Monday, July 30, 2012

I love Essaouira

I always have a pang in my heart when I go to Morocco because it's a country I love....
it's difficult to explain. I met people there I will never forget. I've encountered beauty in
Marrakech and Fes. I travelled to Rabat, Casablanca and Tangiers and until today, Essaouira is my favorite place.
In summer, when temperatures are unbearably high in Marrakech,
this is where people go to cool down by the ocean.

J'ai toujours un petit pincement au coeur quand je vais au Maroc parce que c'est un
pays que j'aime beaucoup...c'est difficile à expliquer. J'y ai rencontré des gens que je n'oublierai jamais. J'ai connu la beauté à Marrakech et Fes.
Je suis allée à Rabat, Casablanca et Tangers et jusqu'ici Essaouira est ma ville préférée.
En été, lorsque la chaleur est insupportable à Marrakech, c'est là que l'on va se rafraîchir au bord de l'océan.


It was nearly 40°C (104° F) last sunday when we went by taxi from Marrakech to Essaouira. Too much ! The driver laughs when I tell him, we'll melt on the road...

Regarde les chèvres ! (look at the goats !) he says to us as we're both nearly falling asleep.

We are now reaching Essaouira and the whole area is covered with argan trees....
which goats like very much too....

Il faisait presque 40°C dimanche dernier quand nous sommes allés en taxi de
Marrakech à Essaouira. Intenable ! Le chauffeur rigole quand je lui dis que nous
allons fondre sur la route.

On s'endort presque sur la banquette arrière, quand il nous dit : Regarde les chèvres !

On s'approche d'Essaouira et toute la région est recouverte d'arganiers dont les chèvres raffolent....


at last, we arrive in Essaouira....and there's this immediate sense of quieteness and immensity...

enfin, nous arrivons à Essaouira....et il y a tout de suite cette sensation de
quiétude et d'immensité....


Monchéri loved to get up very early to watch the fishermen on the port

Monchéri aimait se lever très tôt pour voir les pêcheurs sur le port
me, I love how the orange juice sellers adorn their stand with the orange peels

moi, j'adore comment les vendeurs de jus d'orange décorent leur stand
avec les pelures


the Ramadan had just started when we arrived so the rhythm was slow during the day
and late at night all the squares and cafés were busy

le Ramadan vient jsute de commencer quand nous arrivons et le rythme ralentit
durant la journée et tard le soir les places et les cafés sont noirs de monde



in the medina too, life is slowing down.....

dans la médina aussi, la vie ralentit....

but the market is still busy

mais le marché est toujours aussi actif

In Essaouira, the best thing you can do is to buy fresh sardines at the fishmarket....

À Essaouira, une des meilleures choses à faire est d'acheter des sardines au souk
des poissons....


and have them grilled at the local café next to the fish stands

et de les faire griller au café local à côté des stands de poissons

fresh, delicious and cheap....

tout frais, délicieux et pas cher....

and of course, I took zillions pics of doors....

et bien sûr, j'ai pris des millions de photos de portes.....



...a detail which intrigued me...a display of herbs in the medina near our hotel...
love it !

...un détail qui m'a intriguée...ces herbes dans des paniers dans la médina près de
notre hôtel...j'adore !



As you can guess, I took lots and lots of pictures and it was hard to choose
...now, looking at them, I miss Essaouira already !

Vous vous en doutez, j'ai pris des tonnes de photos et le choix était difficile....
et maintenant rien qu'en les regardant, Essaouira me manque déjà !




pics : my castle in spain

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Essaouira


Essaouira.....just the name always made me dream
Eassouira means « the well designed city »
Essaouira lies on the Atlantic coast of Morocco
and this is where I will be heading this afternoon with Monchéri.....

I promise you to take myriads of pictures....See you next week ! xLala

Essaouira....son nom m'a toujours fait rêvé
Essaouira...signifie « la bien dessinée »
Essaouira est sur la côte Atlantique au Maroc
et c'est là que nous allons, Monchéri et moi, cet après-midi....

Je vous promets de revenir avec des myriades d'images....
À la semaine prochaine ! xLala

Carte blanche

I like when someone orders me special cards giving me carte blanche....

For this little series of thank you cards, my client just told me : anything with
a cutout, a bit of golden thread...something white and simple....

so I made those :

J'aime bien quand quelq'un me commande des cartes spéciales en me
donnant carte blanche....

Pour cette petite série de cartes de remerciement, mon client m'a dit :
j'aime bien les découpes, un peu de fil doré...quelque chose de blanc et dépouillé...

alors voici ce que j'ai fait :



In fact, I think I'll also make some for myself...but then, I don't really use
thank you cards....it's not usual in France and even more less here in Spain.....
dommage !

I so adore the American way of sending cards for any event. Honestly, I think
it's soooo civilized.

Do you use them ?

En fait, je crois bien que je vais reprendre ce même modèle pour moi-même,
même si c'est triste à dire, mais je n'en utilise pas ...voire pas du tout...en France,
ce n'est pas trop courant et ici en Espagne encore moins...dommage !

Vraiment, j'adore cette mode américaine d'envoyer des cartes pour n'importe quel
évènement. Sincèrement je pense que c'est très très civilisé.

Vous en utilisez, vous ?




Talking about thank you cards, I adore the ones the fabulous Garance created for herself. Check it here....It actually inspires me to use this model above and have
an image printed inside with some of my creations.

What do you think ? But then of course, I will definitely have to use them !

À propos de cartes de remerciement, j'adore celles que la fabuleuse Garance s'est fait faire.Vous pouvez les voir ici....Ça m'a aussi inspiré pour utiliser le modèle ci-dessus
et faire imprimer une de mes créations à l'intérieur.

Qu'en pensez-vous ? Et puis évidemment, après il s'agit de vraiment les utiliser !





paper note*

I buy all my paper from ArjoWiggins via Antalis here in Spain
(they have an amazing range of absolutely beautiful recycled papers)

J'achète tous mes papiers chez ArjoWiggins via Antalis ici en Espagne
(ils ont une gamme de papiers reyclés absolument magnifique)


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Playing in a lavender field in Andalucia

Until now, I didn't know of any lavender field in Andalucia....I thought lavender
could only grow well in Provence...until I met Femke and Erik, a lovely Dutch
couple who settled here in the Lecrin valley and had a vision of a lavender plantation
in Andalusia....

Jusqu'ici je ne savais qu'il y avait des champs de lavande en Andalousie....
je croyais que la lavande poussait bien seulement en Provence....jusqu'à ce que
je fasse la connaissance de Femke et Erik un couple hollandais très sympathique
qui se sont installés ici dans la vallée de Lecrin et ont eu la vision d'une plantation de
lavande en Andalousie.....


Since a few weeks, Femke organizes lavender afternoons. Monchéri and I
went once and had a wonderful time, picking lavender and learning how
to make tiny lavender bottles for our home.

Depuis quelques semaines, Femke organise des après-midi spécial lavande.
J'y suis allée une fois avec Monchéri et on a passé un moment merveilleux à
cueillir de la lavande et à apprendre comment faire des petits fuseaux
pour parfumer le linge et la maison.


After the picking, we all gathered under a magnificent pine...women were a majority but apart from Monchéri, there was another Spanish man who was a serious competitor in the art of making lavender bottles and tiny baskets...I was impressed !

Après la cueillette, on s'est tous assis à une grande table sous un pin magnifique.....
les femmes étaient en nette majorité mais à part Monchéri, il y avait un autre Espagnol qui était carrément le champion lavande toutes catégories...fuseaux, petits paniers...j'étais impressionnée !




and after many laughters and many efforts, came the best part...our tea....
lavender tea of course with mint....absolutely delicious and refreshing...
and yummy lavender scones which Femke prepares with love for her lavender students...

après beaucoup de rires et d'efforts, arrive le moment du réconfort....le goûter....
tout lavande bien sûr, avec thé lavande et menthe...absolument délicieux et
rafraîchissant...et de merveilleux scones à la lavande que Femke prépare avec
amour pour ses étudiants en lavande....



I made only 2 lavender bottles that day...with a white lace ribbon...I love it...
I put it on the bed...and it smells divine...well, it smells lavender
of course but for me it's all the more special because it grows near where we live
and also because I picked it with Monchéri....sentimental me, again....

I know it's silly but in the end...it does make a difference....

If you're in the area this summer and want to spend a pure moment of Andalusian lavender bliss, then you should try it !

J'ai seulement fait 2 petits fuseaux de lavande ce jour-là...avec un ruban en dentelle blanche...j'adore...je le mets près du lit..et ça sent tellement bon...ça sent simplement
la lavande bien sûr mais pour moi, c'est encore plus spécial parce que c'est une lavande
qui pousse près de chez nous et aussi parce que je l'ai cueillie avec Monchéri....eh oui
toujours aussi sentimentale...

je sais c'est bête mais en fin de compte...ça fait la différence....

Si vous êtes dans les parages cet été et avez envie d'un pur moment de bonheur lavande andalou, alors vous devriez y aller !


Casa Lavanda
to get infos on the next lavender afternoons
send an email to Femke
at info@casalavanda.es

Casa Lavanda
pour plus d'infos sur les prochains après-midis lavande
envoyer un email à Femke
à info@casalavanda.es



pics : my castle in spain

Monday, July 16, 2012

The {good} reason which keeps me from blogging these days

Typical me....in my last post I told you I'd come with a post on a special lavender field,
here in the Lecrin valley and I come back with this....

C'est tout à fait moi....dans mon dernier post, je vous disais que je reviendrai avec un post sur un beau champ de lavande ici dans la vallée de Lecrin et je reviens avec ça....

This is a sneak peek on what I'm doing at the moment : accessories for my upcoming little fashion show here in the Lecrin valley during the first week of september....

It's a just a tiny sneak peek...because I must keep a bit of surprise too.....

C'est un aperçu de ce que je suis en train de faire en ce moment : des accessoires pour
mon petit défilé de mode ici dans la vallée de Lecrin durant la première semaine de septembre.....

C'est juste un tout petit aperçu...parce que bon, il faut aussi garder un peu de surprise...

Hope you're enjoying summer and yes, my next post will be definitely
about playing in a lavander field here in Andalucia....!

J'espère que vous passez un bel été et oui, mon prochain billet sera sur ce fameux champ de lavande en Andalousie !


pics : my castle in spain

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

At last a bit of good news and a little note on the Spanish emergency service


My dear readers and blogging friends, at last I can announce you some good news about Monchéri who has now nearly completely recovered from what seems to be a serious anxiety attack. After having done more exams, taken X rays which do not show anything wrong, and a normal electrocardiogram, we are now left with this last option and we both agree that it's a very plausible one. It took Monchéri 3 days to feel better again, he obviously needed a rest. The pain in his chest has gradually disappeared and this morning he even felt in good form to go to the gym...so until now, this is good news.....

Thank you all so much from the bottom of my heart for all your lovely wishes and comforting words in the comments and the emails. It really helped me not to feel completely disorientated. I read very carefully all your suggestions and indications.

Someone in the comments in my last post mentioned the non responsiveness of the Spanish emergency health care. Last week end at a dinner with Spanish and English friends, as I was talking about my freaky experience, everybody was horrified at the very cool attitude of the person I was talking to. When I called the first time, obviously in a panic, I really thought they would send someone over but I was wrong ! Instead, we had to make a huge effort to get to the emergency center outside the village which fortunately is not too far. And the thing was Monchéri was unable to stand...after a while, the emergency service called back asking if we were ok. And of course, I had to tell the woman on the phone : pues, no...no estamos ok ! (no, we're not ok) and again I asked her, if please can they send a doctor....to which she answered a bit embarrassed, that the emergency service was quite saturated and also that young people should be able to make an effort....what ?...she also asked me to put Monchéri over the phone to check if he could speak again. Yes he could talk but he just couln't stand ! Retrospectively, I find the whole scene quite funny but believe me, on the moment I was completely at a loss.

So what is it to think about that ? Until now, my experience with the Spanish health care has been really great. When I had my big operation a few years ago, my parents insisted I should go back to France to do it but I had it done in Granada and frankly was totally satisfied and even grateful to my gynecologist and the surgeon who performed the operation.

I do understand the emergency service cannot send an ambulance all the time and that we actually didn't need it in the end...but if it had been something more serious ?

Also, to the lovely people who write me about changing life and coming to Spain, please make sure you learn Spanish because it's in this kind of situation that you badly need it !

Did you have any similar experience in your own country ? I'd love to hear it.....

I send you much love from our sunny Andalucia and will come back very soon with a due post on a very special lavender field....I've missed you and missed blogging too !
x Lala

Monday, July 2, 2012

Looking after my sweet boyfriend....

Hello my dear lovely readers, just a quick note to say that I'm taking a little break this week from the blog because I want to look after Monchéri who is not well lately.

Yesterday, with the help of a friend, I took him to the emergency unit.
It's been a few days, Monchéri complained of a slight pain in his chest, which comes and goes so he just had an examination which didn't show anything wrong, anywhere...

And yesterday, all of a sudden, as we were about to have lunch I saw Monchéri collapse
on his chair, breathing with difficulty and as you can imagine, I was in total panic....
couldn't remember the phone number of emergency, then the friend I was calling wasn't picking up the phone...bless him he called back right away and was there in 10 mn.

By that time, I checked the emergency number on Internet and had to make a supreme effort not to burst into tears on the phone and describe calmly and precisely what his symptoms were. After talking for some minutes, it appeared that they couldn't send an ambulance but we had to take Monchéri to the emergency unit. Let me tell you, I was a bit shocked by that....Ok, so it took us another 20 mn because Monchéri was just much too weak to stand. Luckily he was still conscious but we just had a hard time to make him go down the stairs (our house is a traditional village house which is all stairs)....while we were going down the stairs, the emergency unit called back to ask if we were ok.....well....we made it in the end and when we arrived at the emergency unit, Monchéri had everything checked again and again, heart, tension etc....and again, everything was normal....the doctor mentioned it might be stress....mmmm

Anyway, since yesterday Monchéri didn't stop sleeping, except to eat....and today, he feels much better but exhausted...so I just want to pamper him and cook him his favorite food these days.....It's so nice to see his broad smile on his face when I bring him a tray...gosh, when I saw him so white yesterday, and hardly breathing, I had the fright of my life....so I'm sure you'll understand I want to look after my sweet darling....
See you soon.....xLala
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