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Just imagine this being the view from your lunch table.  That’s the pleasure of being in Les Goudes, a enjoyable boat-ride from Marseille’s Vieux Port.

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Friday evening sees the annual Fete de la Musique which used to be a  sprawling event with all types of musicians playing music of  all genres, mainly very loudly, all over town. It seems though, since the deadly events in Nice during a summer festival, this type of event  has to be properly secured, something very difficult to do in our old town of tiny streets.  Continue Reading »

…..starting with the wild Sirocco wind that roared through the south of France on Friday.  Here in Aix, it brought down two branches in the little Place Saint-Honoré (up Cours Mirabeau, left before Café le Grillon, just along from Etam…)  Incredibly, they hit Continue Reading »

En Avignon

I learned in my French class yesterday that we may say, ‘à Marseille’, ‘à Aix’, but it should always be ‘en Avignon’, as it sounds so much

Photo from France 3

better.  I wonder if Barak Obama knew that last evening as he flew into Provence for a short family holiday.  In fact they will be staying not far from Villeneuve-les-Avignon, just across the Rhone, a charming old town…”C’est un peu le 16e arrondissement d’Avignon’ according to one local.  The inhabitants seem delighted with their famous visitor but emphasised that they wish them to have a peaceful stay, without too much attention.  According to reports in La Provence, though, their accommodation will be surrounded by a 24/24 police presence. I hope they can get out to enjoy the area.

Avignon itself has a lively programme of cultural events all year round; but in the summer, comes into its own with the Festival d’Avignon.  It started in 1947 and attracts tens of thousands of visitors: there are more than forty different shows performed during the Festival, plus readings, exhibitions, films and debates. It’s worth noting that there are often plays in their original language.

Expect some challenging art too – I look forward to seeing the oils of talented young Syrian painter, Miryam Haddad, at the Collection Lambert.

Their permanent collection has many of the great names in contemporary art, housed in an elegant hotel particulier.  The courtyard café, La Violette, under the shade of a magnificent plane tree, is a great venue for lunch.

The festival starts at the beginning of July. 

More on Miryam Haddad’s work here: https://www.festival-avignon.com/en/artist/2019/miryam-haddad

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Local museums with interesting locations can really benefit from their space, now that the warm weather is here and the days are long. Continue Reading »

‘Bibemus’, Paul Cézanne’s oil painting of one of his favourite motifs, the quarries outside Aix, is back in town for the first time since it was painted in 1895.  It can be seen at the Hotel Caumont Centre d’Art, along with 5 other of his oils. Continue Reading »