1 Nov 2013


more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

1. Monday was my last day in the South of France I wrote about it here. I had a last glance on the beautiful landscape and then in the evening I prepared my suitcase.

2. My friend drove me to the airport in Marseille and even with my vintage face I apparently looked suspicious, because I had to open my suitcase in which of course he didn't find anything else then dirty laundry, and newly bought curtains. As medication is cheaper in France then in Belgium I had bought some classical things for our home pharmacy. I think he was quiet disappointed that I didn't had a bag of cocaine. I had to leave my hairspray behind, in case I intended to spray the pilot.

Mr. G. picked me up and looked real good, it seems to have some holidays from the own wife was relaxing, nobody told him what to eat, to do and avoid unhealthy things.

3. It was hard to get used to rather cool temperatures and the heating, on top it rained, so for the second day at home I felt "homesick". I put my T-shirts and summer clothing aside for next year and looked in my archives to see what I had for the winter. Maybe I need some new feathers.

4. I had to do some shopping and took the opportunity to make a tour with my new car, which had been the only thing I had missed ! The sun was shining and I drove and drove with no special destination, landed up in areas I had never seen, and when I had enough I told Mrs. GPS to take me home.

5. As they are All Saint's school holidays for a week, my painting class was on holidays too !  From Halloween I didn't see anything, not even in the shops. It has completely disappeared. Nobody in the street had done some decoration.

But then my young neighbor called and asked me if she could come over with her 3 year old son Maxime. Of course I said yes, found my witch head, a pumpkin and a witch I had from previous Halloweens and little Maxime was very impressed. He took the sweets posed for the picture, but was a little afraid of the witch. While there were there, suddenly 6 other kids showed up with their Dads and fortunately I had enough sweets for everybody. Last year I had bought sweets and nobody came !

31 Oct 2013


Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday

When I visited Arles together with my friend, daughters and boyfriend, we wanted to drink a good cup of coffee before starting visiting the city.

We choose this little café and made plans. I wanted to follow van Gogh's traces and didn't know that we were sitting just opposite the "Yellow house" which he had painted and which became so famous !

Finally I decided to take the little train which made the tour through the city with explanations. The stop was right at the "Yellow house". So of course I was very surprise to hear that I had sat just in front of this house drinking my coffee.

As soon as I knew I took pictures from all angles ! I was so happy to see where he had his drinks and had painted.

Van Gogh wanted the Yellow House to become a monastic community where the art of the future would be forged, but the house was too cramped.

At home when I looked up the history of the "Maison Jaune" I was surprised that they talked about another house, in which he had lived together with Gaughin. It says that "The Yellow House" no longer exists. It had been destroyed in the 1940s during World War II, but had been rebuilt. I saw this building too, which is now a hotel. The city hadn't even reconstructed his room and it didn't look at all like the painting. The "Yellow House" I had turned around had the inscription "La maison jaune". Now whatever is the truth, I have seen "The Yellow House "!

We were all surprised and disappointed that the city had done so little to remember this famous painter. There was not even a statue of him in the park he had painted.

PS. I just realized that I am one letter behind, the sun probably had some influence on my brain.

30 Oct 2013

29 Oct 2013


On my last day in Ollioules, we went to a friend of Claudie who has three donkey.

We arrived at a huge property with a little way leading to a beautiful house. The landscape was absolutely stunning !

Then we arrived with our bag of bread for the donkey.

Before feeding them we had a tea with cake in this very beautiful living room, which  looked like a round tent, but all in glass and cast iron. We chatted together and made a tour around the house. From some places you could see the sea from far.

and finally after having called them by their names, they all arrived and were happy to get the bread. I had never seen donkey like that, they were silver grey and looked as if they were sewed together as they had a black stripe on the back which looked like a seam. They were so friendly. How lucky they are to have such a nice home with such a huge territory to walk around.

I also liked the interior decoration very much

The kitchen was very modern and enormous. In the middle was the island in a corner a big round antic table and on the other side cupboards until the ceiling. There also was a big utility room.

After having spent a very nice afternoon, we returned home and Pierre had prepared a good bye meal for me, baked little potatoes with olive oil and garlic. I had never eaten such potatoes before and had asked him to prepare them for me for the last day. Tomorrow I fly home.


When we visited Saint Cyr sur mer  we visited the ruins of an ancient Roman villa. Read more here ...

28 Oct 2013


Claudie's daughter had her 22nd birthday. 17 people were invited. Pierre her husband was preparing the buffet, he worked the whole day, while we were visiting Arles.

He had prepared a very yummy buffet, which could have fed a whole army ! There were so many local specialities, I couldn't name them all and it's impossible to translate without writing down the whole recepe. Everybody ate with appetite and the sun was shining, it was a perfect day.

The boyfriend who is a pastry chef had baked these artistic cakes, reproducing Mellissa's paintings ! They tasted delicious, and nearly nothing was left.

It was a very amusing birthday party.

The rest of the afternoon, the men played boccia and only stopped when it started to get dark. It was quiet noisy, they had a lot of fun, while we had our fun watching them.

The birthday girl disappeared with friends to St. Tropez, while we ended the evening with eating up the left overs together with a couple of friends, and I suppose we will still have to eat for tomorrow !

27 Oct 2013


The day arrived I fulfilled a dream, we went to Arles where my favorite painter van Gogh had lived, painted, became crazy and cut his ear off.

The first thing I saw was the amphitheater which dominated the whole town. I didn't go inside because I hadn't enough time, all I wanted was to see the things concerning van Gogh. On the steps I played corrida with Claudie's daugher, she was the bull !

Just opposit the arena was a little train stop, which took tourists through the city and explained all important places. When I had chosen my seat (Claudie and the others went into the arena) this cute dog climbed in and stayed with me although the owners had told me he wouldn't stay long. But he stayed. The train went through such narrow streets that I could touch the walls on each side !

And then I saw the yellow house which van Gogh had painted, the house in which he had lived together with Gaughin, the parks etc. Unfortunately the house was a rebuilt because the original had been destroyed during WWII ! Which made me very angry. Today it is a hotel and of course attracts tourists interested in art, to sleep there where once van Gogh had lived. The tour was very interesting and I will write about it later.

Then we had to go to an Exhibition, Melissa the youngest daughter had to write about for her art studies at the University in Aix en Provence. We were five to look at the map and the little GPS on a smartphone and all five apparently had no sense of direction. So we walked stood, discussed, juggled with the map, turning it in all senses and finally I asked two ladies for the way. It took some time but we arrived to see the masterpieces of a certain Richard Nonas who had lived and worked in New York. Originally he had been ethnologist for 10 years. The exhibition was in such a small street that 3 people couldn't walk side by side. The entrance was closed and we had to ring an old bell. A cat looked out of the window, which was the best of the whole exhibition ! All you could see were square wooden blocks lined up and a cross. I more liked the iron oven in the corner with real logs behind. I didn't want to pretend that I am an intellectual art specialist, I thought the guy was making fun of people. Of course Claudie stayed with her daughter inside and listened to all the explanations explaining the sense of square wooden blocks lined up in a row. The only thing making sense to me was burning them in the stove.

We three, Anaïs, boyfriend and I sat outside on a stone bank and laughed our heads off. Then we went further and sat on the terrace of a café in the sunshine, along the river Rhône and waited for the student and her mother. It had been a wonderful warm day with 24°C ! It seemed like summer.