Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B.

While in France, I read this trilogy on the life of Josephine Bonaparte.  Born in Martinique, Rose Tascher was quickly whipped away to France as a teen because her looks and intelligence made her the perfect candidate for a marriage which would elevate her parents' lifestyle back in Martinique.

Marry she did, and she produced a boy and a girl for her first husband...

Using primary sources,  the author weaves the life of "Josephine" (renamed thus by Bonaparte), in the first person through her journal entries and letters.  This historically acurate novel teaches the French revolution and the rise of the napoleonic empire in a way that captivates and entertains the reader.  Through the eyes of Josephine, the horror of the revolution is brought to the forefront, and the story of Josephine is one of a strong-willed, kind and generous yet spoiled woman way ahead of her time.

For it's educational and entertainment value, I give Sandry Gulland's trilogy 4 stars out of 5. 

Bon dimanche,


Check out my Pinterest board on Bonaparte and Josephine  here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Do You Know the Way to St-Tropez?

 Once or twice after the school children have gone back to school, we make our way across the hills to St-Tropez.  We go to Tiki Beach, on the plage de Pampelonne at Ramatuelle. They are often referred to as the beaches of St-Tropez but in fact, they are just a little way out of town.  The rental of lounge chairs and a parasol costs 36 euros for a day and is well worth it. We bring a bottle of the water from the fountain on our street and we usually buy lunch on the beach.  There are about 50% less people and the weather is more moderate than in July and August.

We lounge and read and sleep and swim and lounge some more.  Then we walk a little, swim one last time and head home after about 5 hours.  The swimming was great today.  It was warm, wavy and salty and,  as I clung to V. for some wave jumping, we laughed and giggled and let our inner child frolic to it's heart's content.

Nothin' like a day at the beach to soothe the soul.


Friday, September 12, 2014

An Evening in Cassis

Yesterday, I was getting my hair done at my friend's house, then leaving to go to the brocante and passing by Ikea to pick up shome bed sheets.

Well, I got my hair done...

The rest, was pure magic:  laughter, camaraderie, good food, smiles, a walk down the beach, loud-talking, goofing off, gratitude and a long drive home.

Every dinner begins with an aperitif.  This is a Pastis Bar

Three friends having a Pastis before dinner.

Name a brand of Pastis, you will find it here. V. liked the windowfront.

Every dinner should have good food and good company. Check.
As we approach the mid-way mark in our 11 week holiday, we have to say that it's been everything we'd hoped... and more.  Provence is an indisputedly beautiful context but the real difference is made by the people you share time with.