Monday, August 1, 2011

Celebrating Summer

Fireworks over the castle of Montmirail

This week brought many happy meetings and celebrations. Our old neighbors the Tireaus from Les Alpes Mancelles invited us to lunch. 

 La Moulin de la Ribotière, our first house in France

We had been very close to this wonderful family when we first moved to France and lived in a little moulin, but we'd let far too much time flow past without being in touch. It had been well over a year since seeing them. They are among the sweetest most generous people we know. They made our transition to this country a real pleasure. Their youngest daughter Phillippine was just eight when we first met. She is now fifteen. Aurore, who I always felt very close to was a young teenager.  


She is now a grown woman, working as a professional pâtissière. She lives in Caen and works at a chic pastry shop. Happily for us, she was home visiting and for lunch made us a special chocolate raspberry tart.

It was not only exceptionally pretty, but absolutely delicious as well.

After lunch we walked with them down our old driveway and visited our first French home in the middle of the forest. It really is like Hansel and Gretel's place.


Later in the week Leyla came by for a day of etching. She was keen to develop and reprint her dragon image, which she made here last year. It was George's, (her father's) birthday and she wanted to surprise him with the image.

Leyla and her mother Sophie


At the weekend Montmirail had its annual fête médiévale. In anticipation, I got our shop cleaned up and presentable, adding a bit of decoration.

The village becomes very lively for two days with dozens of activities, demonstrations and vendors selling everything from medieval costumes to bubble gum... not a product I associate with that moment in history. But there's no doubt that the village itself is the real McCoy. Many thousands of people pour into town to enjoy it all.

Within an hour of its closing, all the stands had been taken down. This morning the flags and signs were removed, all the stray garbage collected, and every trace that it ever happened completely erased. It's as if everyone else in town were just as anxious as we to have life back to its quiet simplicity. Still, the festival really supports the community finacially.

Our guests this weekend were vendors and all entertaining characters. Here in France on summer days and nights in small villages there are events of every kind put on by local communities to entertain the vacationing public.


Summer has appeared again, with pretty blue skies, warm temperatures and twittering birds.


  1. You lived in that little cottage? In the wood? What a dream....

  2. Hello Nancy,
    Really love the castle and fireworks photo. Your festival looks like it was so much fun...minus a few tourists.

    Remind me never to visit during the summer.

    Leyla looks like a sweetheart and I have a soft spot for children who love to be creative.

    Of course you ended the post with a gorgeous cloud photo just for me...right?

    Hello to Rick

    Janet xox

  3. Oops.....I forgot to mention the most wonderful part of this post...that adorable cottage! So glad you got to step back in time for just a little while and renew old friendships.

    Janet xox

  4. Nostalgie, nostalgie ... le Moulin ! What i like so much, Nancy is that you really put your "play" your life as if it was a fairy tale. Everything deserves to be mentionned and gives pleasure to readers. Makes me think that we MUST visit you soon !