06 March 2015

Noyers houses (6)

Yesterday was an exception. I thank you all who sent encouragement and good birthday wishes. I realize this morning that 66, now attained, feels pretty much the same as 65. Who knew?

This is not Montaigne's famous tower near Bordeaux, but one of the towers in the fortifications around the town of Noyers in Burgundy.

I don't know why I wrote what I wrote yesterday on the blog. I just woke up thinking about my life, and I sat down in front of the keyboard and started typing as soon as I had a hot cup of tea in front of me. Fact is, I've never really wanted this blog to be about me. In my mind, it's about France, and I try to keep it focused on France. I'm just a conduit.

As you might know, the Renaissance essayist from down near Bordeaux, Michel de Montaigne, said that the subject of his essays was himself and his flaws. « Ainsi, Lecteur, je suis moy-mesme la matiere de mon livre, he wrote in the preface to his Essais. ...c'est moy que je peins. Mes defauts s'y liront au vif, mes imperfections et ma forme naïfve, autant que la reverence publique me l'a permis. » You could translate that as "So, dear Reader, I am myself the subject of this book... This is my self-portrait. My flaws will be apparent, along with my imperfections and my true nature, as much as public decency allows."

Well, I don't feel that way about this blog. My subject is not me — at least not directly or primarily. My subject is France and life here. Montaigne's real subject was not what he said it was, either. He was being slightly disingenuous. I suppose we all are, and some more than others.

The photos here are of a couple of other buildings in Noyers-sur-Serein, in Burgundy. I'm coming to the end of my Burgundy cycle. And I'll be leaving Saint-Aignan on Sunday to go spend a couple of weeks in North Carolina. I'll start blogging from there next week.


  1. Ken, your blog is "about" you...
    it is your view of the country you fell in love with...
    after yesterday's post we, your readers, now know a little more of "why"!
    What you show us of France must... by nature of the human mind....
    be about your France...
    else I cannot imagine you being able to continue writing such an informative blog for ten years.
    So, please, "keep on truckin'".... we'll be in the slipstream!

    And as someone fast approaching swozant-sank....
    was that any different than 64?
    Yesterday, it was the tea talking!!

  2. It occurred to me later that it was interesting that cars, houses, people got listed but pets didn't. It was clearly stream of conciousness stuff.

    1. Pets are quick. Two dogs and now one cat. Or should that be "nough"?

  3. Noyers is an interesting and beautiful village. I probably passed not far from it without knowing what I missed. Too late!

    Œufs pochés en meurette ! I wish I were there!

    1. En fait, c'était un œuf posé sur une bonne quantité de sauce meurette. Mais la sauce était vraiment délicieuse, avec beaucoup de lardons et d'oignons grelot.

  4. [...] and my true nature, as much as public decency allows. Could this be construed as an acknowledgment by Montaigne that his relationship with La Boëtie couldn't be plainly explained?

  5. Ken and Walt, some of us started out reading the two blogs because of our interest in France but now stay as much for you and Walt as for France.

    It always pleases me that you two blog independently and don't often duplicate your day's topics.

  6. I very much enjoyed yesterday's post, as I think we all did :)

    I found that I have a Michelin guide for Burgundy among those in my big collection, but, it's in English, so the section on Noyers is pretty short (just about 1/3 of a page). Interestingly (to me), they gave the pronunciation of the town, and I realized that I've been saying it incorrectly in my head all along (even though I'll bet you gave us the correct pronunciation in your first post?). So, you pronounce the r, eh?
    What about Salers?

    1. Yup, of course, in your first Noyers post, you explained the pronunciation, and contrasted it to the other town across the Cher from you :)

  7. It's difficult to not let a bit of oneself bubble up to the top once in while. Likewise my intention is just to post some nice photos but every now and then I find myself sneaking into the picture (at least by inference). Anyway, we spent a week in Chapel Hill in January visiting friends. We lived there for twelve years before moving to France in 2008. Hope your trip to NC will be as satisfying as ours was.

  8. Everybody, I'm busy getting packed and ready to go to the U.S. tomorrow. More later. Stay tuned.


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