It is a year to the day since George and I arrived at our new home in the South of France and I can’t believe how quickly time has flown by. This also marks the year anniversary of starting this blog, the first post about our journey can be read here. This year has definitely taught me many things, most importantly I am a lot better at speaking French than when we first arrived (but then I did only have to improve on a vocabulary of about ten words!), although I still fret before having to make any phone calls as I continue to depend a lot on sign language when conversing!

Life has run away with me over the last few months and I realised when
looking back that my last blog post was in November 2014. I am
pleased to say that part of the reason for the delay is that on the
bookbinding front things are going well and I have been very busy
working on a number of different projects. Some of these are now
complete and on my website, others are work in progress, and there will be further blog posts about what I have been up to over the coming weeks.

Since transferring my studio down here and setting up all my equipment in
it’s new temporary home I have completed eight bindings, with more on
the way, so it was worth the upheaval. George and I have extended our
stay for another summer as we feel there is still so much to do and
see – we have barely scratched the surface so I will have much more
to report about over the coming months.

We did however tick one more thing off the list last weekend, making a
trip to Les Baux de Provence for an afternoon looking around the chateau before the tourist season kicks in. The Chateau des Baux is a fortified castle that was built during the 10th century. We saw full scale replicas of huge siege engines, including the biggest “trebuchet” in Europe (basically a huge catapult!), which the staff were bringing out of winter hibernation and
launching water balloons from! The device would have been used to
launch ammunition from the walls of the chateau to protect against
enemy attack.

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The village of Les Baux gives its name to the aluminium ore bauxite,
which was first discovered there in 1821, but the supply has long
since been exhausted. It has wonderful views over The Baux Valley which is a vast expanse of renowned olive-growing land. We didn’t sample any but will make a return trip for produce soon!

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There is definitely an air of summer in the air as it gets warmer and we
start to lunch outside again. On the shopping list at the moment are
plants for the garden, including a new batch of petunias for outside
the front of the house and some produce for growing in the vegetable
garden. For the time being we are enjoying the arrival of the daffodils (”jonquilles” in French), and the butterflies are back!

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