Happy New Year

and here's our round-up of 2021

Bonjour . . .

Life in the village is pretty much normal, aside from the wearing of masks and QR code checks. Everyone is respectful of these measures, so all good.
In September I was lucky to be invited by my good friend Sylvain, a fellow artist, to his other home in Corsica. I am smitten by this island and I am planning a tour with Fiona when she returns . . . soon!
I returned to Jouques in July and promptly set to cleaning the house and get things back in order for students and guests. Received all excellent reviews, so crossed fingers for next summer.
The birth of Chloé was the biggest high at the onset of 2021. Being in Perth with Fiona to watch her grow as well as Lucie was the bonus of border restrictions.

I am back at work in the atelier and pleased with the progress I am making, so watch out for fresh works for viewing in 2022.

PHOTOS:  September in Corsica after riding to fetch bread in a village near Bastia; 23rd December at Chabanon ski station (at 2000m) in the Alps

and hello  from me . . .

Well this year has indeed been an unusual one for me. Six more months of life in limbo in Perth with Jean-Louis, followed by 3.5 months living on my own, then moving in with Charlotte and Darryl, has meant that I’ve felt the need to ‘adapt or perish’! Packing up the house on my own and readying it for renting was quite a task – one I don’t wish to do again any time soon.
The safe arrival of our sweet little Chloé in January has been the silver lining of the year, as has the opportunity to see her almost everyday since moving into the same household in November. Engaging with her while she’s developing exponentially is fun and fascinating – I think I was too tired and busy when my own kids were little to have really enjoyed myself, so I feel very fortunate to have this experience with her.

PHOTOS:  Charlotte and Darryl at Cottesloe Beach on Christmas day; Chloé in mid-December, almost 11 months
Spending time with Lucie (now 22 months) continues to be a great joy – this little bonne vivante lights up any space she enters with her joyful shrieks and bright, cheeky smiles! Going with her to Toddler Gym and Rhyme Time at the library has been thoroughly enjoyable, as has seeing both my little granddaughters enjoying their swimming lessons.
Of course my family is paramount, so I’ve been spending as much time as possible with Isabelle and Chris, Charlotte and Darryl, as well as Mum and Dad. Both Chris and Darryl have been enjoying their jobs and each has been made permanent this year which is fantastic! Meanwhile Isabelle and Charlotte have been relishing life as very busy new Mums and each doing an amazing job.
PHOTOS:  With Lucie at Trigg Beach in mid-November;  Lucie in early-December, 21 months - filling her little watering can
PHOTOS:  Chloé (left) and Lucie (right) loving the swimming pool fun; Isabelle, Chris and Lucie at their regular picnic spot at Trigg Beach
A visit to Perth by my sister in December was a highlight after a postponement of her trip in September – Antoinette and I hadn’t seen one another for three years!
I’ve continued to paint a little and have enjoyed a couple of craft sessions to try a few new fun things for myself.
One thing I’ve always wanted to do was to learn to play Bridge and, after eight weeks of excellent lessons at the South Perth Bridge Club, I now look forward to playing twice a week – I’ve recently had a few of sessions playing online which I hope will help me continue playing with the same group of new friends when I go back to France. I’m slowly getting the hang of this very complicated card game, but gosh it’s far more complex than I’d realised – so brain exercise all the way!
Throughout the year I’ve also worked on maintaining our Artelier Provence website, though I admit I’ve felt too disconnected with the business and Jouques to engage with social media much, however I did manage to publish two newsletters. If you missed the December edition you’ll find it here.
My fingers are crossed that I can travel to France in mid-May to be reunited with Jean-Louis and spend the summer enjoying Provence and consolidating our business. Then we hope to BOTH be returning to Perth in mid-November.
PHOTOS:  With Antoinette in early December; (right) my first figurative painting, of Lucie when she was 9 months; Mum and Dad with Chloé at King's Park in late November
We both wish you a healthy and happy year ahead - we hope to connect with you this year and see each and every one of you if it’s possible in these unpredictable times.
Sending love and best wishes, Fiona + Jean-Louis
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