A Taste of Garlic

chroniques d’une fraise - Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

provence alpes cote dazur  chroniques dune fraise   because we all love reading blogs about life in Francechroniques d’une fraise is the blog of Anna Stevenson who claims to be an Oregonian on the French Riviera and seems to be have been located in Nice, France since June 2000. Apparently she loves writing, gardening, working on her apartment, and her two quirky kitties.

Well, that’s as may be, what I want to know is….

Who in their right mind would want to try and Shower a Cat?  I can think of many more dangerous and foolhardy things to do with my time?  I did once ask my cats if they’d like a little shower.  They conferred and finally answered… “Daddy, we’ll have a shower when you do!”

Got me there – clever cats!

Obviously Grey (Anna’s cat – or one of them) is better behaved than my two as he… “complained merely by wailing pitifully and trying to get away from the shower head, but he would still purr when I lathered him and petted him. He never tried to scratch me.”

Hmmm, Grey, I think you need some cat behavioural lessons from my two!

So, Anna likes cats, does she?

Well, who doesn’t?

I suppose that there must be some people out there who don’t.  Like Anna’s terrace neighbour who threatened to kill Anna’s kitten.  Read more about this horrible woman in Dealing with the Dark Side!

Hang on, there’s more about the nasty neighbour from hell at French Justice in Real Time! Here, Anna’s Noxious Neighbour from the Netherworld who has now left excrement and dirty toilet paper on Anna’s patio several times.  Nasty, nasty woman!

But the cats seem to be coping OK.

Take a look at the Fruitcake Kitten here (actually Anna, all kittens are fruitcakes – it’s said that they take after their owners!  The kittens grow up; the owners…..)

Or what about some Joie de Vivre? Now, is that a happy kitty or what?

Of course, even happy kitties can be naughty kitties (my two seem to be happiest when they’re being the naughtiest, but perhaps that’s my fault?) – this one seems to have been Caught Red-Pawed!

I do think that Anna does actually understand her cats (and there are many people who don’t understand their cats – no matter how hard the cats try to explain things!)

Firstly, you must pamper your cats… Yes, even if that means giving your cat his own sleeping canopy!

Secondly, you need to be aware that no matter how much your cat “may pretend to be sweet and snuggly and sleepy and all that most of the time, in reality, he’s a stealer of souls and strikes when you least expect it!”

Thirdly, always remember… The cat is always the boss!

So, Nice.. what’s it like?  Better than Bognor?

I’d say so if Anna’s blog is anything to go by (but then, even Chernobyl is probably more welcoming than Bognor!)

And Anna seems to have the knack of taking a good photo or two.  Take a look at this example (on her flickr photostream) of a Citroën 2CV in a small street.

Nice, not a blue one (everyone knows that blue 2CVs go faster) but, tasteful and refined anyway!

And in this lovely post about Colourful Boats, I learned that Nice didn’t become part of France until 1860 and, amongst (presumably some of the older occupants) that cession was — and still is — strongly debated!

And aren’t those boats pretty?  You know, they remind me, in a way, of 2CVs!

Now, you know, I have a sneaky suspicion that Anna is a bit of a Posh Burd as this is the place she calls Home!

What can you say but… well,  fabulous – but, you know, a million miles from the world I live in. Which is here – Brittany, not a bad place to be…

So, when Anna’s not battling noisome neighbours….

What else does she get up to?

Quite a bit, in fact.  She works as a translator, copyeditor and technical writer and, when she’s not doing that, she also seems to take rather a lot of photographs!  See her flickr stream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/fraise

Anna also seems to like cycling (her bike being the 2 wheeled version of that paragon of French perfection – the 2CV) and has the obligatory (for a Life in France blog) photo of a man in Spandex taking things rather too seriously!

Could be worse though, she could have shown us a photo of her estate agent (the younger one, not the mature one who lives in the same quartier as her place) who is, by all accounts (or, at least , by Anna’s account)… a Kêk: Pronounced similarly to the English word “cake”. Southeastern French/Provençal slang. A young man who thinks he’s God’s gift to women. Drives either a scooter or a souped-up Peugeot 205, wears slick hair and a grin. Has an inflated self-image.

You know,  I was thinking about buying a Peugot 205 myself but now I’ve changed my mind!

Go on Anna… show us a photo of a Kêk – just so we know what to watch out for!

Oh, just in case you’re wondering… Anna runs Linux on her PC (like all the best people), which makes her a pretty clever person in my eyes!

So, summing up….

If you like reading about home furnishing, cats and nasty neighbours, you’ll love chroniques d’une fraise!

Actually, you’ll enjoy it just to learn about the happy day day to day life of an Oregonian on the French Riviera who loves writing, gardening, working on her apartment, and her two quirky kitties.

And me?  Well, I’m half of a mind to go and give Anna’s Nutty Nefarious Neighbour from Hell (and the downtown, low-rent, wrong side of the tracks part of Hell at  that!  Trailer Park Hell, in other words!) a piece of my mind (always assuming that there is any left?)

But, me being me, I’ll probably pop over to Le Marché first and grab myself a bite to eat!

Berating Noxious and Nauseating Neighbours is a hunger inducing business, I find!

All the best

provence alpes cote dazur  chroniques dune fraise   because we all love reading blogs about life in France


  • By fraise, July 15, 2010 @ 7:49 pm

    Wow. You wrote nearly as much about me as I do.

    Glad to know I’m all “claims” “apparently” and “seemingly”. Feel free to drop by and meet the real thing.

    My crazy neighbor (who has assaulted her niece, husband, and two sons) lives in an expensive, traditional Niçois multi-family home, by the way.

  • By Keith Eckstein, July 15, 2010 @ 8:09 pm

    OK Anna – I’ll drop in for a cup of tea next time I’m in your Banlieue.

    As for directions to your crazy neighbour, I’ll have you know that here, at A Taste of Garlic, all hits are paid for up front!

    We did try the 3 postdated cheques approach but it didn’t really work out so well for us!

    We can do a special offer on a random traffic accident but, only until the end of the month!

    Hope the cats are well – my cats are still interested in the the cat showering episode! They’re sure that there’s an international law against that sort of thing (of, if there isn’t, they think there should be!)

    All the best


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