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Showing posts from December, 2018

BROWNS AND TANS (AND A HORSE): A FEW PICS OF WINTER IN THE VINES 2018

In the summer, the landscape is a symphony of greens. Every shade imaginable. In winter, browns and tans preside. Here are just a few pictures taken on my walk this morning to illustrate the point. And yes, I do bring apples with me for the horses and the donkeys and the Shetland ponies.




CHRISTMAS WALK TO VIEW OF THE PYRENEES: 2018

Cathey said that it was OK for me to take my usual Tuesday morning walk on Christmas Day. I could help set the table and perform other minor tasks necessary for a satisfactory Christmas dinner with friends after I returned. So off I went. Temperature 40℉ at the start near sunup. 50℉ at the finish a couple of hours later. No wind. Blue skies. This was the winter that I came to France for.

The walk can't really be called scenic. Just through the vines until you get to the headland opposite the village. But the closer that you get to the top, you begin to see the Pyrenees peeking through. And at the top, it's a 360° panorama.







CHÉ OLIVE / LE ZINC, CREISSAN: RESTAURANT REVIEW

No, it's not Chez Olive. It is indeed Ché complete with red star and black beret. I have no idea why and I wasn't about to ask. The French are the French and not to be analyzed too closely when it comes to politics, especially these days.

Creissan is the next town over from our village of Quarante. We pass through it often and Ché Olive is right there on the main road at the entrance to town. (One of the signs still says Le Zinc. Olive says he prefers Ché Olive though.) Olive opened it a couple of years ago after leaving the Bar 40, Quarante's basic local watering hole that's undergone a bit of a renaissance lately. We hadn't heard much about Ché Olive from our usual sources for dining recommendations. So we just kept passing by. For reasons not central to this review, we decided to stop in for lunch on a mid-week in late December.

The bar is cozy, the restaurant open and bright and modern. Newly renovated and perhaps a bit sterile. We were the first…

FRENCH YELLOW VESTS, BREXIT, AND THE COLOR OF CONCRETE: 12-2018

A friend worried that she'd been dropped from my blog's feed because she hadn't read anything from me for a couple of months. Shame on me. Yes, there have been problems and there's been work to be done. But I have an opinion for every minute of every day and I type reasonably well. So what am I waiting for?

THE COLOR OF CONCRETE: We live in the oldest part of our village, maybe 50 meters from the site of the original Roman villa, in a house that has probably been inhabited in some configuration or another for 1,000 years. We're packed in tightly with our neighbors. Our front door opens onto a pedestrian walkway that we can just barely fit our car into if we approach it from a certain angle. But the walkway is barely wider than the car, it's illegal to park there for longer than it takes to offload our stuff, and there's no way out except to back and fill and return the way we came.

The pieton, as we call it, used to be paved with bricks. This past summer, th…