La Vierge Marie
25 July 2010 | VA Notes Provence

La Vierge Marie

  When we first found our farm in St Remy de Provence there wasn’t much to call a garden. There were some established trees, an orchard of abandoned fruit trees, a few gnarly old olives and a whole lot of broken down buildings. There was nothing of value and everything of value. Amongst these ruins

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Moules Et Frites
9 July 2010 | VA Notes Provence

Moules Et Frites

You either like them or you don’t. Me…I love mussels with an accompaniment of pommes frites. You may notice that I am resisting using the English words…fried chips, french fries, just plain fries, hand cut chips, match stick potatoes or any other derivation of deep fried because pommes frites just sounds so much more delicate, so

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The TGV… A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Avignon
7 July 2010 | VA Notes Provence

The TGV… A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Avignon

    Have you ever taken the TGV train in France?   This high speed train travels from the North to the southern tips of the country in record breaking time….hence the name train a grande vitesse. It is a sleek machine that snakes it’s way through the countryside, reaching average start to stop speeds

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The French Supermarket
1 July 2010 | VA Notes Provence

The French Supermarket

  French life, like all life, has to revolve around the everyday some days.   Yesterday was one of those kind of days . As much as I would like to gaze at beautiful surroundings and wile away the hours there are things to be done and they are the kind of things that can

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The Londoner
23 June 2010 | VA Notes Lifestyle

The Londoner

In the words of Britain’s esteemed author Samuel Johnson, ‘No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.’    June is the month when the sun shines, the roses are in full bloom and the gardens and parks are heady

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Lime Blossom Tea
10 June 2010 | VA Notes Provence

Lime Blossom Tea

Lime blossom tea.  On the farm the tilleuil trees are in full blossom and the scent, as it floats and lingers on the breeze, is just another one of the million reasons why I am crazy about Provence. Up early with basket in hand, I wandered along the canal that cuts through our property to

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Mothers and Sons
9 May 2010 | VA Notes Lifestyle

Mothers and Sons

I always thought that mothers favoured sons. It seemed to me that sons were the golden boys, the boys who could do no wrong and the reason for the bright light in their mothers eyes. I was wrong and I didn’t understand this until I had my own son. Mothers and sons have a unique

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Thinking Of Paris: Lingerie and Lace
27 April 2010 | VA Notes Paris

Thinking Of Paris: Lingerie and Lace

The French girl loves her lingerie and every village, town or city in France is witness to this.

No matter how small the French village there will always be one or even two lingerie shops.
Like the lotions and potions from the pharmacy and the latest cut and colour at the hairdresser, the proper lingerie is a French girl’s staple.

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How One Angry, Erupting Volcano Upset The World
23 April 2010 | VA Notes Lifestyle

How One Angry, Erupting Volcano Upset The World

That volcano in Iceland, with the unpronounceable name, might have been spectacular and may have been responsible for some remarkable sunsets but she sure has a lot to answer for. The nasty damage and the air space closures, not to mention the wasted TV viewing hours that accompanied this natural catastrophe. Looking at round the

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Knock, Knock…Who’s there? Part Two Of The Tale
21 April 2010 | VA Notes Provence

Knock, Knock…Who’s there? Part Two Of The Tale

click here to read part one   Je suis Australienne, je suis Vicki Archer, je suis en vacances, I repeated over and over. No, no, no, the Inspector replied becoming more and more frustrated with me. Who are you? Where do you come from?Where is your husband? He asked me these simple questions time and time again

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Knock, Knock… Who’s There? A Two Part Tale
19 April 2010 | VA Notes Provence

Knock, Knock… Who’s There? A Two Part Tale

We have been reminiscing about our time spent in France in 1995. We had taken our three young children and travelled to Europe for six months from Australia, where we were then living. This is well before we had any thoughts of living in France permanently but on reflection this is probably the moment when my

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Arrondissement… Name Change
27 March 2010 | VA Notes Paris

Arrondissement… Name Change

  The Francophilia Gazette published this interesting little titbit about the original names of the 20 Parisian arrondissements. Each area was known by name not by number as they are now – in fact the arrondissements have not been called by name since 1859. Bit of a shame really….it sounds so much cuter to say…I

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