old soul: on the charm & melancholy of small towns

For all my love of cities, there is something unspeakably touching about this simplicity, about the kind of place where your child could still ride their bike all around town and promise to be home for dinner. Maybe we shouldn't be too quick to mourn these places; maybe they will evolve and survive. A town's soul, after all, has more to do with its people than with places to buy artisan bread or local beef.

how to speak to Santa Claus in French

We've survived a bleak November, and Montluçon is getting its Christmas makeover.  Music plays and lights sparkle into the night. The festivities are a little haphazard: instead of one cohesive carnival, there are attractions scattered around the city. Bumper cars at the foot of the chateau, some food stands across the street. A five minute walk brings …

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there are snails in the salad: adventures in renting

  In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and lettuce.  Had Benjamin Franklin rented from Monsieur C, his famous line might have looked a little different. I can rarely foresee what challenges life in France will throw at me, but I am always confident there will be lettuce in the …

Continue reading there are snails in the salad: adventures in renting