Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Off to The Cote d'Azur

Poster designed by Susan W Berman

On Thursday we are off to Belle Mère's for a week, she is moving house after more than thirty years in the same property, she has decided to downsize, within the same area, but closer to the centre. So we are hiring a van and going over to help.  She has sold her property but unfortunately due to French bureaucratic complications she cannot yet go ahead with the house she wants to buy.

For the time being, she is putting her belongings into storage and moving into rented accommodation.  She has been getting up at 5am every morning to try and pack without distractions and at the last count she had packed 56 cartons.

 I am never quite sure where to say I am going when I visit Belle Mère as The South of France is very complicated name wise: The Riviera, The Cote d'Azur, The Mediterranean Coast, Provence, PACA, (Provence, Alps, Cote d'Azur). The Var, The Cote Varoise. You could say that Belle Mère lives in all of these places.

The name the Cote d'Azur was coined in 1887 by the writer Stephén Liégeard in his book The Cote d'Azur, obviously he named it after the stunning colour of the Mediterranean.

There has always been dispute over The Cote d'Azur/Riviera's western boundaries, some say it's at Hyères in the département of the Var and others, Cassis in the département of the Bouches-du-Rhone. I think it depends where you live, let's not beat about the bush, to say you live on the cote d'Azur, is to live, in one of the most glamorous and desirable locations in the world. (It makes me feel hoity toity, just saying it!).

I hope we will be able to get there, as the oil refinery workers have gone on strike, not sure for how long. I hope the van we hire has a full tank of petrol, and what happens when we get there, after a six hour drive, we might not be able to move Belle Mère, no petrol, diesel, flights, trains, taxis, supermarket deliveries, removal men! Nothing, the whole of France could come to a grinding halt.

When we do get there we will work hard and play hard, I think Belle Mère has got some interesting things lined up for us, so I will be taking my camera and sharing my experiences with you.

Posting and commenting on your lovely blogs could be a bit sketchy for the next week, as MG and I will be busy, and sharing (fighting over!) The laptop, but I will do my best.


  1. Hi Dash
    I would say Cote D'Azur .. it has that ring to it doesn't it? he he.. Would say I am terribly jealous but realize how helping someone move is never a vacation..!!

    I do hope it all works out with the petrol, van rental etc etc... Love that first poster!! Gorgeous!!

    Take care xx Julie

  2. Such a charming life you have~

  3. I always say CDA and we had a lovely holiday there a few years ago, driving around all those gorgeous places - even the names make me feel hoity toity - St. Trop, Nice, Cannes, Cap d'Antibes etc.

    The nicest place we went to though was St Paul de Vence. If you have not gone there yet insist you go. You will not regret it.

    Have a great time

  4. http://www.saintpaulweb.net/spw/e_index.html

  5. Good luck with the petrol.
    I haven't been that way for years, but there used to be a little train from Nice that crawled off into the mountains and I'd love to take it again.

  6. Dash - escape the winter gloom on the French Riviera - oh yes please! Glad to hear it won't be all work and no play...have a wonderful trip and enjoy the fun parts...hopefully the strike won't scupper your plans....x

  7. Gorgeous posters, wonderful post. I could step right into that second poster! I caught myself daydreaming for a few moments before I jumped down to comments... oh to be in the south of France... sigh ... lucky you! My cousin invited us to spend a month this summer in Marseille, but with work and such, I don't think we will be able to. I wish!
    Have a good trip. And post a ton of photos - I cannot wait to see where you go!

  8. Hi Julie, The poster was designed by Susan Berman and is available at art.com. fingers crossed it all goes smoothly.x

    Lenore, its not all charming, most of the time I am in wellies, wading through fields! x

    FF, I have always wanted to go to St Paul de Vence and never managed it. My jammie sister is always going on about it, she get's to stay at the Column d'Or, lucky thing. I will insist! I want to see the Matisse chapel, which I think is nearby. Thanks for sending the link.x

    Fly, I think we will need luck, our local petrol station has run out, you should have seen the queues yesterday, mass panic buying.x

    Susie, I fully intend to enjoy the fun parts.x

    Stephanie, I hope you do manage to get to Marseille, wonderful city, wonderful Bouillabaisse. I promise to take loads of photos.x

  9. Dash,

    You lucky thing! Work or play it sounds like you will have an interesting adventure. Be sure to take lots of photos...can't wait to see them. I love that name, Belle Mere's....what a great name for a shop or blog!
    Jeanne :)

  10. I hope you have a fantastic time when you aren't working hard. You will be missed!

    And, thanks for sharing the source on the first poster. I love that there is a Westie in it. France+Westie=perfection!

  11. Do hope you have a great time - know it won't all be 'play' by a long means though! Hope all goes well...x

  12. It sounds lovely, even with the packing! My goodness, 30-years, I'll bet she has the most fabulous collections to look through. I hope the house sale/purchases work out.

  13. Gosh, your sister must be in the money to stay at the Column D'Or. We had coffee there before our cobbled walk high into this spectacular small town (or is it technically a village) and the prices were far too steep for us - and we are not the sort of people to stint ourselves usually.

    Watching the regulars sup their coffee was like walking on to a film set of beautiful people gathered there to set a sophisticated scene. It was wondrous and the cafe itsef was gorgeous.

    Go Go Go

  14. Oh my lord the name doesn't even matter! I'm just jealous of the relative warmth you'll enjoy as I am buried in drifts of snow in New York...

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