It has been really hot in France the last couple of days-95 degrees-too hot to be out except in the early morning. One night I slept with the ceiling fan on along with a floor fan. I hate it when the sheets are hot. We don’t have air conditioning here. We usually don’t need it. We just open windows on either side of our apartment, turn on the ceiling fans and we are comfortable. With the heat came a strange invasion of flying bugs, mostly gnat sized. They were all over my floor so I vacuumed them up and by the afternoon my floor looked the same as it had earlier. There was also a ton of lady bugs flying in the air, landing on our windows and terrace. I don’t know if it was the heat that caused this or if it was one of those mating things. Well,  I survived and the temperature dropped ten degrees  and I have some photos, not of bugs, but around our village.

There are lots of walls and doors along the beach for, I’m sure, privacy. I always take a look when a door happens to be open. This looks like a neat yard.

Not the prettiest dog I’ve ever seen. I saw this same dog last year. It looks over the fence, not barking, not interested in people. I think it’s looking for other dogs. It looks like it is getting gray.

The markets here have lots of fresh food like this mountain of green beans. I always think it’s nice to see them this way instead of wrapped in plastic..

An unusual sunset the other night. I try to look at each one every evening.

Favorite Village

Every year TV channel France 2 has a contest in France for the Village Préféré, or favorite village, in France. I hadn’t heard of most of those voted on except for Lourmarin, a beautiful place in Provence, and Kaysersberg which is the village that won this year. We were in Alsace last December and Kaysersberg was one of the places we visited and it was, as you might expect, very charming. It is also the birthplace of Dr. Albert Schweitzer, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Here are some photos I took while there.

As you can see, it was very colorful.

 One of the symbols of Alsace with the costumes seen in the area during celebrations.

A pretty arch.

The stunning architecture, German in style. Alsace has been German in its past.

As you can see, we were there near Christmas. Decorations were everywhere.

Another beautiful building.

The Leftovers

There was a TV series recently called The Leftovers having something to do with many people disappearing and the remaining population are the leftovers not sure why they were left behind. I never watched it as I am not a fan of most science fiction or anything creepy. So this post has nothing to do with that, it is just some photos I didn’t use on previous posts. Nothing exciting or different has happened here. We get out and walk every day, eat lunch, read, watch TV, nothing worthy of photos mostly so here are some leftovers:

I’m always taken by these type of “homemade” harbors, nothing fancy, no yachts, just mostly the boats of local fishermen.

Isn’t this a cute sign? It was a closed shop-until June 15- in Talmont-sur-Gironde. I think it is basically a gift shop.

A typical little house near our place. I just liked the blue trim and the yellow flowers.

A nice looking, and tasty, dessert served to us the other day by a nice French couple that we know here in our village. They sold their place in Paris to live here full time. I personally don’t like this place in the winter. The cold and the wind get me down but they love it plus they have a ton of friends and play bridge and mahjong several times a week. The husband is also in a photography club with twenty other people and they go out all day, take photos, develop them and then share them. Sometimes I am envious of their active lives and activities but I think I must be an introvert because, although I like being with people, I also enjoy being alone or just with Maurice. The idea of being in clubs and going several times a week exhausts me. We are happy as we are and I guess nothing is wrong with us-as far as we know.

This and That

Another few days with nothing special going on, mostly just everyday life but I always have some photos.

I put this photo on my blog a couple of days ago. This lady was an extra, more of just background, in a movie being filmed in our village. My thought was hoping she had sunscreen on.

Then the next day there were about twenty umbrellas set up not too far from our apartment for more filming. They first used the walking path that runs in front of our place and I was leaning over our balcony watching three people, extras, strolling along when I realized they were nude. Two men and a woman. I was wondering what sort of movie this was going to be. Sure, the French are known for topless women on the beach and, I guess, in their movies too, but this seemed strange to me. We found out that it was set in the 80’s and would be about the conservation movement. I don’t know if nudity was a part of that or not. Maurice laughed at me looking and being shocked but he said it also made him uncomfortable to tell the truth. I will be keeping my eyes peeled for movies on TV3 dealing with conservation in the months to come. In the end there must have been 30 or so naked people lying or sitting under those umbrellas. Did they hire a bunch of nudists or were these just actors? I guess I will never know. It was a chilly day but sunny and they all left at the end of the day very tanned and probably sunburned too.

I saw this painted on a wall on a side street of our village. Those fishing shacks are common around here.

A neighbor who doesn’t live here in our building full time and who has cherry trees at his other place came to our door with a big box of cherries and asked if we wanted them. Of course we did! Cherries are my favorite fruit. It’s so nice to buy them at this time of year. With so many I decided to make a cherry clafouti, a French dessert very easy to make. It tastes so good when warm out of the oven. I had it for breakfast the next day. It contains eggs, milk and fruit so that counts as a healthy breakfast, right?

I put my foot next to this jellyfish washed up on the beach to show the size of it. This is the main reason I never get in the water here.

A pretty sunset the other evening.


I have been to this village, Talmont-sur-Gironde, a little over an hour away several times. Right now the hollyhocks have started blooming-my favorites along with roses in June-and Talmont has hollyhocks all over their streets so I talked Maurice into going with me early Sunday morning to beat the crowds and the heat. We were almost the only ones there when we arrived. No shops or restaurants were open, most with signs saying they didn’t open until June 15th, plus it was Sunday when many places are closed. So we roamed around a bit, went into the little church and I took photos and we were back home before lunch.

Here’s the church overlooking the Gironde river which is extremely wide here as it empties into the ocean a little bit further on.

The back of the church.

As anticipated, hollyhocks. They were still fresh and newly opened.

The village is surrounded on three sides by water as you can see here. Those are little fishing cabins in the distance. They are everywhere around here.

A close up of one of the fishing cabins, called a carrelet.

 There were roses too as you can see.

More roses.

A close up of a hollyhock, the summer gift of France.

Out and About

Photos from here and there around our beach place in Chatelaillon.

I love seeing sand after a storm. It looks like water ripples to me. We had a big sort of gale for two days recently.

There was a huge vide grenier on the main street of our village last Sunday. This old sewing machine caught my eye. I didn’t see the little figures below until looking at this photo later.

Buttons for sale too.

My attention was caught by this pink rose and then I noticed that the name of the house behind it was named The Roses. Many places around here have names, many after children.

There was a Hobby Cat fete during our windy weekend. They were zooming around everywhere on the water.

There were filming some scenes for a TV movie by our beach and I saw this lady, not even a main character, but a sort of background person the actors walked by in a scene. I do see topless women on the beach occasionally but not sitting on the wall of a busy village street. I hope we someday see the movie just to see our area.