Monday, March 11, 2013

Picnic at the end of the world


It takes courage to go for a picnic au bout du monde.


One has to be prepared...


...and willing to bump along mercilessly pot-holed unmarked dirt roads that have left previous adventurers stranded far from civilization...


Ready to pass mysterious ruins that have been backhanded by history...


...and continuing on, persevering even when your goal is still not in sight...


Until at last you have arrived at the (in)famous plage de Beauduc and have the entire beach to yourselves. 

Beauduc, a secret passed on between fellow Provençaux. A wild place that is literally off the map...


We felt as though we had fallen into fortune's sea on this first true day hinting happily of spring.


Out the puppers bounded, muzzles low sniffing, breaking into wide arcs of zoomies. Faster than faster for the sheer joy of it.


And yes, there was reward a plenty for the humans too.


Paté en croute, saucisson, cornichons, caperberries, tiny peppers stuffed with anchoiade, caviar de tomates and crunchy baguettes to spread it on, authentic German potato salad, Colummiers and Comté cheese. Not to mention a bit of wine. 


Isn't it amazing how much better everything tastes at the sea?


...the dogs had their fill of falling crumbs. Beach time is a generous time...


...and finally beyond time. At some point it had slowed to gentle disparition but no one had noticed.


We were too busy enjoying ourselves. 


 At the end of the afternoon I lead one last toast declaring, "We don't need more than this." The moment would not have been any finer if Champagne had replaced the Bandol or caviar the caviar de tomates. All we needed was to be right where we were, in fine calm company, sipping in the sun. At the end of the world we all were given another beginning, a pebble to put in our pocket as a souvenir of good times well won.


72 comments:

  1. Oh, Heather! How absolutely gorgeous. What a beautiful, sensuous life!

    I love the image of you at the end. Is that Kipling or Ben? (Did I miss, and you said?)

    Enjoy your sublime picnic!

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    1. That is Ben, Suze. My sweetie boy. Always with a smile.

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  2. What a beautiful spot in the world. . .carefree and wonderful was your outing. Loved all the photos but your picnic menu and accompanying photos made my mouthwater and gave me an overpowering thirst for a glass of wine. . .and sadly it isn't anywhere near Happy Hour yet in this part of the world.

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    1. I always read the posts of "Elizabeth Minchilli in Rome" right before dinner time and it kills me Jackie--I want to eat the screen!!!

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  3. Thank you for sharing this picnic. Absolument délicieux.

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    1. C'etait tellement super...Teresa Maria! Glad you enjoyed it...

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  4. What a fun time and shared with beautiful pictures. I love your picnic basket set. We need to find one like that. Have a great day.

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    1. Michel, Remi found it in a local brocante and trust me, once you have one, you want to put it to use!!!
      Wishing you a wonderful day as well. We have a cold snap here but we all just have to hold on a bit longer... :)

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  5. How romantic - a beach all to yourselves? That is one of my dreams. It happens so rarely here and only on the coldest of winter days. And now, you have made me hungry too :)

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    1. Loree--really? I imagine you knowing all of the secret spots in Malte--and perfect beaches too!! And I love the beach in winter. But we were really lucky that day...

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  6. gorgeous!

    ah yes.

    a picnic at the end of the world.

    we had a packet of crisps (chips) at the other "end of the world" as the irish called it before they emigrated to the USA - giants causeway - similar feeling - years ago.

    brought it all back.

    everything tastes better near the salty air of the Sea!

    *wavingfromabove* (on a flight over america)

    tgxx

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  7. What a fab. place to be for a picnic. lovely pictures capturing the pleasure you certainly would have enjoyed with a picnic hamper full of all those tasty items. your dogs looked happy checking out the smells of the sea.

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    1. Yep, they were truly happy campers. Although I have a suspicion that Kipling doesn't know how to swim!

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  8. Heather,

    This is such a gorgeous spot. Your picnic looks perfect .. wine included! The dogs love the water don't they? My springers were out on the kayak yesterday with us and I'm not sure who was having the most fun :) them or us?!! There is something about the ocean that really puts things in perspective.

    Enjoy your week!

    leslie

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    1. That is so true, Leslie. It just wipes everything clean so that you can start again. And oh, I would love to see a photo of your puppers in the kayak!!

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  9. I am new to your blog and delighted by it! Your toast, "We don't need more than this" seems to have fit perfectly, and if only we could all live each moment filled with such gratitude - whether at the end of the world with those beautiful dogs or smack dab in the middle of it. Lovely all around!

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    1. Merci beaucoup, Rayna! I know that can be tough to keep in mind to appreciate just the things right in front of us but I know that for me, when I can...well it feels like a true breath of peace. Glad you are here!

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  10. Working away here in rural Oz, always dreaming of turquoise and the sea. Now with Charles Trenet cruising along in the background. Nice post Heather. Really lovely. Thanks x

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    1. Good question, Marg, one that I should have gone into in my post! Beauduc has a lot of bohemian to it. There were shacks and teepees and all sorts of "houses" that had sprung up illegally--last year they were all torn down but are already coming back. And it is definitely an "anything goes" type of place in summer...

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  11. What a beautiful day! And the food looks wonderful :-)

    Sandy

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    1. Thanks Sandy, sometimes the simple stuff tastes the best!

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  12. How interesting, where i live any dog must be leashed. Not allowed to run foot loose....
    You see, the elements of civilized oppression. Animals suffer as well, though because
    some have spoiled it for others, now we must all be penalized. A wonderful time you show..
    Thank you.....

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    1. You are welcome, Anon. And here, it depends on the beach. There are many that are dog-free. Happily, Beauduc is not one of them!!

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  13. What an amazing getaway Heather. Your photos are beautiful, Beauduc must be a very special place!

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    1. Thanks Laura--I wish that I had taken more photos of the surroundings. Next time!

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  14. Replies
    1. Merci Patou...i see you still have the "!" as your profile pic...hehe... ;)

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  15. Worth every bump and pothole to arrive at that gorgeous destination. Ben and Kipling looked so happy...outdoor in the wide open space running freely without restraint. It probably felt like dog heaven. The food and wine looked delicious and the pictures are beautiful! I especially love the heads shot of you and Ben. You both look sublime.

    XO Amelia

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    1. That is very kind of you Amelia! Ben is one handsome pupper, I will say that. :) And yes, that is exactly what we had said that day: Doggie Heaven indeed!!!!
      xoxo!

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  16. What a glorious day out and the whole beach to yourself. Your picnic looks delicious and I am very envious of your picnic hamper. Would have loved to have joined you there, Crusoe would have spent many happy hours barking at the waves and playing with Ben and Kipling.
    X

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    1. Oh my. I can just see it! And you and I would have chatted for hours and hours...
      xoxo

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  17. The back of the landy and that spread is my kind of eaterie, what a fab way to spend a day.
    I read that post, funnily enough I don't like living here at all but am stuck because of hubs, I would be so much happier elsewhere, it's something we've talked about a few times but his job is here so... must plan great escape for post retirement, the thing is he is ten years younger so that's too long for me to wait!

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    1. I hear you, Tabitha, I do. And am glad that you are able to at least make so many wonderful trips to London and the like to tide you over in the mean time...

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  18. Oh, how lovely. The wide open beach, the warmth of the spring sun, the sound of waves. A perfect picnic spot. So glad you had a day like that.

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    1. Thank you Lorrie, it did us ALL so much good!

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  19. Oh I feel as if I've been on vacance myself. What a wonderful place you have found. It's amazing that it was so deserted. I'm sure your sweet puppies had a fine time as well.
    V

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    1. It was just what the doctor ordered. Now we are back to winter but that little taste of spring will keep us going until it arrives!!!

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  20. I can't even tell you how badly I need a place and a moment like this right now. Thanks for transporting me temporarily...

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    1. We all have those moments Vicki--I hope that yours is over as quickly and painlessly as possible...

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  21. And, did you notice? Was it intentional? Your scarf contains the colors of the sand and the sky. Thanks for the feast — I'll have a bite of everything.

    With gratitude from the land of snow and cabin fever :-)

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    1. Hey! Your comment didn't show up in my inbox! Nor the rest of them after! What the hoola?

      And well, while it wasn't intentional for my scarf to match the sea and sky, it does have dogs on it (huskies) and that kind of was...;)

      Hang in there Miss...
      xoxox!!!

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  22. love love love to you and rémi and the dogs.
    what a wonderful thing to do on a sunny day at the "end of the world".
    the positve energy just *swoooshed* into my living room.
    merci beaucoup!
    and soooo good to SEE you, you beautiful lady!!
    sending love from berlin* (snowy, i may add)
    xxx j.
    ps: and AGAIN you chose the perfect music to go with the post. love it* heavenly!

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    1. Hooray! The music was a last minute add-on--I couldn't help it! I am beginning to think that I am going to need to find a cheap flight to Berlin at some point, Julia... :)
      Stay warm my little hippy!
      Bisous!!!
      H

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  23. Goodness, you certainly know how to picnic in style! So glad to see you enjoying a beautiful day!

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    1. Merci, Ann. I take my picnics pretty seriously but cannot take credit for finding the picnic hamper--Remi wins for that! :)

      Still hungry after your last post...baaaagels....

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  24. It looks sublime: filled with jealousy!

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    1. Oh dear.

      Having spent part of my childhood in Michigan, I feel it is fair to venture that perhaps Chicago is not the warmest spot on the planet currently?

      Hold on, soon...soon...

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    2. It is supposed to snow today! When I lived in France I definitely did not appreciate it enough. It is funny how we always miss what we do not have.

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    3. It is the sad truth, ain't it? What I wouldn't give for some Americana right now...

      And I am curious about where you lived in France...? I know that Paris was certainly not my cup of tea. I was one unhappy camper there.

      Stay warm please.

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    4. I lived in Paris in 1983 while I was an exchange student at the Sorbonne. I didn't like paris much, but I did love the food. I found people treated me pretty badly because I was a foreigner and my French, while fluent, was tragically accented. I did find that France was quite pleasant outside of Paris.

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    5. I see Paris did not evolve much between your stay and my arrival in 2001. I was treated horribly and it broke my spirit not a little. As a former theater actress, I put my stock in being able to express myself--it took a few years to get back up on my feet once they had been knocked out from underneath me. But I did.

      And yes, better here. Just best not to talk politics. We have learned that one the hard way...

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  25. Stunning. Every word. Every image. I feel as though I went on this journey with the four of you - but very quietly, very discreetly.

    Délicieux.

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    1. Beautiful D. You would not have felt the quiet if you had been with us--we were laughing too much! You would have loved it...

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  26. Arles is my favourite place on earth, you are very fortunate to live in such a beautiful region so steeped in history. My husband came from Arles to Canada when he was a child but his family all still live in the area (his Grandfather used to own the Soleides (sp?) and travel agency in town). I have just found your blog and absolutey love your photos and stories...such a lovely day at the beach with your family.

    Sharon
    weebreezefarm@blogspot.com

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    1. Oh thank you so much, Sharon! What a huge change of style for your husbands family to have gone from Arles to Canada, what a story...Absolutely delighted to have you here. :)

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  27. p.s. my blog bio photo is taken on the beach of Saintes Marie des la mer.

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  28. Wow Heather summer must be showing her face .... I've bee busy setting up new studio space so have missed your blogs! Looks awesome .... Do it again! Cheers!

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    1. Ooh a new studio!! Happy for you!!!! That means more room to create and that is ALWAYS a good thing...

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  29. Thank you Heather for sharing this very beautiful place and day with us! It is allways lovely when life give us such wonderful memories to add to our " book of life" sounds like this outing gave you all and more than a vacation would for some...Colx

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    1. So beautifully put, Col. But it really did feel as restorative as a vacation--without the bustle of taking the plane!! ;)

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  30. My idea of HEAVEN picnic on a deserted beach looks like it was the same for your gorgeous doggies too Heather....the picnic and wine looked delicious :) Carla xx

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    1. Now I know that you love the sea and I do too. We are only about 40 minutes away to the closest beach that will accept the doggies. Beauduc is nearly an hour and a half with "la piste" but worth it--Peter Lindbergh has had many photo shoots here...

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  31. Heather you understand what live life means. Peaceful place, happy dogs, happy You, good
    food and wine in a divine environment. Particularly the 2 last pictures say it all....
    "what a wonderful life, what a wonderful world"

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    1. It was a wonderful day, Mumbai. Anyone would be so happy under the circumstances!

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  32. Replies
    1. Thanks pretty girl. We are trying to decide if we are heading back your way or towards Uzes during the upcoming Easter Feria here...Will keep you posted...
      xo,
      H

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  33. A tailgate to celebrate spring! How inspiring. Our goldens always loved a romp on the sand and in the water of Lake Michigan. I can feel their wet fur full of sand now! We're planning a trip to France next year and definitely plan to visit Arles to see your beautiful part of the world.
    Nina in Michigan

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    1. You won't be disappointed, Nina. As wonderful as Paris is, it always disappoints me a bit that so many people don't see more of this gorgeous country. If you have any flexibility in your planning, I especially love Provence in May-June or September-October.

      And what I wouldn't give to be able to take Ben and Kipling to Manistee!!!

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  34. Bliss! How wonderful to picnic alone like that. Such beautiful pictures, Heather. I especially love the first image. Endless beauty.

    Clare x

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  35. Oh Heather, call it coincidence, but I've been listening to Trenet's La Mer every day for a month now, one of my inspiration tracks, and now getting caught up with you, I find it again. How lovely. A picnic at the end of the world. XXXXX G

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