Archive for the ‘News’ Category

There’s a programme of behind-the-scenes visits coming up next month which has been designed to introduce locals and visitors alike to activities and industries here in Provence.

You can visit the Airport and Museum of Aviation, soap manufacturers, Décathlon, the Grand Theatre de Provence, calisson makers,  an artisanal brasserie to taste the beer, vineyards of course, Centrale EDF at Martigues, Iter, Cadarache, or go backstage at the Silo in Marseille.  And lots more.

The events take place under the ‘Indus3days’ banner, organised by the tourist office in Gardanne.

Dates: 10-23 Feb: in previous years, events have been sold out quickly so time is of the essence for the popular visits.

Cost: 6€, free for the under 6s.

Details: https://www.indus3days.fr/

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Some well-known acts are in the line-up this year for the Festival de Nimes which takes place in the Roman arena, 2000 years old, what a venue!

Newcastle’s finest Sting (more…)

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‘Les Pieces Jaunes’ , the annual collection of all those pesky heavy centimes is taking place across France right now, an initiative from Bernadette Chirac who has been championing it since 1989.  It has funded 15,000 projects to help children and adolescents in hospital, aiming to make their time there less stressful.  Specifically, it has created 2824 bedrooms for visiting parents and 60 houses for family-use.

This year, the charity has been transitioned to the care of Brigitte Macron and Didier Deschamps who will continue this valuable work.

The problem for the Aixcentric household was that we had accumulated such a big pot of centimes that it would have overwhelmed the little collecting boxes that you will see dotted around town in shops and post offices.  Que faire??

So this week I threw myself on the mercy of people at the info-desk at Carrefour who have a large floor-standing collection box but with a very narrow slot.  They gamely took on the challenge of posting them for me and for that I am truly grateful.   Chapeau to Carrefour!


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We were all saddened when the Librarie de Provence in the cours Mirabeau closed at the end of March last year – it was yet another in a series of closures of independent bookshops.  So  it’s a great pleasure to report its rebirth in very distinguished premises, (more…)

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First there was the Carrieres de Lumieres in an old quarry at Les Baux, then came the Atelier de Lumieres in an old factory in Paris, and now, opening soon, (more…)

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This morning – another large tree being felled

Yes, more trees are coming down.  Three have disappeared from outside Monoprix, not the very large plane trees, nor the very new ones, but those that have been planted for a few years.  But further up the road, I witnessed the demise of one of the beautiful plane trees, this time outside the bookshop Goulard. (more…)

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KFC in Vieux Port….

The joke I got in my Christmas cracker last week wasn’t entirely accurate: ‘Why do French people eat snails?’ Answer….’Because they don’t like fast food’.

But as we know, many of them really really do.  For instance, France is now Macdonald’s second most profitable market, after the US, which is surprising given the animosity there was towards the brand when we first arrived in Provence.  Much of the turnaround has been steered by their CEO who has introduced salads, patisseries, local produce and, thumbs up to him, little books in many ‘Happy Meals’ instead of plastic toys.

So perhaps the news that KFC has just opened in Marseille’s Vieux Port isn’t surprising, and perhaps too they will adapt their offers to local tastes. I just question whether a bright eye-catching American brand is best placed in the historical centre of France’s oldest city, especially after MPG2019.

It’s now open, at 4 quai de Rive Neuve.


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