Saturday, June 2, 2012

Working hard

Evidence of Amie hard at work on her PhD. Really, I was working!
Giscours Tasting at Max Bordeaux
The question is, can you identify me? (in black looking very studious, of course)

Mode de Vie

I do believe it is a sign of a civilised country when you can be noodling around the supermarket on a Saturday morning just picking up a few things for lunch and in the basket goes a small bottle of Cognac for 5 euros. Ah, just the thing for my last few days in France. I'm not quite sure what the people in the checkout queue thought as I bought goat's cheese, lettuce, yoghurt, milk and cognac. Hopefully that I was concocting an extraordinary culinary delight.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Petanque, bien sur

What an intriguing window I have. Having spent the day at the beach yesterday I came home and looked out to find the town petanque competition in full swing. Oh so gallic - to be playing boule on a sunny Sunday afternoon in the car park.

And of course, a temporary bar had been erected for an obligatory glass of pastis for participants and spectators. C'est pour ca que j'adore les petites villes - that's why I love small towns. No fuss or fanfares, just people doing what they enjoy in simple and practical ways.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Gateau de Shoe

I finally gave in to the pressure of not being able to see properly and went to the hairdresser down the road today. We're having the usual polite conversation (except I'm from Australia and she's from Nancy, in the north east of France. About as far as you can get from Pauillac and still be in France), and she poses the question of food. Do I like the food and wine in France? I resist instinctive urge to say that I have organised my life so that I can come and enjoy France's gastronomical delights on a regular basis and politely answer in the affirmative. Any country that can produce things like this photo has, by definition, won my instant allegiance.

(Yes, what you see is indeed a shoe made from chocolate filled with macarons sitting on a chocolate coated cake. And with a red sole it must be a Christian Louboutin!)

Friday, May 11, 2012

La grande plage - Biarritz

I'm very tempted to stay here in Biarritz. It's a gorgeous Art Deco town on the Atlantic coast near Spain which was in its heyday in the 1920s.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Look out Lucie!

The cheese & wine shop next door to our apartment. The proprietor is a lovely man, despite being somewhat overweight and hairy.
(Bruce says: Look out bear, here comes motor-mouth!}

Gabriel & Lucie, the fabulous bilinguals

Yet another boat - not sure what this one is, but it's a pretty colour!

Biarritz - c'est magnifique!

Gorgeous sunshine in the stylish Art Deco city of Biarritz down on the Atlantic coast. It was in its heyday in the 1920s and we stayed in a grand old hotel from the time. Fabulous Art Deco furniture and fittings that necessitated an olive in my martini.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Rapunzel in Pauillac

Picture this: It's after midnight in Pauillac and we're just about to go to bed. I hear a whistle from the street and peering through the gaps in the shutters I spy a man on the street looking up at my window. He must be the whistler. So, wondering whether perhaps he is need of help, I open the shutters and windows and say Bonsoir. As it turns out, he's staying at the hotel a few doors down and is looking for a cafe or anywhere that's open to have a drink and round off his night. We have a conversation - he on the street, me at my second floor window - about the dearth of  activity in town. I learn that he's coming with a group of 35 people in November on a wine tour and will thus have to organise a night event. I inform him that given that I will be in Australia in November I can't assist him on that front. Et voila, we wish each other good night and I close the shutters again. I can only assume that he whistled at our window because it was the only lit window in Pauillac at 12.30 on Saturday night, in his words: "Pauillac, c'est mort" (Pauillac, it's dead.)
On further reflection, it is somewhat strange that I have not noticed a single bar or cafe in Pauillac. It's a town that has a reasonable population, and this is in stark contrast to the other towns I have spent time in in France. A mystery warranting further investigation.

Monday, April 23, 2012

La pluie, les nuages - tout gris

Well, for a quick contrast, this photo is the view from our window that has been the predominant one for the last three weeks. Coming from Ballarat I'm used to cold weather, but the consistency here is a little gloomy - three weeks of grey, wet, windy and cool is not the beautiful spring climate that I was expecting. It is apparently a little unseasonal, so hopefully our karma will improve and bring fine weather for the rest of the stay. Fingers crossed.
 I can't be too pessimistic. As the sun-drenched dredge demonstrates, there are a few moments of glorious sunshine.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Turning whine into wine

Wine is an important part of life from a very early age here in Bordeaux - while your parents are inside tasting and buying wine, spend a little time on the grape slide. (Lucie and Gabe twigged instantly that it was a bunch of grapes - lucky they told their silly old mama what it was or she may have been puzzled for a lot longer!)

Monday, April 9, 2012

La Plage Atlantique

Et voila - a day at the beach on Easter Sunday. Two very happy kids had a big play on the enormous dunes on the Atlantic coast west of Pauillac yesterday. Despite the icy wind, which may or may not have explained the lack of children, Lucie ended up completely soaked with a grin from ear to ear. The huge tides and relatively shallow water mean the dunes are very steep and the beach is intriguing map of tiny rivers, ponds and islands with water trickling gently between them.

We collected a few stones or were they Easter eggs? (Sadly they lost their translucency when they dried.)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

La vie est belle!

Sometimes the universe chooses to be kind and this trip to Bordeaux seems to be one of those occasions. Our apartment turns out to be much better than the very brief description and four photos that were the basis of my booking. These photos were taken from the lounge room!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Two weeks until lift off!

New posts will be coming soon - I'm off to Bordeaux again to find out all I can about wine in the Medoc.
A bientot!