Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Traces of Cafés Past

(Click on photo to enlarge)

What I wouldn't give to snoop around this abandoned "Café Restaurant." I wonder if any vestiges of its heyday are strewn around the interior. An old menu? A few dusty plates and glasses? An empty bottle of Suze?

(Photo courtesy of Thierry Jouanneteau)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Oncoming Storm

You may be thinking this photo has been touched up, but it is exactly what we saw from our window a few evenings ago at about 8:30 pm, when an oncoming storm darkened half of the village.

(Photo courtesy of Thierry Jouanneteau)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Hope Springs Eternal

I bet most of the Daily Photo bloggers in France are blogging about the "Fête de la Musique" today, so I'm not going to post my dusky shots of this yearly music festival.

Instead, let's have a word about something that inspires me much less: soccer. Today's headline in the local paper, Centre Presse, was:

"Pourquoi l'équipe française est désespérante."

Roughly translated: "Why the French team is driving us to despair."

This Rodez resident, at least, is keeping the faith. And we'll know tomorrow evening if the French team will survive the first round of the World Cup.

POSTSCRIPT JUNE 24th: The French team surprised their morose fans by making it into the second round, where they will play against Spain next Tuesday.

How far do you think the French team will go?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Learn about Languedoc

One of the interesting aspects of living in Aveyron is the department's great geographical diversity. It is part of the Midi-Pyrenées administrative region, but only the western part of the department really has the feel of that area. Just north, we have the cold and mountainous Cantal department, which is part of the Auvergne. And the south of the department turns to Montpellier and the Languedoc-Roussillon region.

I used to feel a stronger link to Toulouse, where my husband did his studies, but lately I have been going to Montpellier more often and have become quite a fan of the Languedoc. If you are interested in this region, I can recommend a great site that will give you all the information you need. The Languedoc Page is bursting with tips, links, and just about everything you need to know about this small but fascinating region of Southern France. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Restaurants in Aveyron: Goûts et Couleurs

You may be wondering what this obviously culinary post is doing on La France Profonde? Shouldn't I have placed it in Cuisine Quotidienne? I decided not to because there is nothing quotidian about a meal at Goûts et Couleurs , the only restaurant in Rodez that boasts a Michelin star. If you ever come to Aveyron, I do recommend a magical meal at this quiet establishment. For 32 euros, you can order the "Menu Maison" and savor a feast for the eyes and the palate that you may never forget. Here is what I enjoyed last week:

Le gâteau de hareng marinés, fenouil et poivrons,
Raisins secs, pomme verte et radis:
La "ventrèche" de thon au bouillon d'algues et citron vert,
Feuilles de chou au gingembre et champignons crus:

Tome de brebis, Chapelure romarin/genièvre et gelée de framboises :

Salade d'oranges à l'huile d'olive, chocolat blanc à la fleur d'oranger,sorbet citron poivre vert:

I'm not going to attempt to translate the menu items, but I can refer you to a review by fellow Internaut who did a write-up of the restaurant and provided English translations for the dishes he tasted.
Aveyron has three one-star restaurants and one three-star restaurant. I have been to all of them, and hope to get back to them now that I am blogging so that I can share the experience with my readers!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Vie Quotidienne

When you're a tourist, France is all about châteaux, scenic villages and museums. But when you're a resident, your life here becomes a vie quotidienne: the kids go off to school, you drive to work, and somehow you have to get the grocery shopping done.

I thought it would be interesting to give my readers a few glimpses of French schools. This is a primary school in a suburb of Rodez. Decorating school entrances with pencils must have been a fad at some point; my daughter's junior high school has them too.

It would be easy to say this is a "typical modern French primary school", but it's not accurate to generalize.

For my expat and French readers: how about posting a photo of a school in your area? Send me the link so I can do a summary of them.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Family Resemblance

Okay, I promise you La France Profonde is not turning into a "cute animal photo" blog. But my husband Thierry came home with these "family photos", and I loved the way mother and child took the same pose.

By the way, Thierry is a private consultant specialized in farm management, and he gets out and about in Aveyron, especially in farm country, a lot more than I do. Some of the photos on La France Profonde, and occasionally on Cuisine Quotidienne, are his. Look for the credit at the bottom of the post.

(Photos courtesy Thierry Jouanneteau)

Saturday, June 10, 2006

How Dry It Is

Weather in Aveyron was fairly cool in May, so cool that we didn't even notice the lack of rain. In one week, with a little more heat, the countryside -- and lawns -- have dried up. Rounded haystacks are everywhere: a beautiful sight. Yet we can only hope for some precipitation this month. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Time of the Signs

This road sign has been cracking me up for years on my drive to work.

"For your safety -- experimental road marking."

Somehow, this doesn't reassure me!

Also, the sign has been up for about ten years. I wonder how long the experiment is going to last? Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Family Ciné, what will become of you? Fauré Carrelages, what became of you?

Plans are afoot for a major multiplex cinema in Rodez, which will no doubt be a great attraction for the town's growing student population. I can't help but wonder, though, about the fate of our three existing cinemas, especially "Le Family", the only movie theater right in the town center.

A quick look on the Internet gave me no information about the history of this theater, so it's a subject I'll have to look into in the city archives. I imagine it was built over fifty years ago, so the half English name is rather surprising. Using English every which way in shop and business names is quite the fashion in France these days, but I don't think it was then.

Part of the building is covered with exquisite mosaic work, and the artisans left their signature:

Ever interested in French businesses of the past, I took a look around the Internet for anything written about the Toulouse "Fauré Carrelages" (tileworks) company. No sign. Another French company of another era, long gone and forgotten.