Monday, July 28, 2014

Once Again, Market Day In Ambert

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While I am writing this post, it is raining once again on our hill here deep in the Auvergne, France.  The temperature currently is 55 degrees and will drop to the 40s tonight.
However, this past Thursday was glorious, which was fortunate because it was market day in Ambert. By far, buying my produce at the market is one of my favorite things to do while I am here.  The markets move around during the week to other small towns, but the one in Ambert is the best, as far as I am concerned.
Stalls line the narrow, curved streets leading to the town's unique round town hall, in the center of town.  Vendors from all over the region sell their products. Over the past few years, more and more organic produce from small local farms are offered.  Amidst the cheese, eggs, fruit and vegetables, one can find almost any bric-a-brac. Even parrots and hopelessly outdated clothing items.

And if that is not enough, one can purchase a 5 Euro chamber pot.  It was the week's promotion at a local store along the market route.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pastis And Pétanque

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During one of the two sunny days in the past week and a half here in the Auvergne, we met up with our neighbor Michel and his young visitor Evans to play a round of pétanque on the small stony path leading through the fields and into the woods.  It was time to start practicing for the village's yearly pétanque tournament, which will take place later this summer.
Team Brooklyn had not played since the spring, when my husband, daughter and her boyfriend played on the bocce Court in Carroll Park.
Of course, no game would be complete without a bottle of Pastis and the support of Caramel, the big friendly cat of another neighbor.








Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Auvergne Weather Forecast

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Taken in Montpeyroux on top of a XIIth century stone tower

Except for two days of sunshine, it has rained incessantly here in the Auvergne since I arrived a week and a half ago.  Mind you, I am not complaining, for even with gray clouds the landscape is rather spectacular.
One of the things I appreciate so much about spending time in the countryside is the wide expansive view of the sky and the amazing cloud formations in the distance. I miss that when I am back in Brooklyn.

Here is another shot taken from the same tower. This one shows the famous Puy-De-Dôme volcano in the distance.

The weather is supposed to improve in the next few days.  I hope. Along with the dark clouds, the temperature has been hovering in the low 60s and at night, I sleep under three blankets, since it dips down into the low 50s.



Friday, July 18, 2014

Busy Days In the Auvergne, France

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As in years past, I have returned to the Auvergne region of France to spend some time in a tiny village high up on a hill. I arrived here this past Friday and have been keeping very busy.  First, there are neighbors to visit, news to catch up on, and most importantly, getting re-acquainted with every corner of the old stone farmhouse that has been in my family for the past 44 years.  Then there are the long lists of tasks and improvements that my husband and I would like to undertake this summer.
My favorite project by far is digging the flowers out from under all the weeds.  After spending a few hours of weeding, I once again found my lavender, roses and irises, the daisies and the clematis, which are all in full bloom.
The fields of sunflowers down in the valley are also at their most beautiful just now.  Perhaps even more stunning than sunflowers are these hollyhocks below, which I photographed a few days ago.  They were growing in a small walled garden not far from our village.  They were stunning and I was tempted to jump the fence to pinch a few seeds for my garden.
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I am off to Lyon today to pick up my daughter and her boyfriend from the airport.  We are planning on some excursions and a few visits to the market.  More photos very soon.