Friday, July 27, 2012

Paris in July - Random Prizes!

I've been strolling through some of this weeks Paris in July Posts, and I've decided to award another 'Random Prize' and some early commendations for this weeks posts. We've got a few days left in this great month of July - so there's still time to post something new to finish off the month long event. I'll be doing the round up post at the end of the month, while we wait to hear if Baby Bookbath has arrived.

So today's 'Random Prize' goes to Alex in Leeds for this book review on The Homemade Life. I want to award a prize to this post because it is such an honest review of an interesting book. If you're into foodie books, or romance it seems, you might like to check out Alex's post. I like what Alex highlights about this book - its about a woman who makes a choice to change her life for something she's passionate about, it's about a woman who uses her blog to progress her passions, and it's about food and Paris. So you think it should have all the right ingredients... still Alex gave an honest review.

Other commendations from me on posts this week:
So, Congratulations Alex in Leeds. Send me an email with a postal address and I'll send out a little surprise!

Now, with only 4 days to go, don't forget to post a link to your posts either here at Thyme-for-tea or at Bookbath.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Place de la comedie, Montpellier
Montpellier is a lovely French city in the south, pres de la plage. I thought I would post a few photo's and memories from here because I'm in need of some summertime memories.

My partner and I went to Montpellier in August 2011 for 2 weeks of french language lessons and we loved it. I think we would both say this was one of those 'once in a life time' holidays that will be etched in our memories for ever.

Some interesting stats about Montpellier
Cost of living in Montpellier :
Expresso : 1,5 €
Fresh drinks : 2,5€
Sandwiches : 3,5€
Baguette : 0,80€
Cinema : 6-10€
Restaurant : 15€
Big Mac: 3,40€
Monthly Bus and Tramway card: 43€ (-26 years old : 32€)

There's alot of interesting things about Montpelier - something for everyone. Check out the city's website here for more details. But for me, what did I love?

I loved staying in an apartment for 2 weeks and living there. I loved waking in the morning and taking a stroll or going for a jog through the university grounds and through many of Montpelier's gardens. I loved the routine of walking to school with my partner, getting coffee from the same place each day, and learning french in a  typically french 100+ year old three story building with a circular stairwell. I loved going into the Place de la Comedie each day for morning tea and lunch, sitting with other students and practicing french with our cafe staff.

I loved the shopping in Montpelier! so easy to get lost roaming through the old and new city shops, being surrounded by the history that is Europe. I really enjoyed my afternoon walks, discovering a new gallery, a new church, all the hidden little court yard cafes.

In the evenings, we adored sitting out in one of Montpelier's may restaurant area's and eating and drinking until our bodies cried out for bed. Then off to the next day of adventure - bike riding, swimming, shopping, markets, movies and more.

Being in a university city, and going to school with other adults from around the world was also a wonderful experience. Always something to learn from others. We also had company for any possible excursion - galleries, historic walks or just going to dinner.

In memory of Montpelier !

Monday, July 16, 2012

Paris in July - Week 2 Wrap Up

Voila! Here it is - your wrap up for week 2, and what a week it's been in our blogging event! We have, I think at last count, over 45 participants in this years event - and it seems like that number is growing each week. It's so exciting what people are choosing to with Paris in July.

Now, I have to apologise, because my work is consuming so much more of my time that I like, it means that i haven't had time to visit and comment on everyones blogs - but I have been to some 30 something posts in the past few days and I'm impressed. So I'm going to wrap up with a quick summary of some of the different posts we've seen, I'll make some recommendations for posts that you must check out, and of course, I like to choose a prize winner...

Book Review Posts
- Sarah's Key, by Lil Bit Brit
- Tender is the Night, by Lakeside Musings
- Chocolat, by Bookbath
- L'Assommoir, Zola, by Books and Chocolate
- Three books about Paris, by Words and Peace
- Death of a Detective, by a Hot Cup of Something
- Paris in Colour, by Dolce Bellezza - ******Highly Recommended Post
- The Last Asset, by Books as Food

Film Review Posts
- a film about Mozarts Sister, by My Spring Snow
- Seraphine, by Ripple Effects  ******Highly Recommended Post
- 400 Blows, by CB James

Photo Stories
-  several photo posts by Chocolate and Croissants, including this one, Le Creperie
- Literary Relish
- Temptations by Paris and Beyond
 - daily photo posts by Paris through my lens
- Le Tour Eiffel, by The Marmalade Gypsy
- Photo's from Paris by a readers footprints   ******Highly Recommended Post

Travel Blogs
- have you ever visited the animal cemetery in Paris? Bibliolathas did.  ******Highly Recommended Post
- Bastille Day memories, by Letters from a Hill Farm

Cooking Reviews
- 14 Julliet and memories of eating, by And Anyways

- 10 most delicious French Cheeses, by Bea's Knees   ******Highly Recommended Post
- the Little Paris Kitchen, by Anglers Rest

For me, the winning post this week was the beautiful photo posted by Paris and Beyond on July 12. So, Jeanie if you send me an email, I'll send through your prize!

Again, an awesome week - keep up the interesting posts on Paris. (and I'm sorry If I didn't get to visit you this week, there's still a few more weeks!)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Bastille Day 2012

Le quatorze juillet, or Bastille Day Lunch 2012 
Yesterday I had the great pleasure to celebrate Bastille Day with our local Alliance Francaise Group, and my French Class, at a local French Restaurant. 

According to Laura, Bastille Day, the French national holiday, commemorates the storming of the Bastille, which took place on 14 July 1789 and marked the beginning of the French Revolution. The Bastille was a prison and a symbol of the absolute and arbitrary power of Louis the 16th's Ancient Regime. By capturing this symbol, the people signalled that the king's power was no longer absolute: power should be based on the Nation and be limited by a separation of powers. It marked the end of absolute monarchy, the birth of the sovereign Nation, and, eventually, the creation of the (First) Republic, in 1792.

Many people attend large-scale public celebrations. These often include; Military and civilian parades, Musical performances, Communal meals, Dances, Balls, Spectacular fireworks displays. There is also always a large military parade in Paris in the morning of July 14.

Sydney Alliance Francaise said, The 14th of July is not any ordinary day, but one of great historic significance that symbolises national pride. It marks the beginning of the French Revolution, the spread of the spirit of popular sovereignty throughout France as The 14th of July is now a red-letter day for French people, a time for commemoration but also a famous Party! 

So What did you do? Here's my photo recount of un petit degoustation.
 French Onion Soup and a mini baked tomato
 Croque Monsieur
 Vin Rouge
 Les Escorgot et Champinions
 Duck a l'orange

 Les Decorations
the view from the Restaurant door to our classic old Post Office.
Qu'avez-vous fait le 14 Julliet?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Paris in July - Random Prize!

I have been scanning recent Paris in July Posts and randomly decided to award a prize to A Strong Belief in Wicker for her post on Birds of Paris. What in unusual thing to post about, yet it was so much fun and, for those of us who have been to Paris, it is so Paris - Pigeons!

So in keeping with the first Random Prize for the Pigeons Post, I've included my own French Bird Photo - this is a float in the Tour De France Carnival which precedes the race every day. It's the same pageant every day, just starting in a different town! I loved the Carnival when I was there last year.

Louise, to collect your prize, please just drop me an email soon.

Everyone else - I'll be doing the week 2 summary post on the weekend - so keep your eyes open for the next prize winner! I'm so loving the variety of posts. C'est Bonn!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

French Literary Prizes

Did you know there are apparently over 200 literary prizes in France. I thought I would investigate literary prizes for those who like to read from the winners lists. If you're participating in Paris in July, you might like to consider finding something from the winners lists to look at. Although I haven't found this research easy. I started searching in english - but really only found the last year winners - so then I searched in french - but it didn't seem like I was uncovering what I wanted there either. So here's my best attempt.

le Prix Goncourt - this is one of Frances most important literary prizes. It's the one French writers covert. Winners get an amazing prize cheque of 10 euros! But with the prize comes status, media attention and royalties. First conceived in 1867 but started in 1903 by an editor who bequeathed a small group, a literary society of 10 members, the task of picking the winners.The prize goes to the best and most imaginative prose work for the year and aims to promote french writing. They have a category for Novels, Short stories, Poetry and Biographies.

Wikapedia publish a useful list of all the winners, the titles and if there's an english translation.
2011 - Alexis Jenni, L'Art Francaise de la Geurre.
2010 - Michel Houellebecq - La Carte et Le Territoire - English version 'The Map and the Territory"

Another prize is the Prix Femina : created in 1904 by the magazine now known as Femina, is decided year year by a female jury, although the authors don’t have to be women. It is awarded to the best novel published in France and is an alternative award to the Goncourt, which is unlikely to be given to women.
2011 – Dire son nom, Francisco Goldman
2010 – la vie est breve et le desir sans fin, Patrick Lapeyre
2009 – personne, Gwanaelle Aubry
2008 – ou on va, papa ?, Jean-Louis Fournier
2007 – Baisers de cinema, Erix Fottorino

Good luck in your search for prize winning french books - you might like to start with this helpful post