Spring in Paris

I think the cold that can sometimes stick around in Spring is finally over. I’ve noticed that the temperature doesn’t have that much to do with the blooming of plants as the length of the exposure to sun-as the days get longer, more plants start blooming. Trees get their fresh new leaves, tulips come up with a finger of color, and wysteria do their thing.


Some great pink tulips in the garden at Palais Royal, a great place to visit in the Spring.


Here is a view of the garden at Palais Royal.


A closeup of some wystera, one of my favorite spring blossoms-love the fragrance!

Monte Carlo

Maurice and I were lucky enough to be able to attend an annual Master’s tennis match in Monte Carlo through a friend who plays in a league in Provence. It is a lovely drive to Monte Carlo with the country side in Spring bloom. I especially love seeing the parasol pines come into view, sillhouted against the sky. I always know I am near the sea when I see these. The country is very hilly, even mountainous, right down to the water. The traffic is always heavy as people love living and visiting in this area. This is a sad time for Monte Carlo now as Prince Ranier just died. His funeral is on the 15th of April. On the way we saw many policemen on motorcycles on their way to help with security at the funeral-1800 extra policemen were sent in.
police
A group of policement that we passed on the freeway.

You enter the city by curving back and forth on the narrow road first high above giving you fantastic views of the city and sea below.

Monte Carlo
The tennis match played on red clay

We saw Federer play, the number one man player right now, and a new up and coming young French kid. A great day in the sun-perfect weather. From my seat I could look to the right and see the Mediterranian Sea. High above a hotel that intrigues me. It must have fantastic views. There was a seat for the royal family and usually one of them comes to see the matches but, sadly, it was empty today with a boquet of flowers with a black scarf across the middle

hotel
The hotel-called the Vista Hotel.

view to right
The view of a great house I could see the to right from my seat.

It was a long day-we didn’t get back to home until 9 PM-but lots of fun. The Cote d’Azure is such a beautiful place.

Aix-en-Provence

Carousel in Aix

This Saturday we we to Aix to see what supposed to be a festival with costumes. It was just a band dressed in blacks vests who did play very good music, sounding like the Irish music popular now and there is, indeed, a link between Brittany and Ireland. This carousel was nearby, set up especially for the month. It was made in 1999 but looks like something from several hundred years ago with creatures to ride right out of Jules Verne.
Close-up of a flying man
Close-up of Flying Man
I particularly liked this fish with seats below
I particularly like this fish with seats suspended below.
Liked this toad that you can ride inside of.
Isn’t this toad fun-you can ride inside of him.

An Evening of Jazz

April 10, 2005
Last night we went to a jazz show in the little village of La Tour d’Aigues, not far from where we live. The leader of the jazz group, and clarinet player, was a neighbor of ours just up the road, an owner of a gite. Maurice and I, along with my sister and her sister in law had stayed at the gite once when our house was still being built. It is a wonderful building, a couple of hundred years old with thick stone walls and antiques everywhere. It wasn’t the cleanest place I’ve ever been, but I loved the feel of it. I was really surprised at the professional level of the band. If I closed my eyes, I could have been in a club somewhere in the States, even New Orleans. Mostly the band plays New Orleans type jazz but last night they had a fabulous older guy, a professor of music, who played a few tunes at the piano and the music went into what I call smooth jazz. It was a great evening. We did get to bed until 2 AM. We have found, the longer we are here, the more we enjoy it and alot of that has to do with the people we are making friends with and the happenings we attend.

Welcome to my new blog!

Saturday, April 9th, 2005
For those of you who come to my site on a regular basis, I’m sure you have noticed that it looks entirely new. I’ve been doing an on-line journal since 2001-hard to believe-and I guess you could call it a blog but I’ve decided to set up the site as a true blog and my son, Jason, is helping me. Excuse the disorder while I am trying to figure out how to do it all.
For those new to my site, I moved to Paris in 2001 having married a Frenchman with zero knowledge of the French language or the French in general, which is how I came up with the title, Frenchless In France. Four years later, and my French is still horrible, much to my shame, but I love my life here and all that France has to offer. Maurice and I have also built a house in Provence and, when I am there, I post about my experiences there. If you click on photo journal on the right you can get a look at what we did in Provence, as well as earlier entries in my journal.
I am writing this today in Provence. I am sitting at a desk I brought with me from the States and if I look to my left I can see a fabulous view which the back of our house faces. We are in a fairly isolated area and I can often hear an approaching car or truck headed for our house long before it arrives here. At night I can see the moving headlights of cars on a hill about ten miles away. Spring is having a tough time arriving here. It is coming in like a lion, as they say We had rain all day yesterday and, although the skies are now blue and the sun is out, there is a nasty wind out there to make the freezing temperatures feel even lower. The Mistral, as the wind is called, is the one thing I don’t like about living in Provence.