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Showing posts from September, 2009

Planning Our Next Visit to the Languedoc

We have forgone our annual visit to our little village house in Cazouls-les-Beziers this year. It was a difficult decision but one must eat and, if this one is to eat, this one must work. Besides, we have special plans for the spring of 2010.


Pictured at niece Maggie's graduation from Bryn Mawr are, from left to right, wife Cathey, brother-in-law and Maggie's dad Paul, Maggie, Cathey's sister and Maggie's mom Connie, Connie's twin Liz, and Liz's partner Sharon.

When the twinnies turned 50 (we call them twinnies), Connie hosted a birthday bash in her home in Houston. We decided that to celebrate the twinnies' 60th birthday, we'd host them in France. Just Connie and Paul, Liz, and me and Cathey. After much checking of schedules and a series of long-range negotiations, we settled on the last two weeks of May. The weather should be beautiful - daytime highs about 70F, lows around 60F.

Have you ever traveled in a group in a foreign country? Not a tour group. I&…

Renting Our House in France - Analysis Over Time

The 2009 French holiday rental season is just about over. It’s the fifth season that we’ve rented out our little village house in the small working class village of Cazouls-les-Beziers in the Languedoc region of southern France. The first season, the summer of 2005, doesn’t really count though. We didn’t put up a website and we didn’t contract with any of the holiday rental websites. Instead, we arranged a long-term rental with a single woman whose house in the region was undergoing extensive renovation. That rental served as a sort of shake-down for our house before we put it up for rental on the open market in 2006. So, four years…

In the fall of 2005 we put up our website:
http://www.southfrancerental.com/.

Take a look.

In the ensuing year, we received about a half-dozen inquiries through the website and three or four modest bookings. Not enough traffic. Not enough bookings. We spoke with folks that we had met who had a vacation/rental property near ours. They were quite satisfied wit…

JULIE & JULIA - A Review, Sort Of

The Southern Woman That I Married and I had a date last week. Yes, after nearly 40 years together we occasionally date. We have to. We're busy folks. If we want to be certain to spend time together, time that does not involve the television, we make a date.

But I digress...

TSWTIM and I went to see Julie & Julia last week. We are both great fans of Julia Child. TSWTIM because she learned to cook in great part thanks to her Francophile Uncle Johnny, who in turn provided his sister, TSWTIM's mother, with several French cookbooks and urged her to use them. Me because I learned to eat at an early age. And for both of us, Julia's unapologetically enthusiastic style of cooking that embraces richness of flavor and, more importantly, BUTTER satisfies our culinary needs.

But I digress…

TSWTIM informs me that the movie is reasonably faithful to the book. That is, the movie moves between the lives of Julia Child and Julie Powell. Julia, beloved wife of mid-level diplomat Paul Child, …