Archive for May, 2011

Awakening to Paris Affairs

Posted in French Affair with tags , , , , , , on May 25, 2011 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour everyone,

With the recent heated debate and speculation over the innocence of French minister Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his alleged attempted rape in a New York hotel, it came with mixed headlines across France. ”Le Figaro’ sends shockwaves through France (“coup de tonnerre sur la presidentielle”) while other newspapers come up with alternate theories of innocence and conspiracy, such as those who seek to blacken the name of the main contender for the Presidency to replace President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2012.

Either way, it’s not a good look for the image of France.

I wondered if the French do believe in the three times married, sixty two year old’s innocence or are they more worried about the political ramifications to the Socialist Party?

Although Khan’s alleged attempted rape is a very serious issue for all concerned, this got me thinking about duplicity and acts of deceit in general, like extra marital affairs.

It seems affairs are not confined to any socio economic status. The Affairs Candidate can be an unlikely male or female from any walk of life, seeking inspiration and excitement. Throw in a mid life crisis, loneliness and sex and you may have some very real reasons why people have an affair.

There is no doubt that many French Presidents have a good track record of extra marital affairs. Take the current President Nicolas  Sarkozy for instance. His French voters tolerated his behaviour. Come to think of it, wasn’t France more concerned that Sarkozy had chosen the Italian born Carla Bruni- a musician, to be their First Lady of their beloved country, than their actual affair?

My french awakening turned into curiosity and having broached the topic of infidelity to some French women, it was clear that this was true.There were more ripples of discontent about his lover Carla Bruni’s musical career, her fashion sense and past nude photographs, than being the third party of the marriage.

Does this mean then that French society’s more accepting attitude encourage affairs?

Francois Mitterand and Jacques Chirac with his secret mistress, happily joined the queue for extra marital affairs a number of times. Do their actions make them worthy Presidents or husbands for that matter?

So it seems, that the French as a nation do not frown upon extra marital affairs as in the case of other countries. It’s also interesting that France’s famous ‘Statue of Liberty’ by Frederick August Bartholdi had two possible female models for the face. One may have been his mother but the other candidate was his mistress. Hmmm.

That’s surprising…

Does Liberty ignite the world or just the bedroom?

Au Revoir,

Best Wishes, Therese Waddell

copyright@ 2011 Therese Waddell

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Awaken to Provence Inspired Quilts

Posted in Decoration & Design, French Quilts, South East France, Therese Waddell's Quilts with tags , , , , , on May 21, 2011 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour my friends,

Today is the day we take the warmth of Provence and the roads which wind across its yellow and green fields steadily towards the Meditteranean and show you how I turned a piece of French provincial inspiration into some quilts. I hope you like them!

Here are the results of my Provence experience called, ‘The Road To Provence’ and ‘Provincial Autumn’. It’s all part of my french awakening but up close and personal. Take a look now at ‘The Road To Provence’ Quilt pattern…

The Road To Provence Quilt embraces the warm, rich colours of the South of France as inspiration, where fields of gold, lavender and green are breathtakingly beautiful. I intended that this quilt’s earthy tones and sun blessed colours radiate a feeling of comfort and seduction.

Size of Quilt:  90in x 60in

PATTERN ON SALE for $20 AUS !…

And here is another…it’s called, ‘Provincial Autumn’…

This quilt represents a Provincial Autumn with its falling leaves and earthy colours surrounding a centre of beautiful French Toile de Jouy fabric.

Size of Quilt: 77 in x 77in

Pattern on SALE for $15 AUS !

These original quilt patterns (and many more) can be ordered directly here: http://www.quiltingthejourney.com/   

Au Revoir,

Best Wishes, Therese

copyright@Therese Waddell@2011

Awaken to Limoux in the Langeudoc

Posted in Food and Recipes, French Affair, French Travel, South of France with tags , , , , , on May 15, 2011 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour mes amis,

Last entry was about Limoux,a fabulous town in the Languedoc Roussillon area of southern France but I wanted to show you more of the heart of the town-around the area of its centre square or Place de la Republique when the great Carnival ( remember  https://myfrenchawakening.wordpress.com/2011/05/04/awaken-to-limoux-france/) isn’t on and life has resumed to normality once again.

When you’re there, you’ll notice many half timbered buildings around its edges, many modern shops and restaurants, bank, cinema and wine outlets (Atelier de Vignerons) embedded in historic facades. There’s a lovely wide sunny plaza to sip coffee and fix your attention upon the locals going about their daily chores and who queue for great takeaway food to take home, from a myriad of gourmet and speciality food shops.

Yes, my french awakening discovered plenty of gourmet outlets in nooks and crannies around the town’s centre of Limoux. It boasts of at least seven divine delicatessans who will comply to your every desire and a fine artisan butcher who can weld his knife to any grain fed quivering carcass in such an adept manner, it brings him multiple local awards for his skills.Try catching up with him for something divine to cook if you prefer eating in one glorious French evening.

As far as scenery, Limoux (on the ville fleurie listing) is beautifully nestled around the river Aude and paints an idyllic picture. Photographers can snap away to their heart’s content.

We can all learn a lot from the locals here especially about food and wine. This kind of knowledge can never go astray, don’t you think? You can take it back home with you and bring a little bit of southern France into your own kitchen! One just merely needs to spend some time there to test this theory. You may put on a few kilos here but you certainly won’t forget the experience!

Limoux- it’s just waiting for you!

Au Revoir,

Best Wishes, Therese Waddell

copyright@Therese Waddell 2011

Awaken to Limoux, France

Posted in French Cafes, French Music, French Travel, South of France with tags , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2011 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour my friends,

With all this recent quilt talk I seem to have put aside the real treasures in life, such as the little French village of Limoux. So we’re going there today if you’re not doing anything else in particular.

Limoux is located in the south of France- nestled in the beautiful Langedoc Rouissillon area on the river Aude, about twenty miles from Carcassone. You will recall this beautiful walled city in

https://myfrenchawakening.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/awakening-to-carcassone-france/

From Carcassone it’s a quick train trip through some of France’s most beautiful countryside so why not travel by train and enjoy the breath taking scenery?

Now Limoux  does not have the imposing fortifications and heavy structured double walls of its neighbouring Carcassone, but it remains tough and resilient enough ( like some of us) as you would expect being located smack bang in the heart of  Cathar fighting territory. Home to toughened inhabitants like the brawny hard as nails rugby team for instance who take great pride in being affectionately known as the ‘Limoux Grizzlies’!

Even the tough know how to celebrate though and you can see Limoux in its true playful form during France’s longest Carnivale -the Limoux Carnival which lasts for three solid months of the year. This is when everyone (big and small) gets into party mode, dancing and singing and generally parading around in a eclectic mixture of medieval and modern garb. Check out the lengths that some Limoux entertainers go to as these glamorous and creative costumes are worthy of any opera house you’ll agree.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuBk9iyAeT8&feature=related

Limoux residents have been doing this for centuries, but over time they’ve forgotten why they party for this long during the Winter months and that’s the real beauty of it all. The confetti throwing parade enters the main square and weaves its way in and out of shops and cafes, led by a wand carrying pierrot (or clown) and accompanying musicians, all set to involve onlookers and entertain all. Good ol’ fashion fun is contagious. Take a look..  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3gWMO8Il7k&feature=related

Fun is definately a memory worth keeping so if you land in Limoux on some cold Wintry day, anytime from January to Easter, you’l be in for a real treat. Be warned though, wear your party dress!

Yes, Limoux and its surrounds  has its own unique appeal worthy of any tourist or local alike. In the south, Limoux’s valley is enriched with forests. It offers plenty of walking and cycling trails, skiing, horseback riding, canoe, rent a houseboat and so on. Further south, a town called Esperanza has not only a great Sunday market but a quirky hat museum known as the Musee de la Chapellerie. It was Europe’s largest producer of felt hats in the whole of Europe and it’s modern website is found at:

http://www.audecathare.fr/musee/musee_chapellerie.htm

One and half hours further south from here, you’ve hit Barcelona! There’s a lot to see and do around Limoux. My French awakening discovered that the oldest production of French bubbly originated in 1531 in the bowels of the stony Benedictine Abbey of St Hilaire just outside Limoux…

A visit to the Abbey is a must. Their sparkling wine (lovingly known as ‘Blanquette de Limoux’) was produced way before champagne in Burgandy and was actually rediscovered by President Thomas Jefferson in 1794, who was so taken with the bubbly (as one does) that he kept his cellar stocked with Blanquette for years later. Obviously a great French wine connoisseur, he alone was charged with the responsibility of selecting these French wines for the White House at the request of George Washington!

Today you can douse yourself with Blanquette de Limoux for only $14 per bottle- a fraction of the cost of the champagne houses of Burgandy which you may recall here… https://myfrenchawakening.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/awaken-to-french-champagne/

Arhh Limoux, you’re sounding better all the time, don’t you think?

Au Revoir,

Best Wishes, Therese

copyright@2011 Therese Waddell