My Provençal Summer Menu

Summer is a wonderful time of year in Provence, with blue skies everywhere and brilliant sunflowers and lavender in bloom. My favorite time of day is the early evening when the heat of the day is past and you can look forward to a long, lazy meal.

Even if you are not in Provence right now, here’s a menu that will bring the flavors of the region to you. We start with a refreshing aperitif, move on to an appetizer and a main dish, and finish with a cool and refreshing dessert. I’ve chosen some of my favorite dishes, all very Provençal, and I hope you’ll enjoy them.

Read all about it in Perfectly Provence!

Eurovision: Europe’s Greatest Cultural Achievement?

What is Europe’s greatest cultural achievement? Is it the art of Michelangelo? The Magna Carta? French cuisine? For me, there’s no question—it’s the Eurovision Song Contest. For nearly 70 years, singers and bands across the continent have battled for the title of Best Original Song.

What makes Eurovision great? It’s not the music, because most of the songs sound alike. No, it’s the performances, and especially the cheesy ones (some might call them campy.) Who can forget the Bearded Lady? Or the man running inside a giant hamster wheel? Or the bare-chested fellows prancing in their sparkly gold shoulder pads?

Americans are starting to discover Eurovision. The number one movie on Netflix right now is Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, starring Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams. It’s silly and fun and captures the spirit of Eurovision perfectly.

Eurovision was cancelled this year due to the coronavirus, but the official videos for the finalists have been posted online. I’ve watched them all and picked out the best for you.

Read all about it at MyFrenchLife!

The Gift of Gab

In a recent issue of Living France Magazine, Lucy Shrimpton examines the science behind the benefits of learning a second language, which is especially helpful as we get older. Then she shares some practical advice on how to learn French, including interviews with some *ahem* mature French learners. I was one of the interviewees and I thought you might enjoy the various perspectives of those interviewed.

You can read all about it in Living France!

Audiobook Giveaway—Enter Now!

I’m thrilled to let you know that the audio-book version of Are We French Yet? has just been published. The reader is Doug Schuetz, a talented voice actor who just happens to be my old college roommate! We’ve stayed in touch over the years, mostly holiday cards and such, and this was a wonderful opportunity to reconnect, share memories, and have fun during the recording.

Doug and I live on opposite coasts so he would record a few chapters, send them to me for review, and then make any corrections. His only stipulation when he agreed to the project was that I not “go all Martin Scorsese” and try to tell him how to do his job. As Doug put it, “You’re a terrific author but not an actor or a director—I’m the professional. Let’s each do what we’re good at.” He said it in a lighthearted manner but I got the point.

And I love the result! He made my funny stories even funnier by the way he read them. A few times while listening, I would call Val into the room and tell her, “You’ve just got to hear this!”

The audio-book is available from Amazon here and would make a great Christmas gift for the France-lover in your life. And to get things rolling, I have six copies to give away. Just let me know in the comment below that you’d like one , by next Wednesday the 11th, and I’ll pick the winners from those who enter.

Treasures of Ancient Arles

Ancient ships that have survived until today are few and far between. Maybe the best known is the Gokstad Viking ship in Oslo, dating back to the ninth century. But far older is the Roman barge at the Museum of Ancient Arles, in Provence. This 2,000-year-old vessel is the highlight of a museum that is a must-see for any lover of Roman history.

With a mint-condition bust of Julius Caesar (check those wrinkles!), beautiful mosaics, jewelry and much more, you’ll want to visit this museum on your next trip to Provence.

Read all about it at France Today!

Going to the Movies in St-Rémy

Let’s say you are staying in St-Rémy-de-Provence and expecting beautiful weather, only to discover that it’s raining buckets. Or maybe it’s one of those days that is just so hot you can’t move. What to do? Here’s an idea—go to the movies!

St-Rémy has a delightful little theater that shows first-run movies, including some in English. And there are several nearby towns with movie theaters as well. Read all about them, and how to find the English-language movies, at Perfectly Provence!

Win a Basket of French Goodies–The Deadline is Almost Here!

Here’s a friendly reminder of my book review contest: I’m offering a prize for those of you who write reviews of my new book. The rules are simple: just leave an Amazon review of Are We French Yet? and you are eligible to win! That’s it! Send me a link to the review* and your name will go into a drawing. The winner will get the basket pictured above, stuffed with French goodies like olive oil, tapenade, Provence herbs and more!

The deadline is January 31, 2019 so you’d better hurry! The drawing will be in early February. Sorry, the contest is only open to US residents.

* Please email me at author@keithvansickle.com

Enter soon for a chance to win!

Sex and Politics in France

 

Sex and Politics…oh la la! I suppose you’ll find them together in any country, but in France they make for an especially entertaining mix.

I’ve had some funny experiences with politics in France that you can read about in the latest issue of The Good Life France Magazine. My story is on page 92 and is adapted from my new book Are We French Yet?

New Privacy Policy

Bonjour!

You have probably been receiving a lot of emails due to new EU privacy regulations. Sorry, but here’s another one! I’ve updated the Life in Provence Terms and Conditions / Privacy Policy to make sure we are in line with these new regulations.

Our updated policy explains how we collect and use information that we collect from you (name and email address) and how you can control it if you wish.

The good news is that you don’t have to do anything! But of course, you can always stop hearing from me at any time by hitting the “Unsubscribe” in any of my emails.

Thanks and sorry to bother you!

Bises,

Keith