Before I crack on with today’s nonsense I hope that every reader understands that this word jumble is my therapy.  I am not a writer.  I wish I had the talent that my friend Daryl has.  He has more writing ability in his little finger than I do in every obtuse lump of me.  When considering today’s title I mused over several possibilities.  The first was kitschy, something Provençal perhaps?  Then I thought maybe something about the continued scorching hot weather.  Of course there could have been some self deprecating quote to do with England loosing to the Croatians in the semi’s.  You know something like how to blow a lead and the World Cup in one simple move.  When all was considered I concluded that anyone with the intestinal fortitude to take on reading this epic instalment should be forewarned that it will have a ton of photos and may go on much longer than the average self harmer might want to endure. 


Since the last time I collected my thoughts on paper we have done so much and seen so many places.  We have wandered the ramparts and halls of the Papal Palace in Avignon.  We have slowly meandered through countless hilltop villages stopping to peer inside shops, galleries and cafes.  We have shopped till we dropped in Aix-en-Provence.  In between shops we were able to find our way into the Cezanne and Picasso exhibition at the Aix Art Gallery.


Today we left somewhat later than we usually do from home base in Bonnieux and drove to Mennerbes and on through Lumierre to Goult.  I have to jump on the sword now and retract my earlier comments stating that Cucuron is the merd’!  Goult is now the front runner in the my top Provençal Village ever award. 


Gordes is spectacular, Lacoste is pretty and filled with Artists in training as they summer at the Savannah College of Art situated below the Chateau.  Apparently Pierre Cardin is the benefactor of the village and art school and you can tell as this place drips with style and design.


I could go on and on about the veritable cornucopia of little places we have rambled about but at this stage you clearly have got the point.  I love France.  I love the food.  I love the wine.  I love that you can’t get food or gas or anything for that matter on national holidays and Sundays.  I like the style.  I like the design.  I like the land and the interminable sense of slow and easy.  For Christ sake, I even like the little buck o’ five Frenchmen that put out a smoke only to role another and light it immediately.  


Of course the biggest question of the day is who do I cheer for on Sunday when we once again walk down to our neighbourhood cafe to watch the outdoor 75” flat screen.  Ok, I am saying this once and only once.  I am cheering for France.  Those cheating diving Croatian’s do not deserve the win.  They did not beat England the night before last.  They assaulted them.  I routinely starred into the eyes of the psycho looking ref on numerous occasions expecting a card.  Nothing.  Abominable.  


I have never once in 52 years of watching the soccer or Rugby ever uttered the words “Allez Les Bleu”.  But here goes.  This Sunday that is all gonna change for one and only one time ever.  I swear on my English Rose tattoo (if I had one).

Tomorrow is Bastille Day and as such we can expect all kinds of pomp and circumstance.  The French are a proud nation.  I tip my hat to them.  I would trade every member of the Trudeau family (past and present) for one de Gaulle.  

Allez Les Bleu!












  1. Mark…Sorry the Three Lions missed the final. They were a deserving team. One consolation, you will be in the epicentre for Sunday’s final….what an experience that will be. The French are looking strong.


  2. Daryl marvels at Mark’s abilities as both a writer and photographer. Mark can, and I hope soon will, become a professional travel writer and photographer. Mark has curiosity, compassion, wonder, wit and the right amount of cynicism to make every post a thing of beauty.


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