French ponderings.....

French ponderings.....
Dreaming of France in The Land Down Under.......

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Finding my inner artist / Trouver mon artiste intérieure

It's always been in the back of my mind that at some stage in my life I would attempt far I have only accomplished a wall or two, but perhaps the time has come to give it a Monet :)

I've actually held off  putting brush to's a FEAR thing! What if I really try....and I'm pathetic at it!!!???? gulp.....then what???

I took a couple of lessons ....that was lots of fun. I felt like I was back at primary school..well it was nice to feel young again at least  :)   The thing was, I needed to decide what style of painting/drawing I wanted to do to continue......well...uumm..daaahh....I dont know!  So I didn't go back.

I had to give it some real thought.......

Does this mean if I follow this thought process I will become the next Monet of the world??   ;)

Then a 'thought' came to me! I remembered reading an advertisement in a newspaper promoting a 'meet the artist' kind of thing at one of the 'grands magasins'in Paris.   I thought it could be rather interesting, as his 'style' appealed to me, fun, whimsical, and oh so french! I didn't go....but I DO remember him

Monsieur Izak Zenou: Fashion illustrator.

What do you think? Like?? I do!

Also thinking I may need some sort of 'drawing' talent! One must start somewhere mustn't one??????

I did a little more research and came across something , with a french flair....

Introducing  ' Fifi Flowers ' A californian artist whose heart is with Paris. These paintings are available for purchase on Fifi's site.

You like?  I like! :)

Ok, its decided! I will give this style a go, keeping in mind that it's the 'journey' that counts not the if  my 'oeuvres d'art' don't make the cut...I wont be too hard on myself ;)

If you were  just starting out on the 'art' road, which route would you choose?

A bientôt. Gigi

Monday, July 22, 2013

Annecy adventures / Les aventures d'Annecy

A few years back, I spent 3 seasons in Annecy, France...yep, that's right,
3 seasons, but it only took 3 days to do it....:)

It's a gorgeous, ancient city, near the Swiss Alps, that I just fell for.

We stayed in Hotel Au Faisan Dore... which was a pleasant surprise when it came to  space, after all the prior shoe boxes.  Oohhh  sooo warm, as well, which turned out to be a lifesaver!

Season 1:  'Colder than anything I have felt ' season

First day, so lets get out and about! That's what we, all rugged up,  that's what we did! I'm sure we were the only ones on the streets....I swear, I thought my ears were going to SNAP OFF! The whole city obviously knew better.....ugh!

This is what we should have been wearing !

We became resourceful......early lunch at Bar de Pont 'Morens', as the name seemed to be almost  fitting....tiny pizza....and red wine (medicinal purposes only......).

We looked onto Annecy's old prison, one of the most photographed spots in France ,outside Paris, and felt sorry for the poor blighters who had called it home....yet it looks so charming now  as a museum ....:)

Season 2: Le Printemps est arrive! SPRING

The next day we thought we would give it another shot, so off we went......had we slept for 3 months or something???? There were people everywhere, out and about, enjoying the most beautiful spring day in the local park by the lake,  the difference in 24 hours was crazy :) and very welcome!

Perfect weather for a luncheon  cruise on Lake Annecy. Yaay.

Brilliant! Delicious food and wine...

And views to die for!

The service was so good, we decided our waiter was surely  hoping we would sponsor him  and bring him home with us!

Let's wind it up with a couple of 'must sees'..

Market day , of course..

a walk through the historical  arches of the old town....

and a visit to the Chateau d'Annecy museum......

if only to catch a glimpse of Annecy from above. Lovely :)

Well, there you have it.The beautiful Annecy. It gets a big tick from me.

Oh yes......the third season???? The day of departure??? We woke up to this :)

A perfect au revoir, from a perfect place.

A bientôt, Gigi !

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Bastille Day/Le quartorze juillet.


Ok, it's over, but better late than never, I say .... What did you do to celebrate?  In fact, I'm not sure if 'celebrate' is the right word, but it is the date that commemorates the 1790 fete de la Federation, which marked one year on from the storming of the Bastille. 

Things got a little tricky for King Louis xvi and Marie  Antoinette.

....lets say they got very carried away...lost their heads so to speak....?

Anyway, I for one am glad to have an excuse to 'french it up'  at least once a year, and this year I found myself at the Bleu Blanc Rouge Sydney french festival. 

So, with  beret donned......

and  red lippy slathered on,

Ok, these are not my lips.... :)

 I roamed around the stalls (unfortunately not many, but I will give them a  break as it was their first event) which included french champagne,wine and cheese tasting areas, cooking classes, a garlic stall, stage entertainment and more.  


Sausage stall

French market baskets galore

And of course, last but not least, my favorite stall, French Affair, with the gorgeous Sue, and all her french inspired goodies.

All in all, Sydney turned on a special sunny Sunday. 

So, what did you do for Bastille Day?  Dine out at a french restaurant? Cook up a master chef french dinner chez vous? Or simply sip on champagne under a setting sun? What ever you did, I hope  you had fun!

Here is a snippet of Paris going off with a bang!

A bientôt, Gigi 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

A house in France/Une maison en France

Ever dreamt about buying a home in France? I have....

If I were to get serious about it, I would strongly consider using French Entree , a french  property and holiday site.  They also have a great magazine up for subscription. A friend and I were discussing the other day how we stay on a french HIGH for days after  reading it!

Another great option is to go through French Desire. A wonderful  Australian site with loads of information on France, exclusive offers for members and a monthly newsletter. 

Lets check out some properties............. this one looks good!

This one for sale here

Ok, so the price of  1,875,00.00 euros is a  'un peu' limiting....  Lets find something more affordable, but still in the country...........

.Right, here is one! A mas with vineyards and olive trees! Priced at  385,000 euros, it could fit the bill...mmm but who is going to do all the work, the pruning, the picking, the weeding, best to keep this more of a fantasy, I think....

for sale here

Maybe an apartment in Paris. That could work!

for sale here

This one is only  285,000 euros and in the lovely 7th arrondissement  I'ts on the 3rd floor..........with no lift. mmmmm well that  could come in handy considering the croissants and gateaux I would be enjoying.....

Miam Miam!

No, I need something much less expensive than let me see......yes, here's one!

for sale here
In the St Clar, Tarn et Garonne and priced at 170,000 euros (neg), maybe more affordable...?

But what about this one!

for sale here

It's only 18,000 euros! That is a bargain! A little work needed perhaps.......well maybe a LOT of work, but cant you just imagine it all painted up, with gorgeous french blue shutters, a pretty little garden and new fence with wrought iron gate... yes,  I could buy this!

Now, the problem with purchasing a house in France is well..... you actually  have to go there to enjoy it. Yes, I know, that's the whole purpose, but there is the  matter of airfares, time off could take forever to renovate...


Maybe it would be better to choose an area we really like, one where we would want to spend lots of time, then go in search of a rental apartment/house that fits the know..


Wrought iron


Blue shutters

 THEN keep going back to this very abode every year and pretend it is ours! This would be cheaper, less stressful, and give us more time to just relax and holiday instead of suffering hard renovating work....yes,  I think this is the answer!  But no, wait, there is a problem..............

 What if YOUR property was sold under your feet by the owner!.........This just wouldn't do!

No, there is only one word left to say...........


                                                        But it is fun to dream, isn't it :)

A bientôt, Gigi