A French Provencal Noel Celebration – Gemenos – Provence – France
It’s 5:25PM in the afternoon and already it’s very dark. Closing in on the shortest day of the year, here in December, here in Marseille. The wet cold streets covered in solid glistening leaves have been replaced by still wet streets,” sans” leaves. They are all gone now. It’s winter in Marseille.
Candles light the inside of a neighboring Boulangerie and we’re peering inside like what is this? Is this a Hanukkah celebration? Is this an early NOEL celebration? It’s so pretty inside. Turns out that the electricity went out, and the front door was open for any and all patrons who needed to come by for their daily bread. Such a beautiful sight. – it was as though we were standing in the 17th century, and freshly made bread was pouring out its scent into the busy and crowded street next to The Grand Beauveau Hotel.
“Une Russe Blanc, Sil vous plait”, my friend says to the bartender…….well, actually SHE didn’t say, I told her HOW to say it, but she insists on using ENGLISH and I INSIST that she speak French, even though she says that she does not know how to do this. (she does.)
She tries really hard to speak FRENCH and – guess what – the French PEOPLE do appreciate it.
What a day of mind bending, and walking, and more eating and more expresso’s
(express, actually is what they are called and what you need to say when ordering “Un Express, sil vous plait” – or Express, avec creme) and philosophizing and smoking and more talking even with strangers – who are invited over to our table, because they “just looked so nice.” It turns out – that the FRENCH, though maybe “tourists’” themselves – if you have them over to your table – have a lot to say, in their very broken English, but, which is better than yours. This particular day, we met Francoise who is related to non other than George Sand. Ooooh la la. She is writing her history, which is detailed and complicated and controversial, in that all of her ancestors where killed during THE Revolution. Yes. “The one”. 1789. Hmmmm.
Tonight was a different kind of fun, in that we drove our little car 10 miles away to the town of GEMINOS and had a real PROVENCAL NOEL CELEBRATION, complete with Santa Claus, a team of 18th century costumed villagers who sang, and danced. So enjoyable milling with the locals and watching their performance with the free mulled hot wine and the MARRONS (Chestnuts). Such a lovely, warm, & wonderful time!!!!
Here are a few photos from this night.
PLUS – here are some marvelous links to French handicrafts that were absolutely to die for cottage home crafts.
You will LOVE (all those that admire this type of art)
(are just a couple) – there were SO many last night. I have to go back ce soir to get more business cards!! 🙂
and one more that is SENSATIONAL!!!
“Altered Books!” Lovely!!