Friday, July 1, 2011

Behind the Closed Doors

Summer arrived as a celebration here in Vers Pont du Gard.  Our village celebrated with the opening of many Cours et Jardins, courtyards and gardens most hidden from eyes for the remaining days of the year.  
Tucked away behind these ancient walls were marvelous displays of sculptures, paintings, ceramics, mobiles, carvings, jewelry, quilts and handmade books.  
 This door opened to the most wonderful garden art.  Yes, Joe had to have an object from this artist, Joelle Moine .
 Another gate allowed one to enter a Provencal home of the 1800's (well, probably much earlier).  The art was delightful, however, to see the home as it was at that time was extraordinary. 
 The following door opened to glittering jewelry and hand bound books.  Notice these doors carefully.  One is the French trompe l'oeil or to fool the eye.
 Upon entering this gate, an array of ceramics and pictures were revealed.  However, the most amazing art in this garden was the owners wood "pile", leftovers from his vineyard.

 Our cour or courtyard was going to become the home for Jenny Avenel, an artist from the village of Poulx.   As you can see, we had some work to do before she arrived.

 Saturday morning after a brief rain shower the sun along with Jenny and her husband arrived.  Our cour became her art gallery.

 The accordion player venture in to fill the air with his music.
 Our house welcomed visitors for the two days of the festival.
 Flowers filled the unexpected niches in walls and
 entryways became galleries
 of artists we enjoyed meeting.
Ulie Bremer
 Music floated through the air inviting onlookers to dance in the street.
 Plan on being in France next June.  Once again the streets will be filled with the sounds of music and visitors to our cours et jardins
Hmmm, I wonder what is behind this door?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Day of Transhumance

Fifty days after Easter is Pentecost, however, fifty-one days after Easter is Transhumance.  So?  Travel to St. Rémy de Provence on the Monday after Pentecost and you will find a brocante (flea market), food vendors, and crowds anxiously waiting....
for the arrival of the sheep being taken to the high valleys surrounding St. Rémy.  We arrived early as parking is difficult and found the absolutely perfect place to perch, the steps to a most beautiful church.  Here we could stand high above the crowds with no one to obstruct our view of the herds that were to arrive.  Alas, many others arrived and surrounded the passageway and all we saw look carefully....gray backs following other gray backs.
After several hundred had passed we darted along the walks to attempt to get ahead of them and find that other perfect place where we could really see them pass.  We were successful!
The shepherdess joined in the journey
to guide the sheep.  A wagon with the provisions for the trip carried a bonbonne, a large wicker covered glass container, filled with wine.
Burros carried other supplies for the summer in the mountains.
 The sheep, with their thick wool coats, trudged along in the heat of the day.
Of course, the rams were included in the group.
If you are ever near St. Remy at this time, do join the festivities.  It is quite fun to see the old traditions continue.
 If was quite fun until walking down the street I noticed the menus for the day...
The selections for the day, agneau----or lamb.  

Sunday, May 22, 2011

If You Have Visited Us Before...

Ah, if you have visited us in Vers Pont du Gard you know that we have had a good baker.  To walk up the hill in the warm morning sun, the aromas from the freshly baked bread always greeted you.  Now, with our new baker, the aromas are much more complex.  Yes, the bread, croissants, pan au chocolat are all wonderful, however, the pastries are divine.  Joe arrived home with this-
What a wonderful, healthy lunch it was.
Hooray, Dominique!
Doesn't this make you want to visit us again?
Enjoy the sun,
Le Fournil du Pont du Gard
1 Rue Grand du Bourg
30210 Vers Pont du Gard, France
04 66 37 36 79
Michèle and Dominique Quelo

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Spring Has Arrived---And So Has Wednesday---

We can tell it is Spring here in Vers Pont du Gard, because John and Joe took the picnic table down from Jean and John's grenier (attic).....
Our picnic table winters at their home.  It is quite portable...two wooden saw horses and a refinished door!
The chandelier has been hung in the laurel rose and new candles added anticipating the evening sky.
The windows are dressed in their Spring finery.
....And Amy, our daughter, is sending over boxes of opened wine, with just one glass taken from them, signaling her tasting (and writing about the wines) for the Bettane and Desseauve Grand Guides des Vins de France 2012.  We know it is Spring!
And when Spring arrives, so does Wednesday Pizza Night on rue Bourg Riant.  The pizza truck arrives, pizzas are ordered, and we eagerly "test" those bottles of wine.
Friends gather at the table for delicious salads of the south, the wines,
and lots of giggles.
 Finally, finally, dessert has been eaten and Rony (in the gray sweater) and Martine (with her colorful scarf) pour their Caribbean vanilla rum for us all to savor. 
A toast to the first Wednesday pizza night of 2011!
In the silence of late evening, Linda returns home with her empty bowl to be filled once again next Wednesday.
Happy Spring!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

To Prepare for the Holiday We...

Easter in southern France is a time for family, friends, and eating.  Our visit today to our local boulangerie in Vers Pont du Gard was....
a vision in spring colors
awaiting to be savored.
And at the patisserie, Savarin, in the neighboring village of Uzès, the lines were as long
to acquire some wonderful treats.
Perching in the window is a chocolate delight.
However, the rooster watches over all.
Selections take a lot of time.
And everyone dreams
...of visions of sugarplums...
Happy Easter or Spring to all!
Joyeuses Pâques
and we have tucked lemon rolls by our fire to rise for morning breakfast.