Anxiety and Observation …both states were experienced by Susan Gish who describes Tuesday 19th May, the first day of the market in Aix after lockdown ended.

She writes: My anxiety apartment had been narrowed down to an anxiety closet the past few years since we’ve lived in Provence. It took many years from a stressful career, but I finally started to just ‘be’ and enjoy the moments. Unfortunately, with the lockdown and what has been happening in the world, my anxiety closet changed once again. This time into a full blown chateau. Although we live close enough to walk, I stayed away from the center of Aix the past two months. I took my walks away from town into the hills where I didn’t see any people, and got our food delivered. The very few times I walked into town I almost had a panic attack.

So yesterday morning going to the market I was a bit apprehensive. I put on my mask and carried hand sanitizer. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Hooray! I was really happy to see some of the market vendors that I totally missed. Continue Reading »

SM’ART the annual art extravaganza which normally takes place in Aix in May, is just one of the events which has been postponed, in this case to mid-September.  Others have had to be cancelled completely.

Here is a list from the tourist office: https://www.aixenprovencetourism.com/agenda-des-evenements/les-grands-rendez-vous-aix-en-provence/  Thanks to Jennifer for this useful information.

Update: if this link doesn’t work, you can reach this information via the tourist office website: go to ‘agenda des evenements’ which has a photo of the Aix Festival stage.  Scroll down and click the box headed ‘ Les grands rendez-vous’ which is where the list can be found.



To market, to market to buy a plum cake! The markets will be opening in Aix again from Monday next week! writes Susan Gish.

Continue Reading »

Just after we got our Aix apartment, I remember going to the local market one very warm May day, flinging off my cardi and remembering NOT to say ‘Je suis chaude’.  The lady at our veg stall told me in no uncertain terms not to take any good weather for granted until the feasts of the saints de glace had passed.  These turned out to be Saints Mamert (11th May), Pancrace (12th) and Servais (13th).  Apparently there is some meteorological backing for this phenomenon of a cold-snap mid-May …so hopefully we are now set for sunny days.

And I need to thank the same veg lady for her advice on cooking the new garlic which also arrives on the stalls at this time of year.  I had never seen it before.

She told me to put the whole bulb into the microwave for a minute (more if it is very large) and then extract all the milky white cloves which by now are steaming hot.  You mash them with a fork and mix them into creme fraiche and chopped parsley – eh voila!  A wonderful sauce for meat or grilled vegetables.

Now a firm family favourite.

News from the Mairie of ‘la Market Place Aixoise’, a digital map of shops open, when, where and what they can provide.

It’s to help us all quickly source supplies – and to provide a platform for shops to advertise their products, offer deliveries and contact-free payments and launch promotions.

New addresses will be added as they re-open for business. A local company has developed the platform which is free for the next few months.

A useful service for both businesses and inhabitants of Aix.

Here are details: http://www.aixenprovence.fr/La-market-place-aixoise-de-proximite

Great news that Book In Bar will re-open on Tuesday 12th May at 10:00 albeit with slightly altered conditions.

They explain:
“We are doing all we can to provide a safe environment for everyone, while trying to hold on to the atmosphere and personality of Book in Bar that we all hold so dear. To begin, the bookshop will be open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm nonstop.
The sitting area of the café will remain closed but drinks and cakes will be available for take out.
Secondly, we ask that you wear a mask while at the store, as well as use the hand sanitizer provided at the shop entrance. We also request that the required social distance be respected for your own safety, that of the other clients and of our team.
We also reserve the right to limit access to the shop if deemed necessary.
We would prefer bank card payments.
Finally, the click and collect system will remain open for those who wish to avoid all contact with others. For this, place your order via our website www.bookinbar.com
or by email and collect at a given time. We are also setting up a delivery service (free from 30€ sale, for the historical
part of town).
Sadly, we have to cancel the bookclubs and any other gatherings until September.
The team is looking forward to seeing you all again”.

Good news for cyclists as the lockdown loosens. 

Whilst they have been relatively traffic free, major routes in town are being rethought to provide extra space for people travelling by bike. 13km of road should be freed up.

From 7 May, some bus lanes are being opened up to cyclists, as well as one carriage-way on a dual carriageway road – see diagram from the mairie:

15-20 May – a similar system will be introduced on major routes: avenues Max Juvénal, Malacrida, Henri Mauriat, le cours des minims plus la route de Galice.

In parallel, work is ongoing to work out how to connect these new tracks to existing cycle tracks.  The authorities stress that this is experimental and if heavy traffic returns, the full width of the roads may be needed again; on the other hand, it may be that a shift to tele-working will take place and leave space for cyclists on a permanent basis.

More here: https://www.aixenprovence.fr/Deplacements-un-plan-a-l-essai-pour-le-velo