See what I mean?

And I’m certainly not going to draw your attention to Becs at Throw Your Arms Around Me or  Poulette (possible the worst of the lot – it’s hard to tell, really!)

Because there are some things that you just don’t do in polite company!

And whilst Vicki Archer at French Essence seems quite normal at the moment, you can never tell what is lurking beneath the surface?

And I’m sure I’ve forgotten  many, many Antipodean bloggers in France but I’m equally sure that they’ll mail me to let me know!

Anyway, let’s get on with what I really should be doing, and that’s reviewing You had me at bonjour…

Sorry, Kirsty, I got sort of sidetracked there – you know how it is; one pint too many of Castlemaine XXXX and your brain tends to dissolve into a slushy mush.

Well, mine does, anyway!

Let’s start with some places to see in Provence…

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provence alpes cote dazur  Provo2Provence   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceI’ve been following Provo2Provence for quite a while now and I’ve been waiting patiently to be able to review them.

The only problem was that I had to wait for them to move to France first!

Provo2Provence is the blog of Mike and Toni who are Americans who have lived in the Turks and Caicos Islands for 13 years. They have two daughters, Savannah (10) and Lindsey (6) are are making plans to live in Aix en Provence, France for a while.  Lets take a look and see what they get up to….

It all begins with a post cleverly entitled… The Journey Begins.

This shows Mike and Toni thinking about the possibility of moving to France.

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Tanya in Transition

provence alpes cote dazur  Tanya in Transition   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceTanya in Transition is the blog of Tanya (and you know, I’ve only just realised how French that sounds…. shouldn’t it be This is Tanya’s Blog rather than C’est Le Blog  de  Tanya?) – anyway it’s Tanya’s blog and Tanya comes from Toronto and now lives in Nice.

Now, I did (just for a second, and only for a second, mind you!) wonder if I should warn Tanya, as she has only recently arrived here, about some of the more wilder elements of the expat community in France.

But, upon seeing the comments left on her About Page, I realised that it was too late!

Mixing with the wrong crowd….

She’d already met (in an electronic sense) people like Piglet in France, Sara in Le Petit Village and  Paris (im)perfect (although I do have to admit that Sion, the perfectly wonderful person who is paris (im)perfect, is pretty well behaved compared to the first two!) – thus, no hope for her!

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The Walls in France

provence alpes cote dazur  The Walls in France   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceThe Walls in France is a blog that has nothing to do with the sort of walls you find around French Prisons and French Mental Institutions!

It doesn’t even have anything to do with those walls that are built in public places, throughout French towns and cities, just for Frenchmen to pee against!

No, this blog has more to do with the Walls (yes, Jean and Bucky from South Carolina, those Walls) who came to France (first to Lyon and then Provence) in August of 2009 and have, so far, successfully avoided suffering the indignity of  having any Frenchmen peeing on them!

Or have they?

Well to find that out, you’ll have to either read this little review or visit their blog.

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An American in Avignon

provence alpes cote dazur  An American in Avignon   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceAn American in Avignon is Madeleine Hill Vedel’s blog about her life in Provence.

In her about me bit, she says that she’s been in Provence for 15 years and was formerly a director of a cooking school and b&b in Arles.

Now she works as a culinary artisan & winery tour guide, organic wine agent to the US, writer, teacher & translator.

She also mentioned that she likes to Tango but… we won’t go into all that sort of stuff here.

I don’t hold anything against people dancing (although with my Cornish background I’m sure that that would have been frowned upon) – it’s just that I’m so useless at it!

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Angela in Provence

provence alpes cote dazur  Angela in Provence   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceSome bloggers post every day and some less frequently.

For some (and you know who I mean, don’t you K?) the posts are thousands of words long; for others, just a photo and a balanced phrase.

It matters little to me which format the blogger prefers; I look for that something special (and failing that, I look for posts about lingerie and Citroen 2Cvs!)

So, whilst still quite a young blog (in terms of number of posts), I’ve decided to review Angela in Provence because of the quality of the content of her blog posts.

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