Vignettes of an Early Gascon Summer

“Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the tree house; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colours in a parched landscape.”

Harper Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird 

Spring in France

In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours. Mark Twain

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. Charles Dickens

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month. Henry Van Dyke 

The Second Mouse Gets the Cheese

No one seems to be able to agree on who first said “The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.” Nor on how many cheeses Charles de Gaulle really mentioned or exactly when he said “How can you be expected to govern a country that has 246 kinds of cheese?” There must be over a thousand different French cheeses and even Britain claims 700. Switzerland and Italy each produce 450 varieties. Swiss cheeses are almost all from cow’s milk. The Italians have made Pecorino, which is a ewe cheese, for 2,000 years. Holland exports the most cheese – and keeps enough for everyone at home to eat over 14 kilos a year. Australia produces over 300,000 tonnes a year, about half of them hard Cheddar-type cheeses. Even the lactose intolerant often eat goat or ewe cheese without ill effects. 

10 Books to Improve your Writing

Read wide and read often, but make sure you read these ten books.

“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”
-The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

colourful easter eggs

Why Easter and Passover are significant today

There is more to April festivals than the modern-day image of a bunny bringing chocolate eggs; don’t ‘Passover’ this history lesson. “The Lord passed through the land of Egypt and

photo along a wall of names with poppies attached to each name

The worst 24 hours in Australia’s entire history

It was a summer battle – poppies instead of mud, although the trenches were flooded. About 900 people live in Fromelles today where, between the 19th and 20th July 1916,