Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lives I (not so secretly) Covet Part 23

My Canadian writer friend Laura lives in France with her handsome French husband and three adorable daughters with names that are as beautiful as they are. She is surrounded by the French countryside, is within driving distance of Paris (le sigh) and can get fresh baguettes and croissants and wine from the vineyards that are situated right there, in the surrounding villages. She and her husband offer vacation rentals in several homes they have restored over the years, and they arrange wine tasting tours. They even have a vaulted wine cellar in one of their homes for tastings, and you can search her blog to see photos of the restoration (look up Beaune Wine Cellar Project.) If she feels so inclined, Laura can hop over to a local chateau or two to just hang.

In my village, I can get my tires rotated and my clothes dry-cleaned. The only "chateau" around here is the one with the big neon sign advertising barbeque chicken and fries. We used to have an excellent local bakery, but that closed. A new pub/bakery opened up down the road, and while the beer is good, especially when served alongside a hockey game on the big screen, the fresh, flaky croissants au chocolat and chewy baguettes are a longer walk away. We don't have vineyards but we can buy wine in our local depanneurs (corner shops) and grocery stores.

And so I live vicariously through Laura's wonderful posts and photos on her blog THE GRAPE JOURNAL. If you have not done so, I urge you to head over and check it out HERE. She's a brilliantly funny writer and captures that je ne sais quoi we all love about France.

My ultimate fantasy is to go and rent one of her beautiful homes for two months to just write and eat and walk and think and eat and drink and eat. Okay, strictly speaking that's not my ultimate fantasy, but it is in the top ten. Buckingham Palace, Johnny Depp and a royal sceptre feature prominently in my ultimate fantasy, but it's pretty darn close.

Bisous from Canada!


Laura Bradbury said...

Dear Pammie,

Awwwwwww (tears flowing). Thank you for the lovely post. I am still determined to get you and a few other kindred spirit writers over here for a Burgundian writers retreat. Something to discuss over some good wine at Surrey 2009.

And do you realize Johnny Depp lives only a few hours away in Provence? If we could only tear him away from that clingy and ugly broad Vanessa Paradis, maybe we could kill two birds with one stone!

Gros Bisous, as always xo


A Novel Woman said...

YES!! You're coming to Surrey 2009!

I'm sorry, could you repeat the part about my Johnny living a few hours away? Unfortunately, his wife seems like a sweet soul so I could never, you know, challenge her for J's affections. However, I know I COULD take her in any duel if I wanted to. (I'd only have to sit on the little waif for a few minutes and voila.... he would be mine.)

Bowman said...

This is the first post I've read on your site, and it surprised me. You described a life my wife would love to live. She majored in Fran├žais, and she has often talked of wanting to live in the French countryside.

Ah well, we do what we can.

A Novel Woman said...

Hi Justus! Well, honestly, who wouldn't want Laura's life? I mean, the food alone is enough...

Anonymous said...

Hi NW, Thanks for visiting over at my blog. I have had a quick run around in yours (I know - no running inside!) but I will be back and I will take off my shoes and have a coffee and a read.
I too love Diana Gabaldon (I glimpsed her in your blog roll as I ran by) and I am hanging out for her next book.

A Novel Woman said...

Hi Gem!

If you're a fan, Diana just said her latest book in the OUTLANDER series, AN ECHO IN THE BONE, is due to be released next September or October. Meanwhile, there is a graphic novel and a movie in the works. She's a very busy woman.