France


The Boll Weevil and the Lightning Bug 1: A Home in Ireland


      In 1999 Himself was working in Dublin and only came home to Cork at weekends and desolé being apart, we decided to buy a house in Dublin. I began a search, which, back then, was not online but involved foot-slogging and an...

Nothing Ever Happens in Annecy


Annecy is the capital of the Haute Savoie, in the Department of the Rhone Alps. With the new motorway, it is less than an hour from Geneva. It is a small city – in Irish terms, about the size of Cork.  Annecy is beautiful, facing...

A Broken Arm in Chamonix


It was like being in a scene from M*A*S*H. Lying on a gurney in the hall of the hospital, my arm aching in fresh plaster, I tried to relax, but helicopters kept coming close, hovering,whirleygig rumbling, taking off, their sound growing fainter, only to return...

Cherries, Berries and Roger Medearis’ Granny


    This is not me, it is Roger Medearis’ Granny, but this is how I see myself, ageing amongst fruit and flowers, beside field and water in the sound of church bells.  Roger Medearis called his painting “Godly Susan” because his Granny was.  (I...

A Year in Brocante 7: My Kitchen Garden


  Yesterday morning at nine o’clock I met Himself in the hall, somnambulant to breakfast in white piqué honeycomb cotton.  “You’ve heard of golf widows….well, I’m a brocante widower” he grumbled. “Bye” ses I, and I out the door to Duingt, the next village down...

A Year in Brocante 6: Water Jug


I’m posting this water jug as much for itself as to welcome the May. (“Bring flowers of the rarest, and blossoms the fairest from garden and woodland and hillside and glade”…) It cost €3 in Annecy, is hand made and is not old, I would...

A Year in Brocante 2: Goat Peter


  We have a second guest room under the eaves with a sloping ceiling in which is placed the room’s only window. If this window were bigger, or lower, or even on a wall, it would have the best view in the house, but it’s...

A Year in Brocante 1: Feedsack Fashion, Sugarbag Style


In France, we have Brocantes, which are antique markets, Marche aux Puces which are Flea Markets, Braderies (street fairs, often with local vendors selling goods on trestles outside their shops at a reduced price) and Vides Grenier (“Empty the Attic”) which are garage sales. There are...

Swimming Pool Envy


“We’re going to move to France, to live the simple life….we’ll buy a little cottage in a sleepy little rural village in the sunshine…. We’ll do it up ourselves, live off the land or buy only in local markets….. it will be so much cheaper,...

Another Day, Another Dollar, Three Hours On Snowshoes And Wish I Had Pie


  Today is my daughter’s birthday. We do not know what life will bring, except that we get what we wish for (i.e. a daughter, snow) and what if I had known that three decades later, I would be spending this auspicious day tromping in...