Back from France…..and we’ve been here one year.

I hadn’t been back to France for 3 years and I hadn’t left Asia for a year so I appreciated the week-long trip to Vendee (west France) last week. We attended the wedding of one of Sebastien’s cousins. Saturday morning at 11:00 guests met at La Mairie (town hall) for a civil wedding

DSC_1485followed by drinks then a four-course meal (seven-course if you include cheese, fruit and trou normande/digestive), then a live band with dancing and all the while there was something that doesn’t really happen in Australia… lots of entertainment provided by the guests which included singing, home-made videos, games… DSC_1587 ..then at midnight the guests danced under a huge heart-shaped brioche and at 2am onion soup was served (but we’d left by then!). On Sunday there was a buffet lunch plus some more entertainment (including a video of the bucks and hens nights). Phew! IMG_2082 DSC_1217


Speaking of weddings, here in China it appears that modern couples have done away with the traditional red dress and every week-end we see brides and grooms having their photos taken around town in fancy white gowns and black suits.



Whilst in France we took the opportunity to visit the Arcachon basin with the largest sand dune in Europe (Pyla).With the kids staying with their grandma for a couple of days Sebastien and I were able to take a 7-hour walk along the coast, through the pine forest and finishing at a little cabin by the water front where we enjoyed a platter of fresh oysters and a drop of wine.DSC_1247


Blanche really enjoyed looking for pignons (pipi shells?) and we enjoyed eating them… as well as eating freshly grilled sardines, and crusty baguettes and creamy cheese and ripe summer  fruit….DSC_1288

Shanghighs/lows/unusuals‘: We have survived a whole year in Shanghai. Have I managed to ‘nurture joy, lightness and space’ as was my intention 12 months ago? Hmmmm I have to be honest and say that those are not the first words that come to mind BUT I’ve had fun writing these blog posts which have helped me maintain a healthy curiosity.


Another ‘Shanghigh’ – a new discovery: wontons served in delicious sesame and peanut sauce.



2 comments on “Back from France…..and we’ve been here one year.

  1. Reia says:

    You definitely help us experience a ‘nurture [of] joy, lightness and space’ Jenni – so please keep them coming.

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