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Showing posts from November, 2017

RESTAURANT TEN, UZES: RESTAURANT REVIEW

Ten sits just off the market square in Uzes, one of the prettiest villages in southern France. The newly renovated space is airy and comfortable with tables of sufficient size and sufficiently spaced to provide for a pleasant dining experience. Service was cheerful, fully bilingual, and attentive without being overbearing. The food presented well to both eye and tongue. And the rate of approximately 30€ per person for a party of five included starters, mains, a dessert or two, two bottles of local wine, and coffees at the finish. Reasonable if not cheap eats. 

So why am I hesitant to give an unqualified thumbs up?  It took me a while to figure it out.

Uzes is a quintessentially French village in a quintessentially French region of southern France. There are those who will say that the Languedoc is just as beautiful but less crowded and less expensive than its eastern neighbors. I know. I'm one of those people. But the fact remains that for many people, villages like Uzes are their v…

UZES MARKET DAY IN PICS

By the time that 11h00 rolled around on a chilly November day, the Uzes market was packed shoulder to shoulder. I cannot imagine what it would be like on a Saturday in July. As many of us who live in the south of France full time have learned, the best time to go anywhere that a tourist/vacationer might spend the day is either before June or after September. In July and August, you take your life in your hands.

That having been said, the Saturday market in Uzes sprawls over a good portion of the town, has its share of both treasures and schlock, and deserves a visit.



















GUNS IN AMERICA

Another month. Another mass shooting. What's going on? What do Americans think about it? How do Americans propose to deal with the situation?

We need more guns, Some People say. More good people with guns will stop more of the bad people with guns. Odd, isn't it, that even with 300,000,000 guns in the US, it seems as though the good people are never around while the bad people are shooting? Wait a minute, Some People say. Good guys shot the bad guy at that Texas church, didn't they? Well, yeah. After the bad guy killed 26, wounded 20 more, and decided to leave the church. OK, Some People say. That means we need more guns in churches. And that gives you a clue about the brand of Christianity espoused by Some People. Beat your swords into AK-47s.

OK, Some People say. How about the latest shooting in California? California has strict gun laws. That didn't stop the shooter. But Some People forget that California's gun laws are only as strict as the Supreme Court allow…

REPLACING A KEYBOARD: YOUTUBE MAY NOT BE YOUR FRIEND

I bought my Acer Aspire 5336-2615 laptop about six years ago when my old tower went on the fritz. It's been my home office, on my desk, main machine ever since. It doesn't travel. Well, it did follow me when I moved across the Atlantic from eastern Pennsylvania to the south of France. But it's not used as a portable. It stays parked on my desk most of the time. I use a tablet when I'm in other parts of the house or on the road. Oh, I do take the Acer downstairs to the router when a direct connection is desirable over my slower WiFi if I have large files to upload. Basically, though, the Acer just sits there.

It's been a workhorse for the simple tasks for which it is used. Word processing. Lots. Surfing the internet. Lots. Streaming video and music. Lots. No gaming but it is the platform on which I prepare a two-hour internet radio program every week. That means stitching together two dozen songs or more with appropriate commentary into a single MP3 file using fair…

LE COMPTOIR NATURE, LE SOMAIL: RESTAURANT REVIEW

If you live in our neck of the woods (Do French woods have necks?), and if you are into vide greniers (Car boot sales? Community yard sales?), then you've been to Le Somail. Twice every year, spring and fall, this quiet little community along the Canal du Midi is overrun with bargain hunters and with sellers both professional and private intent on convincing the assembled masses that their wares are indeed bargains.Tables line both sides of the Canal and the side streets of Le Somail for a couple of kilometers in total. It's a veritable smorgasbord for the discriminating trash hound.

We've had our share of luck. At various times, we've purchased a good-sized ceramic jardiniere to use as an umbrella stand in our entry hall, a collapsible wire egg basket that fits on top of the microwave but under the cabinet above, and there's a brass bell that we're going to use to replace our electronic doohicky as soon as I pull out my tools and figure out how to hang it.

En…

VOX BIGERRI, QUARANTE: CONCERT REVIEW

I get it. Not everyone will make tracks on a Friday night to hear a group of Corsican men sing polyphonic music a capella even if the concert is free and takes place in an historic 10th Century abbey. There was a time when I might have passed on it myself. But The Southern Woman That I Married has managed to refine my tastes over the years. Even if certain genres don't touch my soul, at least I can be appreciative.

Take opera, for instance...

But this music does touch my soul. There's something about a minor key lament that strikes a chord. And when presented with confidence, skill, energy, and even joy, I can't help but be carried along with it. It's not music for every day listening, to be sure. You don't bop around the room to this stuff while you're dusting the furniture. But in the right setting - and L'Eglise Sainte-Marie in Quarante is a most proper setting - folks like the five men who comprise Vox Bigerrie can keep an audience of one hundred or m…