Monthly Archives: July 2014

Living a life in Quillan

A week ago we finished our three-month-long stint in France. Leaving Quillan felt like a significant ending. I left with questions that cannot yet be answered with certainty. Will we ever return to Quillan? Years from now will we carry regrets about what we did or did not do while we had the chance? Will our children thank us or curse us for it?

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Bastille Day in Quillan

Having spent a bit of time contemplating our leaving arrangements, we decided to extend our stay in Quillan right to the end of the three months, in order to make the most of the opportunity to celebrate Bastille Day in our ‘home town’, complete with front row view of the fireworks from our roof terrace. As it happened, it didn’t quite go to plan. Continue reading

The tiny commune of Quirbajou

When we visited the village Quirbajou yesterday I was surprised to see it has a mairie (town hall). It therefore must be a commune, which is an administrative level in France. There is, as far as I know, no equivalent in New Zealand. Communes in France have a town hall, a mayor, and a town council. They have responsibility for many of the functions that in New Zealand would be carried out by district or city councils. But Quirbajou is so tiny! At the last census it had a population of 36. How can such a small population support a mayor and town council? Continue reading

Over the Col de Jau to Prades

When we were first considering where in the Languedoc Roussillon-Pyrenees area to spend our three months, I spent many (many) hours googling for information and inspiration. Among my finds was a post by a British writer on her experience of putting her young son in the village school at Mosset.

It looked amazing. It sounded amazing. At the time we thought we would probably need to put Oliver in a college though, so Mosset seemed a bit small. I got in touch with the woman for advice, and she suggested Prades would be the closest spot with a college and a Lycee as well as primary schools So, we quite seriously considered Prades as a destination. Continue reading

Le marche nocturne

In the summer the town of Quillan really comes alive, with an influx of tourists and a programme of events and activities sponsored by the local commercants around the Place de la Republique.

One of the regular features is a night market – ‘sous la lune’, which takes place outside our windows from 6pm-midnight every Thursday evening in July and August.

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