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The Man from Another Century

Tonight we met a man from another time and another century.   His name is James.

He survives everyday of his lovely retirement in France taking care of his elderly mother, who doesn’t need taking care of because she still does “wait-staff” work for various theatrical functions in Cassis. She’s almost 90.    Her son meanwhile researches various documents of French history, ranging from the study  of the Capetian dynasty (also known as the House of France, to little known wineries that hold humongous secrets.)


L'autoroute française A50 entre Aubagne et Roq...

L’autoroute française A50 entre Aubagne et Roquefort-la-Bédoule (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Flag of the region Île-de-France in F...

English: Flag of the region Île-de-France in France, and of the kingdom of France (s.XIV-XV) Français : Drapeau de la région Île-de-France en France et du royaume de France (s.XIV-XV) 한국어: 이 것은 일드프랑스의 깃발입니다. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the wineries he discussed with us was ROQUEFORT LA BÉDOULE     (  )  east of Cassis, and a  medieval village that is NOT on the main stream for tourists.  It’s a secret.      The owner of this prestigious but modest winery is a Marquis, but never mentions this in introductions nor is it embossed on any stationary.  That is from the past, and those that are from a royal Bourbon line mostly keep it low-key or hidden.    The older generation who know who they are,  revere them from afar, but todays young people think of them as “just like them,”  no different, same workers, “boulot, dodo, metro” kind of guy, only with a winery………..  Little do they know…….

James, however,  knew more than the owner about his own legacy with the famous vineyard.   The owner knows, of course,  from where he came, but he does not dwell on his heritage.  He cares impeccably for his vineyard instead.


James speaks to us of these newest discoveries, our mouths hanging open, because although he cannot always find the English word to describe his newest research project, we get the gist and I start asking questions and making him spell things so that I can later look it up on the internet.  Then the bomb came.  He has no computer, no cell phone, no TV, and continues his work and research not in large “bibliothèque” (Libraries) that often have cameras in the corner, & too many computers, but also have  a security screener, SO, he  instead ops for the small mediathèque  in the smaller villages.  He often looks at and deciphers manuscripts that are ancient texts, that need to be handled with gloves, if they are even able to be handled at all. They used to be.  Not so much now.

I shake my head.  J’adore ma cell phone .  I would not give it up willingly. But I’ve met a man, that has no cell phone, has no desire for one, nor a computer, nor anything that finds answers fast because he says, he “finds it superficial”.  So, he TALKED to us, face to face, describing events.  He tells of  a “ line of the rose”  – Sainte Rosaline  – where he’s knows a possible relative of hers and has a deep desire to talk with her.

English: St Roseline church in Roquefort la Bé...

English: St Roseline church in Roquefort la Bédoule (Bouches du Rhône – France) Français : Église Sainte Roseline à Roquefort la Bédoule (Bouches du Rhône – France) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


She’s a bit difficult and evasive and untouchable, so it’s going to be a difficult road. Even though she’s passionate about her own history, he doubts he can “get his foot in the door.”  Ahhhh, if I just knew French better, I would get in the door for him …..he needs to talk to her.

SO!   This is for my friend Gudrun, who hates technology like James.  I’m lucky to get an e-mail from this gal once a year, on an iPad given to her by her frustrated father-in-law who wanted to remain “connected”.

Frankly being 6000 miles away I  couldn’t dream of not being able to keep in touch with my friends and family without the internet.

But for James, this is not a problem.  He is in Marseille. His mum is in Cassis.   He watches over her, and in between does something in this age that is unheard of……….survives without technology, writes snail mail, researches manuscripts – in a LIBRARY –  –  only has a land-line, never watches television.  Instead, he VISITS people, looks at people  in the eyes, talks to their faces,  – what is this??      I **LOVE** this man.

Few and far between.

This is dedicated to Gudrun and Melanie who are two friends who despite the onslaught of new and innovative progress in the world of a global computer driven networks have remained without.  (I couldn’t do it, but – )    but   – – –  Kudos   to    you that can.





Is there some dissension in America or something?

Well, heard through the grapevine, or better yet, the very calm French news, only by SEARCHING for it, in newspapers and the internet, that things are a bit in turmoil over there, the land of the

American Dream

American Dream (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

American Dream.  Yes. Well,

I’d just like to take this opportunity to post these lovely pieces of currency.  Do you know what this currency represents?

EUROS paid back to our bank account, to which I took out and bought myself some clothes, so i put it BACK in the economy.....making everyone, including moi, very happy

EUROS paid back to our bank account, to which I took out and bought myself some clothes, so i put it BACK in the economy…..making everyone, including moi, very happy

Yes, it is the MONEY paid back to me for quite a few doctor’s appointments in the year 2013.  Not that the doctor’s appointments were that expensive to shell out for anyway, and yes, the FRENCH DO have (their own insurance plans ) along with their “socialized medicine”.  But what you pay out to your DOCTOR,  – no,  NOT his receptionist, nor his fleet of office workers, nor in the palatial freshly wallpapered office with the fancy paintings, no, here,  here in France, you pay the cash to HIM, in HIS hand, in his small  office, and he does all the “paperwork.”   Then a few weeks later – voila!  It’s back in your bank account.

I just thought I’d share the evils of socialized medicine.   🙂

It works  quite well, actually.


Long Live OBAMA CARE people!   :-0




Where are the “Donna Reed Full Slips?

The Donna Reed Show

The Donna Reed Show (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you – any of you – remember The Donna Reed Show?  Yeah, 60’s – very lovely woman with the “perfect house, perfect wardrobe, perfect children”?    Well, I’m sure that the series never did show Donna Reed in her full slip underneath those very crisply ironed dresses of hers, nevertheless, trust me, she did have a perfect, very white, silk slip underneath her perfectly pressed clothes.

But try to FIND one of those full slips ANYWHERE,  in America, they don’t exist.  Anymore.  In France, yes, they do, but it would take a bank loan to purchase one.    In America, EVERYTHING that goes underneath your clothing is SPANX.  And spanx, is not bad, if you don’t care to be squished to death underneath your clothing.   When I searched last August, I found that there were spanx coverings and spanx “slips” and spanx tops and spank bottoms, but no regular as I like to call them – “Donna Reed type whole slips!”  ANYWHERE.  They just did not exist in the U.S. of A.

SO, —-Today, I went to the  outdoor market sole-ly for fresh tomatoes.

I came home with a real – bona-fide – white – lacey – silk slip – for under 20 euros!!!!

Imagine my happiness today, when going to the market for only TOMATOES and a few fresh veggies that I stumbled upon a “lingerie booth” – complete with a “cabana type closet” where I could try on my “underlings” – the passer-bys just inches away.  It was fantastic.

"Cabana" to try undergarments  - very fun

“Cabana” to try undergarments – very fun

Fresh tomatoes was what I was after today

Fresh tomatoes was what I was after today

my beautiful whole slip

my beautiful whole slip

walk home in the clouds covering Cassis

walk home in the clouds covering Cassis

So!  After searching markets everywhere in the United States, and boutiques that HAD “whole slips” but were so incredibly expensive I would have had to sell my house – I found – today – in CASSIS – at the market that I love the most, the most beautiful, the most sensuous “Donna Reed Whole Slip” that I’ve been wanting for a very long time.

Cassis Markets – ROCK


25th Septembre 2013

French Countryside Vacance – Chartres – Fontainebleau

 Still Day Two – Can you believe it?

Covering a lot of Territory in Two Days,   but that’s because we have a CAR!!!   As you know, I’m in a bit of heaven driving in the countryside after no car/driving for 7 months!   Whooooooo hooooooo!

If you want to visit Napoleon’s LIFE, the life he would have you believe was the most important, Then visit FONTAINEBLEAU. (If you want to visit the “in love with Josephine life” than visit Malmaison, their country estate) Fontainebleau is where Napoleon lived after he crowned himself emperor. The Musee Napoleon houses a massive exhibition on the Bonaparte family.  What I didn’t realize is that there were more books written on Napoleon (with the exception of  Jesus Christ).    Hmmmmmm. Fascinating.

Fontainebleau is a  favourite weekend getaway for Parisians, as well as for the historical château de Fontainebleau, which once belonged to the kings of France.  It is also renowned for the large and scenic forest of Fontainebleau.

I won’t go into the “made for many movie specials” history, instead, click on the blue links.

 An Historical trivial moment  – in the photo below (slideshow) David and I  are standing by the staircase. This is where  Napolean bid farewell to his troops before being forced into exile on the Island of Elba and also is the exact spot where his remains were returned before they were sent to Invalides for final burial.  If you haven’t visitied Napoleon’s Tomb at Invalides – it is a magnificant memorial.

Another piece of trivia:  It is a fact that Napoleon introduced many innovations, notably the DECIMAL SYSTEM.    I bet you always wanted to know who invented that, right?   🙂

Everything else in this elegant town defers to the spectacular palace in its parkland of woodlands, lakes and landscaped gardens.  A discreet plaque acknowledges John D Rockefeller Jr’s generous funding of the palace restoration in the 1920’s.

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