a sprung Spring

wild irises in our hamlet
wild irises, thyme, jonquilles in our hamlet

The first lilas, the first irises, daisy chains made of ‘paquerettes’…

paquerettes and dandlieons 2013

iris 2

iris 3

wisteria 2013

our school held it's first of two 'Marche aux Fleurs'
our school held it’s first of two ‘Marche aux Fleurs’ in the village square
watching the sales
…careful observation of the flower sales
a surprise bunch for the Aussie shelia
a surprise bunch for the Aussie sheila

It’s 26 degrees, Spring is beautiful and I’ve just made my first ‘Jardiniere‘ of the season.

Look out for Mamy Jeanne’s recipe in the following post…

As seen near Saintes… (signs!)

as seen near Saintes...
We were on our way to a party in the Charente last Saturday and followed this car on a roundabout…

Benji and I had a party to go to near his parents’ place in the Charente last weekend.  We found ourselves following this guy, somewhere near Saintes…








He’s saying:

Man 55

Looking to

Meet woman 48 years plus

Loves Nature

Walking. Animals

Ingenious.  I hope he’s found his woman.

Speaking of signs, here’s one I recently spotted on someone’s front door :

dog con
You should ask a French person how to say this one

I think their dog’s name is Polo… and he jumps, and he’s a…

And I love this one too, seen on the back of an old guy’s truck:

Buvez du Vin!
Beziers Propaganda Association for Wine sticker


…and I’ve just thought,


romance frenchie style
romance, Frenchie style



A romantic after all??

I know I married a Frenchie, but that doesn’t mean that everyday is full of flowers, French champagne, French perfume, lingerie…  I won’t go any further, but to say simply that you can’t change the man!

What you see is what you get with this one (and I’m fine with that), and though dinners aren’t candlelit with violins serenading us, sometimes I do get little surprises.  Like this one yesterday…

wild leek flowers - allium ampeloprasum
I've received some flowers!

A bunch of hand-picked wildflowers!

freshly picked!
...roots and all

…roots and all!!

These beautiful wild leek flowers – ‘allium ampeloprasum‘ are all over the vineyards at the moment and Benji gave me quite a lovely surprise by bringing me this bunch home.

He is a romantic after all.

They just need a bit of a trim.  But we can even eat the bulbs… a man that thinks of everything.

I can’t get enough of the wildflowers at the moment.  Everyday brings a new variety or colour and it’s wonderful going out for a walk in the garrigues and a cheeky pick!

wild flowers from the Minervois
Wild flowers freshly picked

So just who are the vigneron and his wife?

Let’s get going and invite you in!

You’ve found us!

I’m Australian, Benjamin is French and we live in a remote, rural area in the south of France.  He is the vigneron, I am his wife and he makes wine that I love to drink.

Our daughter attends school in the local village (we call her the ‘Aussie frog’) and it almost feels like Little House on the Prairie except she wears jeans!

We’ve been living here for the most part since 1998, making and working in wine.  It is wine that led us here and wine that keeps us here.  Our life is inextricably linked to it and why I’ll probably be talking a lot about it here!  …And I guess living where we are, food may get a mention too!!

To outsiders it’s a quiet and very isolated life, if you compare it to the razzle dazzle of a city but delve deeper and, like anywhere, you’ll find a lovely hum of people busy in all sorts of interesting actvities.  People from all walks of life – the locals born and bred here, French people from other parts seeking change and a  growing community of ‘etrangers’  are all enjoying the wonderful landscape and quality of life that this region offers.

Influences and arguments fly in all directions.  In this mix, food and wine are two major elements of the day and what connects us.   There is an almost ritual-like approach to making or serving food and wine that I hadn’t encountered before living with a Frenchie in this area.  I can’t think of a better way of getting to know all these people either!  A few good wines and good food always seems to help my fledgling French.

I may not be sharing any images of the Eiffel tower, baguettes in hand, candlelight dinners overlooking the Seine – or frilly French knickers for that matter (who said all Frenchman were romantics?)… but a no-frills account of what we get up to here in this part of France. I’m not going to spend 365 days eating only foie gras and camembert either, but I will make a good go of drinking Benjamin’s wine – and a lot of others,  cooking and sampling foods  and sharing these experiences with you.

first blog collage - the wonders of La France
The jolie things I see around here…

Welcome to our home, warts and all, happy that you might visit!


p.s.  I know I promised no snowdome scenes of idyllic life, but  there are some beautiful sights around here that I’d love to share that are unmistakably ‘French’. Sometimes you do actually get those ‘ooh la la ‘ moments that take your breath away .  This occurs almost daily for me here and it helps keep the homesickness at bay!

…and I do LOVE the Eiffel Tower.