Wallflower Dispatches

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The Charming Mountain Goat – Graffiti

November 26th, 2012 · No Comments · Charming Mountain Goat, Provence, South of France

Having learned English from scratch from the age of 12, there are many happy little stories of mistakes made in grammar and vocabulary. Some words will always be associated with an anecdote and are the ones that stick more deeply in one’s brain.
The first time we drove down our tiny little village road here in [...]

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The Charming Mountain Goat – Grocery Shopping with the Danish Prince and Johnny Hallyday

July 15th, 2011 · No Comments · Charming Mountain Goat, Provence, South of France

It is true that the South of France attracts many celebrities. A few years ago, popping out of our non-descript little house in our plain little village to pick up the piglets from the village school, I nearly ran into Helen Mirren. Apparently she is a neighbour.
David Beckham’s phone number was in the phonebook until [...]

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The Charming Mountain Goat…on the beach with the Beckham Boys

September 15th, 2010 · No Comments · Charming Mountain Goat, Provence, South of France

Lac St Cassien lies about 12 km west of Cannes. This summer many tourists chose the lake over the nearby beaches, which still threw up pollution resulting from the devastating storms that affected the area in the middle of June.
Just across the bridge that spans a narrow part of the lake is a play area [...]

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The Charming Mountain Goat – Sports Chick in Winter

January 4th, 2010 · No Comments · Charming Mountain Goat

This land that is so indulged with sunshine throughout the year suffers like a dog as soon as the rains announce themselves. Life comes more or less to a standstill, admittedly partly for safety reasons.
The grey soup of bad weather hovers with hostile intentions across the skies, blocking out all light. Gusts of wind push [...]

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The Charming Mountain Goat – The German Painter

September 7th, 2009 · 1 Comment · Charming Mountain Goat, Provence, South of France

Fritz, the German painter and his Jewish companion Camille lived in this village for almost forty years.
First, they occupied a villa on the side of the mountain where they entertained and formed a small part of the social scene (such as it is), the tone and tempo of which had been set by les [...]

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The Charming Mountain Goat – The Initials “P.B.”

April 23rd, 2009 · No Comments · Charming Mountain Goat, Provence, South of France

The most dangerous thing about living in a hinterland village in the South of France is the complete inversion of any slick city values you might have subscribed to in your former life.
If you believe that your contentment is in parallel correlation to the next purchase on your credit card (the emphasis being on [...]

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The Charming Mountain Goat – The Russian Guy

December 8th, 2008 · No Comments · Charming Mountain Goat, Provence, South of France

His arrival always manifests itself in the same order. The first signs are the open shutters and windows, followed by the loud, blaring classical music that starts long before dawn and continues well into the night. Then the Westminster chime clock starts working again, reminding us that time passes quickly – every 15 minutes relentlessly [...]

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The Charming Mountain Goat – The Gift of Children

December 5th, 2008 · Comments Off · Charming Mountain Goat, Provence, South of France

Minutes before he was meant to run in le cross on his sports day, eight-year old Teddy learned that his mother had fainted and been taken ill a few metres from where he was getting ready. She was being treated in the ambulance that had arrived almost at the same time as he was being [...]

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The Charming Mountain Goat – Le Mistral

December 1st, 2008 · No Comments · Charming Mountain Goat, Provence, South of France

Then there are those days when the mistral becomes master of our lives. The dry, cold, bitter wind arrives almost unannounced, distracting us with its silly fluffy white clouds that are peculiarly shaped. It clears the skies of any refuse, making them look polished and shining in the sun, with a focused clarity that presents [...]

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The Charming Mountain Goat – Straight is a dirty word

November 17th, 2008 · Comments Off · Charming Mountain Goat, Provence, South of France

Parts of our home, a maison du village, are about 400 hundred years old. The house – like anything that has aged gracefully – displays certain eccentricities. The back wall of the downstairs guest room is actually the mountain itself and below its floor a river runs through it. Formerly, this space that is now [...]

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