Category Archives: from Dayle

The Apero

An important part of life in a small, friendly French village are the social  relationships. Sometimes walking up the street to the house is an experience in international relations. In our village Durfort, (approximately 200) we have older French people who are living in the houses in which they were born!, young French families who have brought beaucoup of energy to the village, Moroccan, German, British, Irish, Dutch and four Americans.

We non-natives have in common our bad French! But armed with a smile and a willingness to try, we have a grand “journey in communicating” filled with lots of laughter.

Evenings are taken up with impromptu dinners and aperos (like a cocktail hour. Apero is usually from 6-8PM-ish and you serve wines, juices and little nibblies of food. There is an whole aisle in the grocery store devoted to Apero. One side is all wines and aperitifs and the other, all kinds of nibblies to go with. Some are familiar to us- chips, nuts, olives, but also there are many exotic ones. Assorted yummies stuffed with other yummies, tissue paper thin sliced chorizo and other meats, pates, mussels ready to go in assorted sauces, crackers with lovely flavors baked on, cornichons- it goes on and on. Already in our short time here we have been to two aperos and three dinners and I have hosted two dinners!

As you can see food has taken precedence over everything else at the moment. Well, other than getting La Cascade ready for the workshops. But  I have been devoted to my drawing a day  and I continue to really enjoy the photo tips course that I spoke about last week here.

Next week I break out the polymer clay and the sewing machine!

Settling in to La Belle France

I’ve been planting the terrace and front flower boxes and getting La Cascade all bright and pretty to welcome the first workshop (taught by Mary Beth Shaw)- they arrive next week and I am really looking forward to sharing our wonderful village and area with all those coming this summer!

Our village had a tough winter. Durfort has been making copper ware since the Middle Ages (and still does even today) and we have unique streams that run down the middle of the street  The houses that line the streets were once copper ateliers and the little streams were used in the copper making process (for quenching etc). This winter these small streams froze and were covered my snow- highly unusual- and the result has been plumbing problems for our village. All is fine now but it’s been an experience dealing with french plumbers! (who have been the busiest tradesmen this spring!)

The big Saturday market is full of strawberries and cherries right now and I made the most delicious scones- fresh cherry and crystallized ginger. If you’d like the recipe (it’s easy) just get in touch with me here or email.

My art-making has been on hold in any serious way, but I have been doing a daily sketch and a daily photograph. My sketches are REALLY rusty so I’ll wait a few more days before I show them. I’m following a free photo tips course offered by David Peterson and finding it really interesting and helpful.

I’ll be posting weekly here on France adventures so please do check in when you can.



Change is in the air

It’s been a week of many transitions. I got home from a great week in NM and am now in hunting, gathering, organizing and packing mode for France. I can’t believe that we are into May and this means time to go to France.

I’ll be hosting workshops at La Cascade in June (and will write about them then) and teaching my own three workshops in the month of July. Please do join me here on this page for what is going on in our beautiful French village and this charming, exquisite area of France. I’ll write weekly starting June 1 of our adventures.

My other transition was made possible by Barbara Forbes Lyons who transferred, updated, and made better (including FINALLY, my comments work!) my website from old non-working server (shall remain nameless) to hers. Thank you Lyons Digital Media – You helped me is so many ways- above and beyond.