• La Vierta again

    Saturday, August 5, 2017 0 Permalink 0

    Earlier in these pages, there was a long and tortured story of another dinner at la Vierta at just about this same time of year. That dinner was mysterious, sultry, ominous, supernatural, and then revelatory, washed in rain and ash. Not so this time. A couple of years on, the Tzigane restaurant hidden in a low ...

  • Around Solstice

    Thursday, June 29, 2017 1 Permalink 0

    The days are impossibly long now, with dawn by 5:30 and twilight past 10:30. The sun rises through the north windows of the house, at a place on the horizon across the river where you could never imagine it going in winter, when it rises maybe 45 degrees to the south. Before the rains came this week, ...

  • Into the Forest

    Sunday, November 13, 2016 3 Permalink 0

    I took the dog for a walk in the woods yesterday. I've been so head-down in my little screens in the house lately that I have not been paying enough attention to the larger world around me. Because of that I have neglected what should by now be my thoroughly French reflexes, which every native person ...

  • Wild Asparagus

    Sunday, April 10, 2016 0 Permalink 1

    This afternoon I was invited to participate in the local tradition of gathering wild asparagus from the woods. Along the way I was happily distracted by vistas and old cars, kiwi plantations and wildflowers, young ferns and an ancestral springhouse which was built by my hostess' family long ago to grow watercress and is now part of ...

  • Truffle-infused gouda

    Wednesday, March 2, 2016 0 Permalink 2

    It was an accident. But then this country is boobytrapped with such "accidents." Such happy accidents have added about 6cm to my waistline in the last three years. I went to the market for carrots. Fresh carrots. The little tender kind with the leaves still on, all fresh and pretty and healthy. I steeled myself on the Sunday morning drive ...

  • The long and scenic road to Earl Grey

    Wednesday, February 17, 2016 5 Permalink 1

    Bergamot Because of British friend T's sage advice months ago on Twinings as the only decent brand for tea in these parts, I have been working my way ever since through all the Twinings flavors available at our supermarket. Having exhausted the usual varieties several times over, I finally this week reached the last type in stock, on the back top shelf, ...

  • To live in the Fronton

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016 2 Permalink 0

    Cover Photo: The rather unfortunate sculpture of "lovers' embrace" at Château Cransac in Fronton, which has its own very crude but obvious nickname, and which some claim is more apt as a logo for the wine than the Chateau itself.  Strict Denominationalism Embedded in the word Denominationalism is the smaller but rather more telltale word Nationalism. It is there ...

  • Re-drawing (and a recipe)

    Thursday, January 28, 2016 5 Permalink 0

    Nicolas Poussin. Et in Arcadia ego, 1638. Et in Arcadia ego I prefer the interpretation of Poussin's title to mean, "I also lived in Arcadia." That is, one now dead in the grave speaks to the living through his epitaph, saying, I also lived in Arcadia as you do, but now am ashes and dust. Others more popular these days ...