A Taste of Garlic

Signed by Ange - Midi-Pyrénées

midi pyrenees  Signed by Ange   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceLiving in the Toulouse countryside, we find Ange, an artist who describes herself as ….  “One of those active/creative types who can’t stand just dreaming about things that could be but who would rather be out making them happen! Artiste, Maman … un mot d’encouragement qui arrive sur une aile d’ange…”

I think that fairly sums up the owner of Signed by Ange.

I’ve been trying to review this site for the last two weeks; it’s been difficult!

Where to start, where to finish and, what to say in the middle?

Sometimes in French and sometimes in English (I approve of that wholeheartedly), is it an Artist’s blog or a Philosopher’s scratchpad?

I mean, take this post…. Paris Episodes: Turning water into wine.  Is it a treatise on etiquette or a humorous look back at the experiences of a first Christmas in France?  And what about the poetry at the end of the post (I happen to think that poetry fits in very well with the standard blog format.)

Of course, it is both informational and funny; and the poem just fits in where it should.  I especially like the promise of “Big Glasses for Christmas!”  I think it should be big glasses all year round!

Some of the photos are stunning; take a look at the fishing nets at dusk in Words to live by – you really do need to click on the photo to see it in all its glory!

Ange explains how colours can define a place or a place in time in Bleu d’Ile de Yeu.  I know this feeling well.  Before moving to France I would sometimes see something and think “that reminds me of Cancale!”  It might have been the dusty red of the Renault 4 always parked by the fish stall in the harbour or blue (as in this post);  the blue of the shutters of the house next to the boulangerie.

And the colour blue is also always going to remind me of this Signed by Ange.  After all, what colour does she use to say “J’Aime” in Did you know…?

Ange’s art seems, to my untrained eye, to be found pieces subtly altered; somehow trying to identify or qualify the human spirit.  Take a look at this piece in That’s the human spirit and see if you agree.

The Paris Episodes are well worth a read.  Start with Laying the First Stone and then move on to The ‘Cuisine Américaine’ and ‘the bathroom’. Don’t forget to take a look at Create Memories.  It’s nice to be able to look back at early assumptions and now at them.  We are what we have experienced and we become what we are because of the way we have dealt with our experiences.

From More Cheese Please or Happy Endings to La Vie en Rose, this blog seems to cover everything.  Always interesting, always poetic and always with an artistic tint.

As an artist, Ange seems to be inspired by everything she senses.

See Winter inspiration for a Wednesday to see what I mean.  Think of Hemingway in Paris in the twenties; where everything he saw, heard and tasted (everything in his life) became part of his art; so much so that his art became his life and then his life copied his art.

Signed by Ange is the sort of blog that needs to be swallowed in large gulps.  It should be savoured as you would a bouillabaisse.  Because, just like that fish stew, it is the culmination of all the separate ingredients that finish the dish.

Whether you are artistic yourself, or if you’re reading A Taste of Garlic just because you are interested in blogs about life in France, you will be sure to find something of interest over here at Signed by Ange.

Of course, if both of the previous caveats apply, well you’ll be in seventh heaven here.  So, rush on over and dive right in.

And me?  Well I’m going to read The Rebel’s Manifesto in A rebel in her own mind.

All the best

midi pyrenees  Signed by Ange   because we all love reading blogs about life in France


  • By Ange, April 14, 2010 @ 10:05 am

    Keith, I think they are some of the nicest things ever written about me. You have inspired me to continue a little more about Paris. I even told my blogging visitor from the US that we had to buy some lingerie and talk about it so you could continue your research on 2CVs and French lingerie 😉
    Have a great day
    You’ve made mine!

  • By Keith Eckstein, April 14, 2010 @ 10:28 am


    Possibly the hardest review I’ve done to date (although An Alien Parissienne is right up there!) – desperately wanted to get over the feeling that Life in France blogs don’t just have to be about problems with long-johns and fosse septiques!

    I had to ask myself whether your blog would be as interesting if it were set in the States (for example.) It probably would but, for me, the images (and words) were specifically French.

    Good luck with your Etsy shop – I’m sorry I didn’t mention it. The Girlie is off to England today (for a week) and we were desperately sorting out the car and things like that yesterday.

    Look forward to seeing your Lingerie (and 2CV) – somewhere, someday I’m going to find an image on the internet of someone driving a 2CV whilst wearing lingerie (hopefully whilst returning from a successful mushrooming foray!)

    You have a good day too – I’m going to working through the list of chores that the Girlie has left with me!

  • By Ange, April 22, 2010 @ 7:49 am

    Haha! I’m cracking up imagining a woman, with a bag of mushrooms swinging from her arm, driving a 2CV in her lingerie. If you ever find one DO Post it! THis may be an artistic endeavour for some of us who ‘know’ you to work on 😉
    Hope you got through that list the girlie left you.
    And just wanted to reassure you that your post on longjohns was hilariously funny too.
    And laughter is the music of the soul
    even the French soul 😉


  • By Tammie, April 29, 2010 @ 2:10 am

    Hi Keith,
    Wonderful post on Ange and her blog! I have been enjoying her blog for a while now and find her completely refreshing, creative and overflowing with witty humor. I feel you have honored her quite nicely, wonderful review!


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