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  • De captivants à banals, les articles et photographies de “The Baguette” sont une tentative de publier un journal de ma vie dans la Manche et de proposer un forum de discussion pour tout ce qui touche à la Normandie.
  • De captivants à banals, les articles et photographies de “The Baguette” sont une tentative de publier un journal de ma vie dans la Manche et de proposer un forum de discussion pour tout ce qui touche à la Normandie.

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December 20 2011 3 20 /12 /December /2011 08:13

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7021/6542288723_c0f4e9c81b_b.jpgIn March of this year, my French teacher from Maison Pour Tous gave me some cuttings from her Christmas cactus.  At the time, we were debating whether or not it should be called an Easter cactus.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7172/6542286165_d262a87076_b.jpgI think I can put that discussion to rest now that it has grown so big and is currently in bloom just in time for the Christmas season.  Take a look at the photos from earlier this year and see for yourself.http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7021/6542286763_d094738c2f_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7156/6542285613_ea058fdd68_b.jpg

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Published by The Baguette - in Happy Things
December 14 2011 4 14 /12 /December /2011 13:32

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7166/6510255201_4936bc4cae_b.jpgMonday afternoon was the last art class for the year.  I thought I would post some photos of some of the things we have done so far.  Arts plastiques is an adult class offered by Maison Pour Tous in Octeville.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7153/6510255685_7debef0eb5_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7143/6510262871_21c22e92d2_b.jpgAs you can see, we do a little bit of everything from drawing, acrylic painting, crafts and working with clay.  Having a strong background in art is not important as long as you are willing to try anything.  Fortunately, I love art and enjoy my class very much.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7168/6510266961_2f29e2ee06_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7028/6510264905_ea84629e0d_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7004/6510259065_b2d79fe9ed_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7011/6510262411_8aff3795eb_b.jpgThis was a craft idea inspired by the use of the color wheel.  We traced leaves onto paper and then painted them yellow, and blue to make green.  I think the finished product turned out great.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7005/6510267625_fcb1f5d460_b.jpgOne of our first assignments was to practice sketching parts of the body.  I drew a hand holding a cloth which came out good enough that I felt confident enough to color it using pastels.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7025/6510263671_44232ef26b_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7155/6510265573_1746f3618e_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7020/6510268115_66cb9e7d25_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7155/6510264251_329a7ff4e1_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7153/6510266067_afc99d69fe_b.jpgLater on, we all practiced drawing faces and bodies in motion.  Sadly, my drawing of a lounging lady did not turn out as nice as I had hoped.  Also, I was absent from class when I went on my vacation to the United States and missed several opportunities to practice and correct my mistakes.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7012/6510261367_c4cda1e2de_b.jpgMore recently, we have been working on painting impressionist landscapes and seascapes using acrylics.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7144/6510261833_3f745f51dc_b.jpgI'm not even going to tell you which one of these is mine !  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7004/6510256119_7b92397de3_b.jpgTuesday, I worked with clay to create three fish that I will then have glazed and fired.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7025/6510258125_05fa5558f6_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7162/6510257543_980a9d07bb_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7034/6510258567_6675e49c46_b.jpgA friend of mine made a small bell in the shape of a cat.  It was really cute.  There are more than 12 people in the class and they are all ladies except for me.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7034/6510257065_6bee401b3f_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7007/6510256631_b43b2c9786_b.jpgThe course is just one more place that I can go to practice my French since very few people in my class speak any English including the teacher.  Overall, it has been quite pleasant and I truly enjoy everyone's company.  Normally, the class is finished at 4 PM but we all stick around another hour or more to have tea / coffee and a special snack.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7026/6510259421_d5493d06a8_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7161/6510259793_e94ac4629e_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7009/6510260283_aab6fdd9ce_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7168/6510260797_0ff0ca817c_b.jpgOn Tuesday, someone brought in a bûche de Noël and another person brought some homemade bread with raisons and cranberries.  It was all so delicious !  Bonnes Fêtes !

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Published by The Baguette - in Art
December 13 2011 3 13 /12 /December /2011 23:55

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7011/6500978467_02021f0a6a_b.jpgFinally finished decorating for the holidays.  Normally, I go to a friend's house in the southwest of France but this year I am staying in Querqueville.  I guess that will give me more time to enjoy my tree and the rest of my decorations.  The house is not much different than last year--you can check out my 2010 photos HERE.  I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year !http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7142/6542287389_4fcb4dda58_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7141/6542288135_40b35c4877_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7026/6542289643_be7e3387ea_b.jpg http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7028/6500991235_2d15ac4067_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7160/6500973119_73c7bb6aed_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7017/6501002007_bf4b83fbab_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7030/6500996153_658348c0b5_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7008/6500984983_f07d6b44ac_b.jpg

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Published by The Baguette - in Happy Things
December 12 2011 2 12 /12 /December /2011 20:04

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7165/6500636327_d98d5c4c41_b.jpgThis year's Christmas Market in Querqueville was perhaps the best one yet.  The weather was great during Saturday and Sunday which brought many visitors.  There were plenty of stalls with vendors selling decorations for the holidays as well as food and drink.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7148/6500623245_5323ce62a9_b.jpgInside the small chapel was the booth which sold things made in Burkina Faso.  Querqueville is twinned with the city of Gorom Gorom.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7153/6500633495_26aa244fbe_b.jpgI purchased some hand-carved animals made from wood.  The association raises money to finance a number of projects such as helping schools and maintaining libraries.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7142/6500624967_d48ecbe842_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7026/6500626177_b4ec5bb379_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7146/6500634359_fb9e2f2707_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7017/6500638567_149d87dcd6_b.jpgIn the courtyard, there was a small stage which played Christmas music and a booth which sold sausages, lamb and French fries.  Another booth made crèpes.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7173/6500637433_3d5e996c15_b.jpgInside the huge tent, tables were set up for vendors and associations to sell items to the public.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7161/6500627221_ef69ecb6a3_b.jpgI purchased a wonderful Christmas decoration from these two ladies.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7022/6500628099_44cd3cc1c8_b.jpgThese two were selling things made by children.  I bought some place settings made with twigs and wire.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7027/6500629153_37e2f0e508_b.jpgAlthough I did not buy anything from these ladies, I thought that their embroidery was great.  Check out those adorable stockings on the tree.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7019/6500630105_7eeb88f8cc_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7032/6500630935_a4c7b53b61_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7151/6500632175_c94d530758_b.jpgThe great hall was decked out with lights and garland.  Fresh procucts were sold here and I purchased several things such as bread from a local baker, http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7022/6500639373_4bcdf8f4f1_b.jpga lemon cake from a baker from Quineville http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7023/6500640537_609b777c3d_b.jpgand cherry aperitif and apple cider from a Normandy cider-maker, Théo Capelle.  Here is the link for last year's Christmas market.  Joyeuses Fêtes !http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7175/6500635723_51fe3b2608_b.jpg 

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Published by The Baguette - in Querqueville
December 1 2011 5 01 /12 /December /2011 11:30

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7151/6442022235_bf24e01bde_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7023/6442019335_5d91ef38d0_b.jpgMany of you already know that I was in the United States for ten days in November for a family reunion.  I flew from Paris into Houston and then stayed with my brother, Steve for a few days before our cruise with the entire family started.  I was so glad to see everyone in my family again, especially my nephews and nieces who have really grown since the last time I saw them.  Our party included every member of my family – seventeen people in all.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7006/6442035037_2cc9c32c6f_b.jpgOur ship was the new Carnival Magic.  What a ship !  It’s huge !  Because it was the week of Thanksgiving, there were many people aboard with their families as well so lots of children were running around.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7157/6442021333_6dd0305a66_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7142/6442021887_766587939a_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7167/6442019827_e6222a4903_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7159/6442020861_113e78fc86_b.jpgOf course, the ship had many activities for them to participate in including their new water park called WaterWorks.  For adults, there were places like the Serenity Deck and the Cloud Nine Spa which I took full advantage of.  The cruise lasted seven days with stops in Key West, Florida and Freeport and Nassau, Bahamas.  The weather was perfect every single day with plenty of sun and very warm temperatures.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7163/6442018905_9f633998e0_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7161/6442020169_19d569bede_b.jpgAfter boarding the ship in Galveston, I checked out my cabin on deck nine.  It was a beautiful room with a balcony that proved to have exceptional views every night when the sun would set.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7018/6442037123_c5fb552fb0_b.jpgBefore we left the port, I took some time to sample some food on the Lido Deck—there was so much to choose from and each day brought new things to the menu.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7168/6442022941_c48546a506_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7153/6442038273_2b0ba7110f_b.jpgOur first port of call was Key West.  I just loved walking around and seeing all of the old houses and buildings—The Art Museum was open but I chose not to go inside as there were many other things I wanted to see.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7165/6442037545_99920e0125_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7166/6442036451_111729224e_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7171/6442023641_c89475630d_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7153/6442032347_a0ccbda183_b.jpgThere are some great buildings along Duvall Street including the old movie theatre, The Strand (now a drugstore) as well as Sloppy Joe’s Bar.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7011/6442038799_ae39a10f36_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7154/6442024197_b420e584f8_b.jpgAt the end of the street is mile marker zero which claims to be the southernmost point of the United States.  People were lining up in droves to have their photo taken but I wasn’t going to be bothered so I just snapped a picture of the marker and one picture of me near the sea.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7005/6442035897_5eec2a8256_b.jpgFor lunch I had a Cuban sandwich, a beer and a delicious slice of Key Lime Pie from a place called Kermit’s.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7149/6442026183_3d7a05bd99_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7171/6442024931_1df13c9bfe_b.jpgOne very interesting place on the island was the old lighthouse.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7001/6442028665_08ff53f39f_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7175/6442027433_3c45fcacf9_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7142/6442025715_4b91df131a_b.jpgFrom the top, one could see for miles including our ship in the distance.  The place I wanted to see the most however was the Hemingway House.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7143/6442026887_ea7bfcb64e_b.jpgFortunately, by the time I strolled in, most of the tourists had left and I had an excellent opportunity to visit the rooms of the house and explore the grounds.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7029/6442034407_1946321230_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7154/6442027925_b5379e06a7_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7150/6442029211_05e7a1c33a_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7007/6442030627_5471db68ac_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7033/6442030111_f588aa3aeb_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7144/6442031141_74090a13b1_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7172/6442031805_037f06e10e_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7173/6442032941_790ce519e2_b.jpgThe property has many cats.  Very peculiar cats.  They all have six toes instead of five.  At the end of the day I got back on the ship and exchanged stories with my family about the different things we did.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7147/6442035471_b983e09108_b.jpgFrom my balcony, I could see some beautiful private islands and several large yachts.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7014/6501160941_427d2e7602_b.jpgOur next day was a day at sea and my father booked early with the excursions desk a tour of the inside of the ship.  Only two groups of 20 ever get to see this part of the boat which included visits to the crew’s quarters, the large galley, mega-laundry facilities, the morgue, the brig, and an exclusive visit with the Italian captain, Giovanni Cutugno on the main deck where he steers the ship.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7004/6501161935_5dba1fcd14_b.jpgHe allowed us to have our photo taken with him.  As an added bonus, we were all taken to the very front of the ship for a group photo.  The tour ended with champagne and free goodie bags that included backpacks and hats that say “Behind the Fun”.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7145/6501142669_31c5566a54_b.jpgOur second port of call was the town of Freeport in the Bahamas.  In 2008 they suffered from two devastating hurricanes which destroyed much of the island’s tourist industry.  Fortunately, it is bounding back and our guide for the afternoon was a taxi driver named Patricia who took us to all of the places that are recovering from the damage as well as all of the pristine beaches including Paradise Cove.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7033/6501157187_28a4c57561_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7031/6501157721_61296b4b18_b.jpgAll of my brothers and their families joined me for a day at this private beach.  We tanned in the hot sun, built sand castles and snorkelled in the sea.  The coral and the fish were so colourful.  I will always remember how pleased I was to have done this part of the island.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7031/6501159287_92bbfb79e2_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7147/6501159899_f2ee44807f_b.jpgDon’t I make a good middle-aged model ?  Ha, ha, ha !  It was also my first time eating grilled conch.  Yummy.  Back on ship, I spent late afternoon on my balcony before going to dinner at the Southern Lights Dining Room.  My whole family sat together at two large tables while three stewards who waited on us hand and foot to make sure our dining experience was exceptional served us every night.  The food was delicious and every night I tried something different.  The sunset leaving Freeport was stunning.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7033/6501153467_951eb12d81_b.jpgThe next port of call was perhaps my favorite, Nassau.  The streets were busy with tourists since there were five large cruise ships docked here for the day.  They included our ship, the Carnival Magic, the Norwegian Gem, the Disney Dream, the Carnival Pride and the Carnival Fascination.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7158/6501127305_0f8e500239_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7002/6501134639_8e49b72653_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7022/6501129983_9353ee4cbf_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7174/6501137505_fb35509576_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7017/6501131301_938cbb2c83_b.jpgAlong with its old colonial buildings, Nassau is famous for its fort at the top of the hill, Fort Fincastle as well as the old water tower.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7027/6501133743_4e4c059810_b.jpgTo get there, one has to climb the famous Queen Victoria Staircase carved entirely out of limestone in the 19th century by slaves.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7161/6501138629_e7e6781d89_b.jpgNearby, there were plenty of souvenir booths selling handmade crafts and crazy shirts.  I bought one although I only got to wear it once.  I also bought a calendar, another hat and a Christmas tree decoration made from a conch shell in the shape of an angel.  The views from the fort were great and once again, I could see all of the ships docked in the distance.  Instead of choosing to book an excursion, I decided I would walk the city by myself and see many of its historical sights which included, http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7143/6501126729_7f1fd7a3a0_b.jpgParliament Square with its statue of Queen Victoria, http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7024/6501128841_882c109e04_b.jpgAnsbacher House near the Garden of Remembrance, http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7159/6501132441_7624ffbf54_b.jpgthe octagonal-shaped Public Library, http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7168/6501139681_1a432038fe_b.jpgProvidence House, http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7019/6501141221_e13518137f_b.jpgGovernment House atop the hill, http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7010/6501140481_eb126c0896_b.jpgas well as the staircase leading up to Govenment house with a statue honoring Christopher Columbus, http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7171/6501142107_97c573f2c8_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7143/6501144039_97a9c82281_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7173/6501145211_518c114df4_b.jpga tobacco drying building and the National Art Gallery.  Along the way, I tried to visit as many of the local churches as I could including http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7142/6501146843_6a40502626_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7147/6501147685_b470810f3e_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7013/6501145899_d0d3442d29_b.jpgSt. Francis Xavier Cathedral--it was in a ruinous state.  Next door to it was the more modern construction, http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7013/6501148427_78d33318ae_b.jpgAnnunciation Greek Orthodox Church, http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7016/6501150499_da12546fe1_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7020/6501152779_c1c8f40777_b.jpgand the most beautiful of them all, Christ Church Cathedral with its exquisite interior, stained glass windows, glorious organ and wood ceilings.  It is truly a fine place to explore if you enjoy visiting religious buildings like I do.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7156/6501154953_eb5b485b34_b.jpgAs for the rest of my family, they chose to take the bus to the private resort beach on the nearby Paradise Island.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7020/6501150983_854ecc6148_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7171/6501154165_bdfcc367f3_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7160/6501156561_740fdfdcbe_b.jpgThe large hotel on the island is called “Atlantis” and is famous for being one of the places where Michael Jackson lived much of the year before his death.  I walked across the bridge to the resort and took a look at the beach and then did some shopping at the Marina tourist shops.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7169/6501151841_573702df81_b.jpgFor lunch I ate an enormous pastrami sandwich from Murray’s Marina Deli.  Total price for the sandwich, chips and a drink : $25 !  That was outrageous but worth every penny since it tasted so good.  After my meal, I wrote several postcards and bought some stamps from the post office in town.  According to many of my friends, they still haven’t received their postcard !  Mail must be slow on the islands.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7005/6501158427_2c3c3d6139_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7159/6501160215_25b86b9b06_b.jpgIt was November 24th, Thanksgiving and we had our second formal dress dinner at the Southern Lights dining room.  Photographers were located throughout the ship to capture every moment.  I had lots of professional photos taken but I only bought one from the day I left the ship for Freeport.  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7142/6501155637_1bacb7df10_b.jpgThe sunset leaving Nassau was so pretty.  The next two days were days at sea.  In that time, I relaxed in the Cloud Nine Spa, played some trivia games and joined the entire family for several hours of a professional photo shoot.  We each went away with nearly 75 photos of us taken in a variety of settings throughout the ship.  Earlier in the week, I won a karaoke contest which earned me a place in the final show at the end of the cruise called the “Carnival Legends Show.”  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7028/6504462165_bfb3ffdcbd_b.jpgThe entertainment personnel aboard the ship dressed me up as Michael Jackson and taught me how to dance and to sing Billy Jean live on stage for all of the Carnival Magic passengers.  I was so embarrassed and forgot some of the words but in the end, everyone said I did a great job.  They gave me a free picture of the whole cast and a DVD of the entire performance.  I would like to thank our Cruise Director James Charlton for showing us a great time all week.  I admire how he was able to cope with so many different activities each and every day with thousands of passengers and crew under his wing.  Bravo !  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7141/6504462985_ca5535c557_b.jpgMost of all, I would like to thank my wonderful parents who planned this event and brought the entire family together for Thanksgiving.  This being my first cruise, I truly enjoyed every minute and hope that we can cruise again in the future.  Just for your information, I took close to 500 digital images but narrowed them down to about 75 to post on my blog.

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Published by The Baguette - in Happy Things
November 19 2011 7 19 /11 /November /2011 12:01

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Published by The Baguette - in Querqueville
November 16 2011 4 16 /11 /November /2011 12:01

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Published by The Baguette - in Querqueville
November 15 2011 3 15 /11 /November /2011 12:01

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Published by The Baguette - in Querqueville
November 14 2011 2 14 /11 /November /2011 12:01

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Published by The Baguette - in Nature
November 13 2011 1 13 /11 /November /2011 23:59

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Published by The Baguette - in Happy Things