I was writing last week about the distancing effect of photography and while there’s some truth to that, it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. Photography can be an effective means of entry into societies that would otherwise have been closed. The issue is what you do … Continue reading Outside/In

Two Encounters

New Years Day I reluctantly dragged myself from bed around noon and took a coffee up to the terrace to heal in the sun. Tout à coup, an Alfred Hitchcock movie broke out. The sun brought out more birds than I had ever seen. Run down for the camera, back up for the show. They’re … Continue reading Two Encounters

The Beat Goes On

Got through Xmas OK, put the ghosts back in the drawer, but now comes another challenge, a texted invite to a New Year’s party with costumes in a 70s theme. Now when I think of the 70s and I don’t very often, here’s what comes to mind: Vietnam, Nixon, Watergate, Patty Hearst, Jim Jones, George … Continue reading The Beat Goes On

Fun Things to do on Christmas

1} The Christmas Bagel: this is an old tradition but already there’s a problem. There are no bagels here.  So, we’re going to make them. You’ve already made the dough, cut off a piece, roll it out to make a rope then join the ends to make a circle and smooth it out as best … Continue reading Fun Things to do on Christmas

La Tramontane

Not to be outdone by our trendy neighbors to the north, Languedoc Roussillon has its own fearsome wind, La Tramontane and it shares many characteristics with its more famous Provencal cousin, Le Mistral.   Both occur in valleys when polar air sweeps down from the north: the Tramontane gains its strength between the Pyrenees and … Continue reading La Tramontane

Being Organic

Spent the day cleaning the house and studying French until about 3:30 when I had to get out for a walk. Took one of my favorite routes through the village, passing five wineries, then out the road to Cucugnan, which takes me past several vineyards and a farm housing a few donkeys. Take a left … Continue reading Being Organic

A Conversation with the Mayor

Charles Chivilo has been mayor of Maury for ten years. I’ve been coming here for six of those years and I’ve been trying to photograph him since the beginning but somehow it’s never worked. He was out of town or I was on my way back to San Francisco. He tried to call me back … Continue reading A Conversation with the Mayor

The Festival of Saint Brice

This weekend marked the festival of Saint Brice, the patron saint of Maury. Brice was born in 370 and raised by St. Martin in Marmoutiers, near Strasbourg in Alsace. According to the Catholic.org web site, he was a “vain, overly ambitious cleric”, who “neglected his duties, was several times accused of lackness and immorality.” He … Continue reading The Festival of Saint Brice