(how many tomato tarts have you made this summer?)
August 25th 2022
Just two months ago, I was in France, having left as soon as humanly possible after my last in-person school commitment. I had a whack of report card edits still to complete as well as a two-day online professional development course. But I was in France, so it all felt doable! And I had the whole summer ahead of me…
Fast forward to today. I’ve had the busiest summer I can remember in… forever. Flew to Spain, finished walking the Camino de Santiago, flew back to France, where my parents were visiting from Australia, entertained and hosted various friends and family over the course of just over 3 weeks and finally flew back to Toronto at the start of August with a very good friend arriving on the same day as me, staying with us at the start and end of her first trip to Canada. We visited Niagara Falls, The Art Gallery of Ontario, the Bata Shoe Museum (and so much more!), and I loved discovering my city through her eyes - it’s really refreshing!
She’s just gone home, and I’m sitting here staring down a new school year (teacher meetings start next week - yikes!) and wondering how on earth the summer can be over. But listing all that activity helps because, yeah, we did a LOT! Oh, and we’re currently fostering this guy…
While I’m anxious about the return to school (even after 30 years in the classroom, I still get the back-to-school scaries!), I AM looking forward to a little bit more routine.
What about you - do you mourn the end of summer or embrace the return to routine?
in-person classes in Toronto are back!
YES! In-person classes at the beautiful Kitchen at St Lawrence Market are back this fall! If you live in or near Toronto (or know someone who does!), you might be interested in some (new) French-themed baking or wine/ food pairing classes (with newly-minted sommelier Neil!). Check out all my offerings by clicking the button below (and use the discount code NEWSLETTERSUBSCRIBER for 15% off classes!)
(New offerings for my online classes with Context Travel will be coming soon! Stay tuned!)
This summer, I have read more than I have in probably the last three years combined. Not all quality fiction, you understand -, this summer, I’ve read more “quick read” thrillers and mysteries than you can shake a stick at! Because sometimes you need a quick (predictable) read. However, only the “blog-worthy” books make “Summer Reads.” Here are some recent faves:
(yep, a heavy Paris-themed selection this month - not intentional!)
Check out my recent #summerreads picks on the blog!
links you might like
What is Comté and 3 top reasons why cheesemongers are so crazy about it via The Cheese Professor. My parents (from Australia) fell in love with Comté in France this summer. It’s up there in MY top 5 cheeses - what about you?
How a 27-year-old consultant eats on $225k a year in Washington, D.C. via Bon Appétit. This one has been doing the rounds of social media. And begs so many questions (none the least being: How does a 27-year-old earn that much?). Have a read and see what you think.
Fending for dinner: Readers from around the world share their tips via The Washington Post. It’s “back to school/ la rentrée” in many parts of the world next month. Which means the “six o’clock scramble” is back. And sometimes snacks for dinner. Here are some interesting takes on “fending.”
The case for leaving the perfectly manicured lawn behind via CBC. We left behind our front lawn MANY years ago, and most of our close neighbours have as well. Even though I am not the gardener in the family, it’s very liberating not having a traditional lawn to water, especially in the height of summer! Whether you’re just letting the weeds take over or are planting a “pollinator-friendly garden” (we have - see below a Monarch captured by Cathy this week!), there are lots of options!
The travel editor who quit flying (and what it’s taught her so far) via Positive.News. Aka: revelling in the journeys themselves just as much as the destinations.
How I travel: Stanley Tucci always wears a suit jacket to fly via Condé Nast Traveller. I remember giving a friend a hard time back in 1990 when they were travelling to Europe wearing a tracksuit (gosh, so young, so judgemental!). Tucci echoes my thoughts, and while I don’t “dress" up” to travel these days, I won’t wear yoga pants - always proper pants. Neil, on the other hand, always travels with a jacket.
The struggle cookbook authors face in 2022 via Tasting Table. Some food for thought as you crack open and cook from your fave cookbooks.
French school pupils’ obsession with Bic pens is disrupting classes via The Connexion (possible paywall, but you get a few free articles per month). “[S]ome students were starting side-businesses from thefts and trading deals.““Yes, really - all for the (now) not-so-humble “Bic Quatre Couleurs” (I have a few of the collectible editions of this pen. Ahem.)
what we’re watching
(you can tell I have been reading a lot because I have barely watched anything of note since I last shared!)
Mrs. Harris goes to Paris. “A widowed cleaning lady in 1950s London falls madly in love with a couture Dior dress, and decides that she must have one of her own.” Delightful escapism at its best. LOVED THIS!
Inside the mind of a cat. “Cat experts dive into the mind of the feline to reveal the true capabilities of the pouncing pet in this captivating and cuddly documentary.” Even if you’re not a cat person, you’ll likely find this at least mildly interesting. If you’re into cats, you’ll love this. It will make you look at your feline friends in a different light.
buy my books
Don’t have my books?
rent our holiday home in southwest France!
“If you’re looking for a home away from home, this place is for you. Live like a local and experience all the hidden gems that surround the beautiful area of south-western France.”
~ guest review
Our charming house in Nérac, halfway between Bordeaux and Toulouse is in the heart of Gascony. Book ahead for next year!
Thanks for reading!
Stay safe xo
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I still get back to school anxiety and I'm retired! I also have nightmares where I can't find my locker or can't follow my schedule. I think it's pretty common.