Tag Archives: memories

Mum

13 Sep
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Jan Livesey (outside the church for my Christening )

Showering you with flowers for your birthday Mum.

Love Me xoxoxoxo

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13.09.1937 – 11.07.2016

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La Force

4 Sep

If you could register* all the events in life – the good, the bad, the memorable and the ones you are reluctant to remember…  You cherish them, are thankful for them, ignore them, fear them.  They make you what you are and hopefully, influence you to carry yourself forward, strong and determined to keep looking around the next corner.

“Life’s not a straight line,” I still hear Mamy (my French grandmother) saying to me, many years ago when I’d had my first taste of mortality, at a time I would prefer to forget.  I was sitting there at rock-bottom, listening to the words of this discreet and loving 87 year-old woman as she reeled off dark events in her life (nursing my baby for me, far physically stronger than me – my baby the beautiful being in this heavy time).  She spoke with dignity and humility. I’d had no idea of what she’d been through in her life – this petite, elegant woman who I already loved for how she observed people around her (I was doing a hell of a lot of that myself, not understanding or speaking the language of my new home), her conspiratorial grin and her willingness to accept me into the foreign family I’d suddenly landed myself in.  I looked upon her with new eyes.  She told me with certainty I would get through this time.  Mamy’s strength and empathy empowered me.  I thought, if she got through all of that, I can.

Many events have followed this conversation – and amidst the beautiful, there’s bloody well been a steady drum roll of tough ones for our family in the last few years.  But I understand the thread that runs through all of them, the good the bad, that collects me in its force and nurtures me.  It’s love. I sound bloody kitsch.  I don’t want to imply ‘lurve’, the cliched Hallmark cards or tits and arse ideas of lurve. I mean the big love. Love for and from the people in this life with me.  It empowers me, making me cherish today and determined to see tomorrow.

*I’ve been OCD-recording visual images on my Instagram feed, vigneronswife

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Eight-Oh Dad

4 Sep

Love you Pop xo

Image 05-09-17 at 13.06

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My dear uncle – the other ‘King’

2 Dec

I’ve been reminded today of how hard it is to lose someone you love.  I lost my wonderful, funny, larger than life uncle.

I was out in my car and receieved a text from my brother in Australia – it said our uncle had died half an hour earlier.

There I was, sitting alone in my car, on a country road in the middle of nowhere, reading a simple, clear message that suddenly altered a part of my life forever .

I felt so far away from home.  And I still do.  I can’t be with my family and the people I love over there – and give my Mum and Dad and my brothers a hug and say how much I love them.  I wasn’t able to tell my Uncle that either.  I can’t cry and laugh about him with my cousins.  I can’t go to his funeral and be there for my dad, his big brother.

It sucks being so far from home sometimes.  You try to get on with your life, you accept the distance (even though it’s still hard), you enjoy where you are and try to make the most of each day and then wham, something like this happens.

Thank you Uncle Leigh for everything we shared:  the loud LOUD music, your cooking, the laughs, your humour, letting me stay up late, fish and chips at the beach for our lunch breaks when I was your chauffeur; and of course Elvis – watching re-runs of nearly every live Elvis performance on video together, paying me to edit the commercials out for your recordings of Elvis tv midday movies, telling me the King was possibly still alive; you saying your tongue-in-cheek ‘bonjours’ to me over the phone from Australia, telling Dad to stop pissing with him when he didn’t understand my new married name really was ‘Dunno’ after I’d eloped; the widened eyes in mock horror at cheeky jokes, letting me house-sit for you and Marilyn all those times (my girlfriends and I thank you), showing me amazing jazz performances on the tele until all hours, re-enacting for me the first swimming scene from Jaws in our pool (you playing that woman) over and over again with me watching and squealing with excitement, when I was still ‘too young’ to watch the actual film; coming home late at night to see you lying on the couch at Mum and Dad’s watching a movie with them (you always got the best seat in the house); and not to ever forget, Uncle Leigh, your enthusiasm and positivity – your happiness at being alive.  You were always so much fun to be around and we all, your many nieces and nephews (you were the youngest of 10), knew how much you loved us all – as we do you.

Thanks for everything Uncle Leigh.  I am going to miss you so much.

Elvis from the 1968 Comeback Special

Elvis in the 1968 Comeback Special – one of Uncle Leigh’s favourites

so typically French!

29 Aug
chez le coiffeur

the barber shop in Carcassonne

Do you ever find yourself smiling at some of the things you pass by during your day?

I love those moments and have started to record them with my camera.  I can’t help it.  Everything in France seems so exotic to me, being a ‘non-Frenchie’!

Here’s some pics to share with you, but be warned!  There’s a few of them, so I hope you don’t get bored!!

baker at the market

Pierre the baker having a ‘tranquil’ pause at the morning market

Citroen 2CV

A lovely orange 2CV, shining like a beacon in the morning light

citroen 2CV

…those 2CVs are EVERYWHERE!

chien chic

‘Chic Dog’ (you know how they put their words backwards!) – every pooch needs a parlour

pooches

Hotel de Ville de Narbonne

Hotel de Ville in Narbonne flying the Bleu Blanc Rouge

Frenchy frilly bits

Frenchy frilly bits…

hanging out to dry

…and not so frilly bits

les chaussures roses

…les messieurs like a bit of pink too

Mamy Jeanne's recipe book

It’s the real thing! – one of Mamy Jeanne’s much-loved recipe books

…a Mamy Jeanne dish

(& check out the brilliant photo of her!)

our village library

And while we’re on the topic of books, I just love this. It’s the bookshelf in our local village library… gives you a small taste of what the public are reading up on! Recipes, winemaking, a history of Europe, a history of France and, bien sur, a little bit of psychotherapy.  Tres francais.

colon poster

Yes, it’s the GIANT COLON!! Be curious!! Roll up for a visit to the centre of the giant colon!… (thanks for the poster Mat, you know me too well!)

the cheese trolley

Colon health, giant ‘chariots de fromage’ (cheese trolley). Ever heard of the French paradox?

brocante

At the local ‘brocante’. This poor guy got caught, but we still hear his friends in our garden at night

french doorhandle

the doorhandle to one of my favourite brocantes

Cine

a cinema in Limoux (where Blanquette is made)

baguette in a basket

take-away baguette

a trip to the patisserie

Really love this one too. The scene, the clothing (so now!) and the little guy at the back just happens to be some Vigneron I know…

lady of minerve

a regular vision in these villages

les hommes de Toulouse

les messieurs sur les bancs

Still there?  Hope you made it!

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