8 Oct 2013

About Beauty

 Audrey Tautou - Google Images

Funny how people come in and out of your lives and make the world a brighter place.

I was thinking this morning about Lulu, ‘my’ Lulu. Those of you who have read the book French Essence may remember that I wrote of her…

Lulu came to the farm in France more than ten years ago… a shy, young girl who could barely make eye contact… She had spent years working in a factory and had very little confidence, spoke only when spoken to and was as quiet as a mouse. Lulu always reminded me of Audrey Tautou…  petite with soulful dark eyes and a voice that would melt the hardest of hearts… The distinctive twang of the Provencal accent had somehow escaped Lulu, although she was born and raised in Avignon.

Lulu grew to be indispensable over time… she managed our house when I was working… she helped me with the styling of both books.. and she spoilt our children… and our friends… she became one of the family. She blossomed… She was barely recognisable as the same  timide young woman.

I thought Lulu and I would be together forever… that was our plan… she became my right hand and she knew what I needed before I did. Her quiet ways, her intelligence and her affection for us were part of what made this home feel like home…

That is, until she fell in love…

She wasn’t looking for love… she had been married before and has a daughter… she was content and secure in our world and would laugh if I suggested she ‘date’ or get serious with someone… She wasn’t interested, enjoyed her independence and had no time for romance…

Overnight all that changed… she fell hard and once again her life changed.  As I watched her happiness grow I knew that our days together were numbered and that like it or not I would be loosing her.

Lulu followed her true love and married him.

Today, I saw her for the first time since leaving. The separation has been hard for both of us and even though my heart swells with pride when I think of her, there are of course small selfish regrets that bubble underneath my surface.

She was glowing and so full of confidence and joie de vivre…a very different woman from the shy girl I met ten years ago. Our attachment will never be broken yet nor will our lives be intertwined again.

I realised today that my time with her was precious… a gift for both of us… she is one of those people that enrich life, that give and give… and although I miss her and nothing is the same since she has left, I am so deeply gratified and elated that she is where she is.


P.S…  About Beauty

I have to tell you about a new serum I have been trying… and serum is the one beauty aid that I cannot go without…

I have been using it for one month now and I have to say it’s sensational.

Think dewy, glowing, nourishing…

A little expensive… and I still adore the Clarins Double Serum… so I mix it up a little…

But this one by Valmont… Worth it… Unbelievable…

Use it sparingly… it’s like nectar.

I can’t wait to try more of their products… I will let you know…

Valmont DNA Repair Serum



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Such a beautiful, touching post, Vicki…Lulu sounds wonderful…both of your lives have been blessed to no each other.
Happy Weekend.


What a lovely post. It’s often only when we have the space and time to look back over something that we realise how special it is. How lovely that your story ends with Lulu in complete happiness – everyone deserves that.
Happy weekend :)


It is wonderful when we are blessed to have such special people in our lives and so sad when they leave. Look at it this way, it allows others to be blessed also.

On beauty products….I have discovered la Prairie, but my wallet only allows for the anti aging foundation which is truely amazing. I received a free sample of the anti aging day creme and it was the only day creme that has solved the dry skin problem that occured because of air con and heaters.

Anita Rivera

This is the beauty of being alive, to be human. Oh Vicki, your description of your young friend is what weaves our lives. Separation is inevitable in many relationships, and for me, it is often very painful. But as I age, I am grasping what I once thought was trite, as TRUTH – and that is that the gift is in having had the experience of friendship, and though it CHANGES, nothing or no one can take that memory away. (funny how we both used Audrey’s image this week on our posts!)

THANK YOU VICKI for your lovely comment on my post. Coming from YOU, a published writer, your words honestly touch me. I long to write serious poetry that takes at least a month to draft and revise so it’s not suitable for my blog. But I realized that blogging is like that old friend that you can’t say good-bye to; it is and will continue to be my writing joy and mostly my connection to fine people like you, all across the world.

MERCI and have a delicious, Provençal weekend! Anita

david terry

“The separation has been hard for both of us and even though my heart swells with pride when I think of her, there are of course small selfish regrets that bubble underneath my surface….”

Well, Vicki?….reading over the previous comments, I realize that I’m simply echoing another reader, but?….

The first thing I thought was “What a lovely posting”.

I hope you’ll take it as a compliment that this muddle-aged literary critic (I was, oddly enough, a professor of Literature and a book-reviewer for years) also thought that sentence of yours, with its expression of simultaneous, if not exactly “opposing” or “contrasting” emotions, was undeniably Flaubertian. Perhaps this sort of graceful counterpoise comes naturally to you….but, then, I’ve always thought you were a good writer.

As for “SERUMS”, etcetera?… My daily beauty regime consists of shaving, brushing the teeth I still have, and taking a shower (usually with one or two or three of the terriers crowding into the shower with me; they love the watery business). Then, I mash down my hair and put my glasses back on, so that I can actually see the world that’s about to see me. That’s it….my Entire Beauty Regime.

I know…..anyone could readily answer “And guess what????…..the only living creatures who clamour to get naked with you in the shower are three ignorant, little dogs…..”.

I’ll have to look into this “serum” business, I suppose.

Thanks again for the lovely posting,

David Terry

P.S. “muddle aged” was a typo (“u” is right next to “i”)…..but I thought it was appropriate and, therefore, will let it stand. It’s not nearly so potentially offensive as the recent time when, referring to female County Clerk back in Durham, I sent out a neighborhood-association email (i.e., to over 300 households) which referred to her as “the County Clerk”……and I somehow left out the “o” in County. I had over 100 outraged emails within an hour and spent dozens of hours apologizing for my typo)


Thank you David…
I rather like the ‘muddle – age”… it could suit is well… As for your other typo… lucky it was only 100 emails… :)
And yes… you need some serum! xv


As a loyal follower and admirer of yours, thank you
Very much for 5 years of beautiful postings and encouragement
To be our best selves.
Please enter me in the generous giveaway.
Fingers crossed

Gigi Thibodeau

This made my heart ache, Vicki. I always find myself missing faraway people I love most in autumn, so your story about Lulu hit me right where I live. I love that she’s thriving, that you’re both thriving, and that, as you said, your attachment will never be broken. Thank you for this beautiful post. xo Gigi

une femme

There are some people whose presence in our lives is such a precious gift. I’m glad to hear your friend is doing well.


How sad to think your lives will never be intertwined again. I have always believed once a friendship is begun, no matter what form it takes, it will always in someway affect and effect our lives. Your relationship with your wonderful friend lives and will always be a part of who both of you are. Thank you for such a heartfelt post.

Becky Burgess

WOW, how enriched your life has been, you gave each other something to hold on to that will be with you forever. Thanks for sharing that inspiring story. So beautiful.

Wendy Shippee

It is wonderful when someone special comes into your life. It is special when you see them grow and blossom . They may come and go, but you always pick- up right where you left off. To me, that is a sign of true friendship.
P.S. I would love to visit St. Remy. My husband needs some provincial serum!!


Such a heartfelt post Vicki. Just lovely. Have a wonderful weekend. Congratulations on five years blogging.

La Contessa

Gorgeous Gal!I assume that is a photo from the past………..or is that from your recent visit?

i have a similar tale a young Italian girl lived with us one summer about 4 years ago maybe more and she now lives in Venice.I am headed there in a few days to see her!My Francesca reminds me of AUDREY HEPBURN.She always dreamed of receiving a little blue box from a shop called TIFFANY’S.Well, you can imagine I will be traveling with that little blue box to spoil her just a tad!A belated Birthday gift.VENICE, here comes the CONTESSA……………another thing she calls herself the little contessa in training!!!


I have just found your blog and can’t help but wonder what took me so long. I have read many of your posts, some encouraging, some informative some very touching and sad, and some very happy but one thing they do is lift me out of my every day mad busy life and transport me into another world for a few moments. A world which makes me all warm and gooey inside. Bliss Bliss Bliss!!! It might only be for a few fleeting minutes as I gulp down my peppermint tea and munch on my food but boy oh boy I just love it. So for that I am caught, hook, line and sinker!!! Can’t wait for what’s to come.
Thanks for all your posts so far they have brought pleasure to one newbie. xxxxxxxxx

Chantal Piccione

Love your blog!Well done on getting us interested for the last 5 years!

Pamela Terry

Such a charming post.
It’s always bittersweet to see the changes in someone close to us, even when they are such positive ones. It tells us time has past, and though each stage of life is wonderful, it is always bittersweet to know it passes so quickly.
I know you meant a great deal to Lulu, as she obviously meant so much to you.
Love to you, my friend.


Wonderful post about Lulu. How fortunate to have had this special person in your life. Her photo is lovely, so natural and fresh.
Glad to know about the Valmont serum. I was not familiar with that line of skincare, but will definitely check them out!


I could read your writing all day… everyday. How lucky were you both to have your paths cross and be bound by love and friendship – for the years you spent together, you will both always be impacted, enriched by the other – such a beautiful thing. You still have one another, just in a different way. Different chapter of the same lovely book.
Happy Autumn dear Vicki <3

Deborah Peterson Milne

Vicki what a wonderful story. Someone told me once that people come in and out of your life for a reason and very often for a specific time. Because you aren’t in each other’s lives on a daily basis, that’s ok. It truly is the impact someone such as Lulu made on your lives that count. God bless these kind of men and women; they make our lives rich.

Have a lovely weekend xx

Judi Miller

What a wonderful post today! It was very special of you to share your wonderful friendship, honoring all that Lulu has meant to you over your shared time together. A new beginning is here for her – and for you! And, BTW, I’m still dreaming of Le Petit Bijou..

cynthia woodyard

So very well expressed, and generous! Beautiful, Vicki, just beautiful!



A beautiful post, chere Vicki….Lulu will forever be a treasured friend, and what a blessing that is….

As for the serum….I love serums…and oils for the face in general…

You are so generous to be giving away such a prize! Fantastic!!
And a Happy Five Years!!!
– Irina


Hello vicki, I felt happy and sad at the same time reading this…..happy for Lulu and that ‘your heart swelled with pride’ at her good fortune in finding true love again and developing so much as a person….sad that her part in making your ‘home feel like home’ is only a (pleasant) memory…..
I’m thinking of a friend in Australia who made my home special and enriched my life so much….sadly our friendship is no more but looking back, the gift of her in my life was a very special thing…
I agree with one of the previous commentators – it’s only when you have the space and time to look back that you see the impact and beauty of particular connections…..you are both blessed to have known each other and I hope your attachment continues always…….best wishes to you and ‘your’ Lulu – I wish you both a wonderful weekend…xxxx


I love your blog, and look forward to your wonderful emails!
You enrich my “french spirited life”.
And, Le Petite Bijou is so beautiful.


love that story, made me think of all the people who have come and gone out of my life….

and the cream tip – hope I can get it in Canada, the winters here are brutal on the skin! :)

all the best


I have never tried serum, a bit expensive, but if it works well it will be worth it. I will give it a go.

Fiona Booker

What a lovely post Vicki, Lulu can be left in no doubt that she has made a difference to the lives of many people – and that is what has made a difference to hers.


It is so difficult to give up a long-term relationship. Great that you were able to reunite..

Velvet Pumpkins Giveaway!


the serum sounds interesting, never tired that, your writing is so touching & I have felt that from others in my life before too, so sweet

Dixie Howell

Such a beautiful and well written post. I always look forward to reading your blog. Have a wonderful weekend.


beautiful post, it makes me happy and sad at the same time. Leo Ferré’s song “avec le temps” came to my mind.
Friendship is a true gift and experiencing it as you both have done is invaluable !
Lovely weekend.

D. A. Wolf

Your Lulu story is lovely!

I can’t help but look at the photograph of Tatou and think how much (more) I enjoy her now, as an actress, as she matures. She seems to have grown into a face that begins to whisper its tales of experience.

There’s so much beauty in that – the loves we discover and even possibly lose; the accomplishments in which we take pride; opening ourselves up to loving again and simply breathing in the good things in life.

Thank you for this post and this story, reminding me where beauty comes from.

Linda Kerr

Is this the $500.00+ serum? Yikes! I’d rather use that kind of money for traveling. Trop, trope cher for this teacher!


No! Its the DNA Repair … expensive but no where near that price..


Vicki – what a beautifully written tribute to Lulu. Your love and appreciations for her came shining through in your words and I’m sure she feels equally blessed by the time she spent with you and your family. Thank you for your serum and beauty product recommendations. I swear by Clarins but am always open to trying new “potions”. At one point you recommended the Eucerin Hyaluron Filler line which is hard to find in the U.S. A friend brought some back for me during a trip to London and I loved the products. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Leslie in Portland, Oregon

Thank you for sharing the story of Lulu. It sounds like each of you enriched the other’s life in ways that will always be with both of you. I hope that you quickly find someone who will become another wonderful Person Friday for you and that you and Lulu have the opportunity to build a new relationship. Amitiés from another Francophile in the Pacific Northwest

The Enchanted Home

I loved reading the story of Lulu, sounds like she was one of those people who come into your life for a reason, and even though its not forever, sounds like she left an impression that will stay with your forever. Always enjoy a good happy ending!

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