Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Fly Marseille to Istanbul…


Istanbul is a fantastic city: now you can fly direct.  Marseille Provence airport is offering 3 flights a day with Turkish Airlines and Pegasus.  Flight time: 3hrs 15.









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Where will the textile market be held when the Christmas chalets open?

For the pre-Christmas period the textile and brocante markets at the Rotonde,  avenue Giuseppe Verdi, esplanade Cézanne, square du Colonel Antoine Mattei and place Jeanne d’Arc will be open until 19:00hrs on these Saturdays:  26 nov, 10 and 17 déc.

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Following on from the post about the Bach concerts this weekend, Saturday 13 at 18h00 in the Temple Grignan in Marseille and Sunday 14 at the Eglise St Jean de Malte at 16h00, I received some background info from Bach-lover Bob W.

“The significance of these concerts is that they mark a revival and renewal of the Academie. Its founding artistic director Ulrich Studer stepped down at the end of 2021 after ten years of inspired leadership.

He then passed his bâton to a talented organist, singer and conductor, Benoit Dumon. The latter is the organist and director of music for the Cathedral of Gap. He founded the Ensemble d’Albizzia in Cassis and in 2018 became the artistic director of the Rencontres Musicales in that town. So with M Dumon’s arrival in Aix, the appréciation for the music of Bach will have the chance to spread into the Alps as well as along the coast.”  Thanks to Bob for that behind-the-scenes update.

I would also add that the church Saint-Jean-de-Malte, the first Gothic church in Provence (1251), is just the most lovely place to sit and listen to music.


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There’s a new way of visiting WWI sites, just recently completed: battle sites are now linked by two 1000km trails, one for hikers and one for cyclists. They follow the line of No-Man’s Land along the Western Front. The route is the biggest single commemorative project underway on the globe.

Their inspiration: 1915. 2nd Lieutenant Alexander Douglas Gillespie of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders writes home from the front line to tell of his vision of ‘a via sacra’ (a sacred road) before being killed in action; “when peace comes, our government might combine with the French government to make one long avenue between the lines from the Vosges to the sea….I would make a fine broad road in the ‘No-Mans Land’ between the lines, with paths for pilgrims on foot and plant trees for shade and fruit trees, so that the soil should not altogether be waste. Then I would like to send every man, woman and child in Western Europe on a pilgrimage along that Via Sacra so that they might think and learn what war means from the silent witnesses on either side.”

Last year, historian Sir Anthony Seldon completed the walk in 40 days. ‘This walk’, he wrote, ‘has changed my life, and I imagine it will for others who walk any of it’. He feels it is the northern equivalent of the Camino de Santiago, and possibly more accessible.   His article is here: Sir Anthony Seldon

The logo (below) comprises a poppy, a cornflower, a forget-me-not and a daisy, all flowers of remembrance – it’s on signs which mark the way along the trails.

The website has details and maps from the Swiss start-point, across France and into Belgium.  App under development: https://thewesternfrontway.com/ Thanks to Carol for the article.


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New Novel Set in Aix

Local writer M L Longworth has published her 10th novel set in and around Aix – what an achievement. It’s part of the series of Verlaque and Bonnet detective novels, three of which were adapted for TV under the heading Murder In Provence (available on Britbox). (more…)

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Just opened at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, the exhibition “Monet – Mitchell” which creates unprecedented “dialogue” between the works of Claude Monet (1840-1926) and Joan Mitchell (1925-1992). (more…)

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Homes for Hens

The condition of hens in factory farms is deplorable. Thankfully, there is a local organisation ‘Champs Libres aux Poules’, dedicated to finding homes for them instead of them going to the abbatoir when their ability to lay eggs diminishes. That’s around 18 months old.  Some stats…

  • Last week 170 hens were adopted at Pertuis by 20 adopters
  • 250 were adopted at Cuge-les-Pins
  • Over the past 2 years, 25,000 hens have found new homes, thanks to this group.

The volunteers also give families post-adoption support plus advice on any problems that arise; and they try to publicise the plight of these birds amongst the general public.

‘Champs libres aux poules’ was created by Heidi Carneau in 2020, with the help of the “British Hen Welfare Trust”.  Her first success was finding homes for 400 hens in two days. Since then, the operation has gone from strength to strength.

‘Saved’ hens can be featherless and aren’t guaranteed to lay eggs any more, but have lots of time ahead to recuperate.  The team examine each carefully and look after hens that are too weak or harmed to offer for adoption.

A charge of 4 euros each helps cover the association’s costs.

Next ‘séances d’adoption’ are at Aix on 24 Sept and Istres 25 Sept.

Details:  www.champslibresauxpoules.com

On a personal note, Aixcentric fils has had hens for some years now and it is quite amazing how they become almost like pets.  Certainly when they see a car turn into the drive, they stop their foraging and rush over to see who has arrived.

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If you are planning a trip to Les Baux de Provence to enjoy the immersive art display of the works of Cézanne, why not include a visit to the Yves Brayer museum in the village?

They have an exhibition of the works of Camille Claudel, ( 8 December 1864 – 19 October 1943), a French sculptor known for her figurative works in bronze and marble.  Hers is a sad story of a talented woman unable to flourish in the misogyny of late 19th century society

In 1881, this 18-year-old precocious artist went to Paris to take up an apprenticeship with Auguste Rodin: she became pupil, model and lover to Rodin,  20 years her senior, and this relationship proved overwhelming for the young woman.

In addition, the exclusively male art critics of the time recognised her talent but she was still regarded as “Rodin’s pupil”.  Her struggle for recognition, and her distress arising from her relationship with Rodin, evolved into a psychotic illness which saw her hospitalised for 30 years in an asylum near Avignon where she died.

The Musée Yves Brayer is celebrating her work with an exhibition of 30 sculptures, borrowed from private collections or the Musee Camille Claudel which opened in her home town of Nogent-sur-Seine in 2017.

Finally some recognition.

The Musée Yves Brayer is the home of the permanent collection of Brayer’s paintings.  Well worth a visit. Here’s a 3-minute taste of what you can see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jqUZs1vbKs&t=10s

Museum details: https://www.yvesbrayer.com/en/

More on Camille and Rodin in the excellent ‘Hidden in the Shadow of the Master’ by Ruth Butler. (Yale University Press). Includes lots on Monet and Cézanne’s relationships with women.

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The Anglican church in Marseille (rue de Belloi) will be holding a memorial service for the late Queen Elizabeth II this Saturday 17th September at 14:30.

There will also be a book for written condolences.

All welcome.

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Aix always pulls out all the stops for the heritage weekend, 16-18th September, which is celebrated at towns across Europe. This year, the international theme is ‘Patrimoine Durable’ but Aix has put its own spin on the event and will be celebrating its famous waters, under the heading ‘L’Eau Notre Patrimoine’. (more…)

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