Saturday, October 24, 2015

Living the French village life. . . . . . . .

This is the medieval village in the Languedoc region where my brother,
 his wife, and my niece have lived for many years. My niece recently
graduated from Glasgow University in Scotland and is now working for a 
well known international company in England. . . . . . I know she must miss
the quiet French village life, at least a little bit.

Caunes is within the medieval area of the Aude Pays Cathare - just 20 mins. 
from Carcassonne, the largest walled city in Europe. An hour south and you 
hit the Mediterranean beaches, and a beautiful 2 hour train trip brings views of the
 Pyrenees mountains, the coastline, and then you arrive in Spain, which we did at
 the end of our trip. I'll have lots to share from Barcelona later.

My family's house is gorgeous, and the garden produces much bounty in the way
 of vegetables which my SIL preserves to stock her large pantry. My brother is 
now quite the farmer I must say, and his wife a really wonderful cook.
These pix were taken two weeks ago and as you can see the tomatoes were still 
coming in and the onions being dug. One evening John dug
 potatoes an hour before preparing dinner - you can imagine the fresh flavor!

As you can see, the weather continued to hold after we left the river boat in 
Provence and headed to Caunes for a few days. After all the wonderful meals
Alison prepared in her beautiful kitchen, and sampling many great wines chosen
 by John, we headed into the vineyards, les Montagnes Noire (the Black Mountains)
 in the distance, and walked for several miles each day. . . . . . you can guess why!

Some views from around the village where a small population of approx. 1400 live
 the true French life. They are surrounded by acres of vineyards, now in their
 Autumn colors following the recent harvest.
Bob and I walked often up and down the narrow streets to the village ramparts,
 checking all the places we'd seen on previous visits, but which remain of great interest.

Also located nearby the village is the great red marble quarry which has supplied
 beautiful stone to build some of France's most amazing landmarks, such as the
 Palace of Versailles.

An annual red marble carving contest in the village produces amazing statues - Bob
 here with a huge bull.

The 8th century Benedictine Abbey, across from the house,
 provides a lovely view from the upper garden level where there is a pool
and many exotic shrubs - even the Morning Glories were still blooming.

Yes, the entrance to the garden from the lane does have have one of 
those wonderful, so European, Fatima's hand door knockers - and I can't begin to
 tell you how many photos I've taken of French doors sporting these knockers all
 around the country on this trip! 

Happy weekend to all my dear readers. We remain so busy here trying to catch
 up with everything after such an extended trip.
 We are also celebrating Birthdays - granddaughter Jasmin turns 19 tomorrow,
 and yours truly will welcome yet another 'golden year' as I do my best to blow out
 seventy two candles on Monday - well hopefully nobody arrives with a cake with
 quite that many - I do want to make seventy three and many, many more!


  1. Happy, happy birthday
    From all of us to you.
    I wish it were my birthday
    So I could party too.

    I reckon you are good for another thirty birthdays. Have fun.

  2. What a wonderful French Village. Your brothers home is lovely. Happy Birthday to you on Monday Mary!

  3. How delightful is that village where you have family in France. Having a "home" adds so much to a place, I think. You can get the inside scoop on what's happening and enter into life there in a way not possible when staying in a hotel. Your birthday is Monday, mine is Friday, the last year in my 50s. It's a week to celebrate! Happy, happy birthday, dear Mary! Wishing you much joy in the year to come.

  4. Beautiful village and home...I'm sure it made you and Bob thrilled to visit again and family time is wonderful. Their garden fresh meals had me swooning!

    Beautiful pictures as always, I so enjoy when you share the places you explore with boundless energy!

    Sending love and birthday wishes to you, my friend. And many, many more! Hope to meet up again in the spring.

    Jane x

  5. Dear Mary - what a delightful spot your brother and his family live in - I wonder if he knows one of my 'followers' Janice, who blogs at 'Janice in Caunes'?
    Hope you and Jasmine have a wonderful and happy birthday - you still look the same as when I first started following you♡

    1. Rosemary - just talked with my brother and discovered Janice and Mark were over for supper recently (before our visit), and my SIL is teaching them French!!! What a small world?

      Thank you for the birthday wishes and very kind words - funnily, I feel the same but have to admit do see the wrinkles in the dastardly mirror!

      Mary -

  6. Hello dear Mary
    I've enjoyed following your journey through La belle France!
    Caunes is typical of the charming villages in the Languedoc.
    How lovely for your brother John having you and Bob staying with him.
    I spent several hours wandering through Carcassonne before driving to Hendaye - in Basque country which was fun too!
    Oh the history of Carcassonne - what stories those walls could tell!
    My goodness how the year has flown by - wishing you a very Happy Birthday dear Mary and many, many more to come!
    Warm wishes and love
    Shane x

  7. took me straight back to France! That is such a beautiful region, we have explored it many times.
    Bonne Anniversaire, chere Mary, may there be many more.

  8. Darling, I love all of your photos and stories .. this is almost like being there ... everything I imagine it to be too, right down to the knockers.

    { "yes, this is a photo of me and my knockers "}

    1. You saucy girl Candice! Yes, those door knockers are everywhere in France - it's really hard not to lift them and knock just to see who would open the door, most of which open right on to the cobbled streets.
      In my brother's village there are many typical elderly French ladies and gentlemen who probably have never left the village in their lifetime. We saw them at the boulangerie buying the daily baguette, walking old dogs, digging allotments alongside the abbey etc. They would have stories to tell - and I would love to step inside those old stone houses and see the interiors!
      Mary -

  9. It looks a beautiful and interesting place to live - and to visit:) Many Happy Returns for Monday, I hope you have a lovely birthday.

  10. Beautiful place to live, growing your own food is so satisfying.

  11. Your brother and family live in a very beautiful place! The history and ancient walls is very interesting. Happy Birthday wishes to you my friend. 72 and counting!! You look amazing so keep it up. :) Have a wonderful week, Mary. xx Pam

  12. Oh that bull is fantastic. I must have it. What a fine, wonderful trip. It must be so much more special with family to guide you.

  13. Happy Birthday, dear Mary! Have a very special year ahead.
    Oh how I love the countryside around Carcassonne. Your photos just make me want to go there right this very moment. Thanks for taking me away for a few moments. It is so beautiful there. What a treat for you to have family right there to visit. xoxo m

  14. Dearest Mary,
    Yes, a wonderful and favorite area of Southern France.
    Still have all the Angélique movies that started in the Languedoc area.
    Always you get so deeply immersed into history; what I love most and often MISS so terribly here in the New World.


I would enjoy reading your comment - thanks so much for stopping by.