I know it’s only October but this is an important date for the diary for all those who pack Aix’s ancient cathedral for the annual carol concert.

It will take place at 16:00hrs on Sunday 2nd December. As regular attendees know, you really do have to be there by 15:30 to get a seat.  It is justifiably very popular and a great start to Christmas.

Afterwards, what nicer than a hot spiced wine down at the Christmas market on the cours Mirabeau?

For new arrivals in town, what nicer than a one hour trip from the Vieux Port to admire the key sites and hear their history? Continue Reading »

Here’s the list for all art-lovers out there……

‘Traverser La Lumiere’.  10 Nov 2018 – 31 March 2019

The works of Roger Bissiere, Jean Bazaine, Elvire Jan, Jean le Moal, Alfred Manessier and Gustave Singier.  The organisers tell us that this is a post-war group who called themselves non-figurative artists rather than abstract; they  have been, apparently, ‘injustement négligé’ at the expense of American artists since the 70s.  So let’s see…..

Harry Callahan: French Archives, Aix-en-Provence, 1957-1958. 16 March – 21 July 2019

This photographer was the director of the Photography Dept at Chicago’s Institute of Design; he received a grant and chose to spend his time in Aix, Sept 1957-July 1958.  So we will get an insight into Aix in the late 1950s. Little taste here: http://www.museegranet-aixenprovence.fr/expositions/prochainement/harry-callahan-french-archives-aix-en-provence-1957-1958.html

Fabienne Verdier. Summer 2019

She has designed posters for the Festival d’Aix 2017 and Rolland Garros 2018; she will be exhibiting Cezanne-themed work.

Good to see a woman headlining here for a change…she uses giant paintbrushes to create her pictures.  Watch her work on her tennis poster!   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyHx5h0YUXA

Egypt. From December 2019

Musée Granet will be presenting items from its Egyptian collection. These were last shown in 1995.  They have around 150 items of which many they say are exceptionelles. The curator for this show will be Christophe Barbotin, conservateur en chef au Department des antiquities egyptiennes du musée du Louvre.

It seems museums are increasingly turning out their basements – MuCEM, Avignon, Aix’s municipal museums with their current green-theme – and coming soon, a haul of Egyptian pieces at the Granet.  What next will they come up with?


The British press has been fulsome in its praise of the Musée de la Romanité in Nimes which opened in June – I couldn’t wait to visit.

Continue Reading »

A photo expo ‘Les Paralleles New York-Martigues’ – intriguing title

A new environmental art show at the Musee Ziem

The Fete de la Chataigne

Work on the big bridge, post-Genoa – an update Continue Reading »

Fete de la Courge

This weekend (13th and 14th October) sees the annual Fete de la Courge in Rians in the Var, and it is one of my favourite village festivals: mainly as it is so very un-English.  It is an excellent opportunity to see a work-a-day Provencal village, totally non-touristy, celebrating local produce. Who knew there were so many types of pumpkins and squashes?

There is lots of fun to be had – especially the displays in the Salle des Fetes: you can admire the largest pumpkins or the ones with the strangest shapes.  Over a hundred courge-themed stalls crowd the narrow streets and there is fun for children too:  fishing plastic vegetables out of the village fountain is one traditional and popular game.

food6Pumpkin soups and casseroles are served at long tables in the village centre – get there early though as they ran out quite quickly last time we went.

It’s all well organised with parking in a massive nearby field.


I recently posted about both MuCEM and the museums in Avignon wheeling out  items from their archives, and now it looks like the three municipal museums in Aix are getting in on the act:  their theme is vegetation. Continue Reading »