Archive for the ‘Vive la France!’ Category

Scenes from a sidestreet


Such a pretty building.

I was walking along in a bit of a daze, having just bumped into a woman from Bowen Island.

What are you doing in my dream, I thought.


A nice place to stay, n’est-ce pas? Attractive stone walls, well sited in Aix, full of a certain indescribable charm…


Ah… those nuns! Such good taste!

Now let me give you a bit of geographical perspective, mes amis. The lycée my two canadiens are currently attending is across the big boulevard from this building. A 10-minute walk or less.

The lycée is also a massive stone building with beautiful stone archways and attractive wooden plank doors and a central garden.

The lycée is only, relatively speaking, 250 years old.

The lycée is also a former convent, albeit for the Benedictine order, lest there be any confusion.

That’s a lot of prayer in a very small area.


Of course, every building has a story…

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Mais oui!

Okay, Europhiles.

I’m very sorry to do this to you so please be forewarned.

The south of France is very pretty. It is also sunny and fragrant.

The coffee is strong, the baguettes are fresh and to nibble on a croissant whilst sitting in a cafe on the Cours Mirabeau is magnifique!

So what’s a poor Canadienne to do?

Why, send her children to school, of course!


Voila college Mignet. Former 17th-century Benedictine convent, now an international secondary school in the heart of Aix en Provence. (Homeboy is apparently in that muddle somewhere but I don’t see him.)

My dear friend Mary lives in the country outside of Aix and as the youngest of her three children still attends this school, she arranged for my two to attend for the time we’re here.

And you know they’re just *thrilled* about that!


Painter Paul Cezanne once attended this school as well so there are tributes to him in the area, including these brass plates in the sidewalk en route to school. No particular notice paid to the corner where he used to smoke with his buddies!


So after dropping off my little friends in the mornings I make various detours through the gorgeous little alleyways surrounding the centre of town where the school is situated.

Olive trees in pots. If only I had friends in Customs Canada!


Perfect time of year for fresh produce to be everywhere, even in the tiniest little places where you’d pick up a pack of smokes or a newspaper.


After 24 hours of travel and even more without sleep, the princess had a bit of a sore throat and fever. However, she managed to pull it off in her best French style, don’t you think?

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