International Property
November Newsletter 2015
Après Paris - After Paris

There are many ways to respond to the Paris attacks. We realize that the media's role is to present sides which are newsworthy. That means both informative but as often as not, sensational.

Like me, you may find yourself buffeted around by this madness, certainly deeply saddened for its victims and for our world.  

As one of my clients so eloquently wrote: " I believe we owe it to the victims of this act not to let the terrorist win by being terrorized. That's exactly the response they are hoping for. Sure, it's natural for our emotions to get the best of us. But, especially given the impact of sensational media coverage, we need to respond intelligently and rationally."  Her complete letter is found below.

Another wise friend urged me toward a peaceful prayerful response. After all, if we attract what we seek, what greater benefit can we offer our world than a rational, calm, and peaceful presence?   
Praying for peace,


A Birthday Party to Remember
When my oldest and dearest Parisian friend Claire wrote with
an invitation to celebrate a milestone birthday onboard a peniche (barge boat) along the Seine River, I couldn't keep the smile off of my face. What a marvelous excuse for a trip to Paris while spending time with Claire's family and dancing the night away on the Paniche Daphne.

The high speed train from Nimes to Paris takes just about 3 hours and embarking at the Gare de Lyon, it was a hop and a skip to her apartment. Brilliant sunny days (about 68 degrees) and lazy walks in the 12th arrondissement were on our agenda. The birthday celebration happened on a Nuit Blanche when all of the major Paris building were lit up for the night. Imagine arriving at our peniche, all dolled up, the lights of Notre Dame right across from us!

A word about Paniche Daphne itself- we were met by the owner/operator of barge boat, a dynamic woman who not only transformed the boat into a successful venue for private parties, weddings and banquets but has since gone on to add another Peniche B&B in Auvers sur Oise, the impressionist city where Van Gogh once lived. Only 27 km from Charles de Gaulle airport and an hour from Paris, the second Peniche Daphne is close to a 19th century village and near the Vexin Regional Park.   Cezanne- Auvers sur Oise

 a delightf,ul location historically attracted many artists : Daubigny, Pissaro, Cézanne and Van Gogh. You can visit a number of museums during your stay.

If you fancy a night of Piaf, a romantic harp recital, or a night of Victor Hugo, be sure to also check out the arts venue at the Paris Bateau Daphne.

Life in Provence
Uzes Place aux Herbes- one block from

Simple things continue to delight me here in Uzes; the nearby Provencal Boulangerie with THE best pain au chocolat in the world, café tables lining the Place aux Herbes where small children frolic around the central fountain, and the simple elegance of men and women wearing colorful scarves.   

One big difference between renting a property for 4 weeks and actually owning your own place (or fractional home) is that you start to cultivate a group of friends to hang out with. One such evening found us in Vers Pont Du Gard for the grand unveiling of La Grange Wine and Coffee Bar.

American's Amy and Matt have converted an old garage into our newest hang out, steps from lovely Le Muguet. Friend and fellow blogger Debby Bine was there as well as a handful of other expats whom I recognized. So, if you're a bit tentative with your French, have no fear, there is plenty of English spoken around here as well.

Le Muguet home share
La Gramiere

Speaking of Debby, if you're wondering what to do on a sunny weekend in Provence, Here are Seven Great Ideas for an Autumn Day near Uzes.
 Keep on Travelling
  Published with permission from International Property Share client

After Friday's horrifying events in Paris, as we keep the victims and their families in our prayers and marvel at how violent hatred can express itself, it's natural for those of us with travels coming up to wonder what is the correct response. Let me share my thoughts:
I have two fundamental concerns: what is safe, and what is the appropriate response to terrorism.

About safety, I believe this is an isolated incident. Tomorrow Paris will be no more dangerous than it was the day before that terrible Friday the 13th. I also believe that security in Paris and throughout Europe will be heightened in response to this attack. Remember: There's an important difference between fear and risk.

About the right response to terrorism, I believe we owe it to the victims of this act not to let the terrorist win by being terrorized. That's exactly the response they are hoping for. Sure, it's natural for our emotions to get the best of us. But, especially given the impact of sensational media coverage, we need to respond intelligently and rationally.
In 2004, Madrid suffered a terrorist bombing in its Metro, which killed 191 and injured 1,800. In 2005, London suffered a similar terrorist bombing in its Tube system, killing 52 and injuring 700. These societies tightened their security, got the bad guys, and carried on. Paris will, too.

I'm sure that many Americans will cancel their trips to Paris (a city of 2 million people) or the rest of Europe (a continent of 500 million people), because of an event that killed about 150. As a result, ironically, they'll be staying home in a country of 320 million people that loses over 30,000 people a year (close to 100 people a day) to gun violence.
Again, our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Paris, the victims, and their loved ones. And it remains my firmly held belief that the best way for Americans to fight terrorism is to keep on traveling.

  An Interview with the Boulangerie Provencale

Boulangerie Provence Uzes- near St. Etienne  

What if you've just tasted the most delectable pain au raisin in your forty years of coming to France? Well, in my case, I asked to speak to the owner, Martial.

Here is what he said:

Orange Speculos
1. Hello Martial. I've been coming to France for forty years now which means I've eaten hundreds of baguettes, croissants and pastries. I've never been disappointed by one single thing in your boulangerie. In fact, they are clearly superb to what I typically can buy. What is your secret?

Ah Madame, si j'avais un secret, ca ne se dit pas! (Madame, if one has a secret, one doesn't share that!") Digging a bit deeper, I said, "But if you all have the same ingredients, ovens, techniques, why are yours so much better?" Well, I do use a very good flour called Festival Fairne de Froment 65 and we use the traditional techniques of letting the bread rise overnight for the following days batch".

2. How did you get started in your line of work? "My father had a friend who was a baker and I started working weekends for him when I was 14. Of course I had many years of formal training before I opened my own shop."  Someone once told me that this training can take up to seven years!

3. What is a typical day? "We arise at 1 AM to begin our day and typically end at noon."

4. I see you've won many bakery awards. What can you tell me about that? Shy, Martial looked up at me and said "Yesterday we just won another Gold Metal.  Alas Madame, I am quite busy and so please forgive me but I haven't the time to explain a bit more".

5. Is there anything you dislike about your job? His sparkly grey eyes looked a bit confused and he said "No, not really". I was expecting him to complain a bit about the long hours...

6. What is the item you think is the most special in your bakery? "Many come here to buy Fougasse and le Pain Paillasse "As I was preparing to leave the shopkeeper recommended le Fougasse as an appetizer to be served with my evening aperatif. I was not disappointed!

Fougasse- on bottom rack

  Floating in a Sea of Sunflowers

La Bruyere aux Brisseaux- my first fractional in the Dordogne
Photo courtesy of Joanne Teasdale

This photo was sent to following one of my summer newsletters. Isn't France lovely?  As this owner so kindly said " Ginny, you changed my life with my introduction to La Bruyere. Thank you for that." 
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Ginny Blackwell   phone: (001) 585 412-4904  email: