Monday, January 6, 2014


We set off on another glorious day of blue skies to discover some of the gems of this area....did not have to go far!

On the way down the stone staircase at Joanna's home set in the Roman Caves...this in the Plane tree which Napolean brought to this area...

This lovely home belongs to a friend of Joanna's and this courtyard is alive in the summer time....good to have fun neighbours!


Pont Julien....a perfect Roman bridge near Bonnieux

Welcome to Roussillon....this village is famous for its ocre red soil and located by the Plateau de Vauluse...

Lunch time for "les dames"...that would be local goat's cheese for me...along with cider that is like no where else!

Joanna and her goat's cheese crepe....yummy!

Just bring on l'addition! after a quick spin through Apt....

And who lives here?





Marquis de Sade himself....

Ah the stories that these walls could share of its occupant Marquis de Sade...

Don't think I am accepting a dinner invitation to any dinner with the Marquis!

Pierre Cardin bought this building just below the Marquis's residence and turned it into a wonderful space for theatre and arts old quarry.

And finally.... Menerbes.....this walled village on a hilltop in the Luberon mountains is certainly one of the most breathtaking villages seen...and has Dora Maar's home..



What a view she had! must mention my perfect house is for sale next door!




Fell in love with doors....



Off to Avignon tomorrow and then back to Paris to start the trip home!!


Sunday, January 5, 2014


Sunny arrival by train in Aix En Provence then driven through beautiful countryside by my hostess Johanna Staniszkis, internationally known and awarded textile artist and a friend for 40 years.

Our first stop was in Lourmarin to visit the village cemetery and pay respects to Albert Camus...

Entrance to the cemetery



A beautiful cemetery and what light!



We arrive in Bonnieux in the distance. And is only 100 stairs to Joanna's extraordinary home on the hill..

How is this for an after dinner walk? Who needs drunk driving would never get home after 3 glasses of wine!


Saturday, January 4, 2014


Few do not know of Shakespeare & Company on the Rive Gauche. I have made friends there all of whom now guard the heart stone I left in memory of Nigel Moore and his love of books. No one read more than Nigel. Nigel would have found this bag amusing!

Nigel's stone is inThe Piano Room on the second floor....peaceful place in this busy store.

Got to have a meeting today about my children's book with Octavia who is Nigel's custodian.


Friday, January 3, 2014


I was treated to a fabulous lunch today by my treasured friend Nancy Kendall who returns to Boston tomorrow. What a gift she is to my life as we laughed, shared stories and enjoyed beyond fabulous French food at La Societé in St- Germain -des-Pré say it all!



Devoured the caramel eclair before photograph could be love of caramel is set in stone...besides on my hips! Nancy and I both agreed it was DIVINE!!



As a passionate follower of Joséphine Bonaparte following my reading of Sandra Gulland's "Josephine B" one of the best books ever, made a trip to her country house as acquired in 1799 a must! Joséphine died in this extraordinary chateau at 51,


The Billiard Room ....and Joséphine played well!


The dining room..

The Council Room....Napolean had this added as he was spending so much time here. So a place to convene the Council of Ministers had to be created and was done in a mere 10 days! Shaped as a military tent decorated with a stripe twill this was my favourite room. Oh the history!! Napolean's chair swivelled...Lazy Boy may have found their inspiration here?


The Library and Napolean's desk...he had a hidden staircase on the left so he could leave discretely to his room above.

Napolean's private bedroom.


I would have gone to jail for these...

A tapestry of José beautiful!

Stunning rug...a White House feel?

Joséphine's room....what a ceiling...

I am sure there were tears that fell in this quiet corner of her Rose Garden after she and Napolean divorced..