Martin and the invisible moon

We had a four day weekend this past week and my friends Quitterie and Laurent invited me to join them at their beach house in Cap Ferret. Cap Ferret is located on the coast, West of Bordeaux. It feels a lot like the Hamptons without the crazy ass mansions…

They had also invited some of their closest friends. And although Quitterie and I have known each other for some 30 years, I did not know a single one of her more recent friends. They were quite fun to be around and I think we all appreciated the introduction. One couple had their baby with them. A little girl named Mathilda. The best behaved toddler I have ever met (note that I have 23 nephews). Cute as a button to boot…

We had long walks on the beach, played cards and had delightful meals with the freshest seafood, lovely wines and the very first strawberries this season that did not taste like cardboard. We added red wine, sugar and herbs to our strawberry salads: HEAVENLY!

Now about the tittle: as we were walking in the woods heading for the beach one early afternoon, 4 year old Martin was told to look up the moon. The moon was almost full and quite obviously visible despite the sun. Martin looked up and kept staring at the deep blue sky. He couldn’t see the moon. He became very upset and told us how impossible this was. Funny how the mind works. He’d been told his whole life that the sun and the moon couldn’t be in the sky at the same time. Some children’s songs and bedtime stories mention that too. So like the Indians who couldn’t see the European ships off of the American coast, Martin simply couldn’t see the moon. It just didn’t compute in his brain. He ended up seeing it after a few seconds of course, but we all thought this was quite interesting… If we can so easily be conditioned to not see what we believe doesn’t exist, what does it mean for all of us? Have we been conditioned to not see some of the best things that life has to offer? Can we truly notice the love or happiness that’s right under our noses?

Enough blabla. Here are some of the pictures I took:

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61 Comments Add yours

  1. Looks like you had a tremendous visit! Fantastic photos!

  2. Your posts are exquisite.. the thoughts behind them and the writing which are so moving , the beautiful photos which capture all the textures of life… love, laughter, nostalgia, glorious food, darling dogs… fun and joy ..
    You evoke all the goodness of life, and remind us how civilisation is such a gift to the mind, to the senses and to the soul…. I love your posts…

    1. My French Heaven says:

      What a lovely comment dear Valerie. It warms my heart and makes me want to do more and better… Have a lovely day! 😊

  3. Lovely photos, the piece you have written is really so so true so many things we need to question that we hold as truths because of this conditioning of mind , the upset we often feel , the discomfort at finding out we have been holding false beliefs is often what deters us adults at time to question our belief and we remain in our safe little cocoons . This really is related beautifully in your story here thank you for sharing . Kathy.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Kathy. Yes, it made all of us think…

  4. Stéphanie says:

    Such great pics. That is talent! Even though I was also there carrying my camera next to you, my pictures don’t convey the beauty of the place such as yours… Many thanks!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Merci! Je crois que celles de toi au loin sur la plage et celles avec martin qui apprend la photographie sont dans mon top 10 de l’année. Pas de mérite quand les modèles sont si beaux. Â bientôt j’espère…

  5. Stephane, your stories and photography just “take me away!” And I thank you for that. I always feel like I am right there with you. My husband wants to book a trip sometime over there after our daughter goes off to college, and I do plan on seeing if we can work one of your itineraries into our trip! But please don’t hold your breath on that, we still have a few years to go. 🙂 ❤

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You’ll make it here someday and wéll have a grand old time together 😉

  6. Awesome! photos. Awesome sharing!!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Oh thank you!

  7. Lora by Lora says:

    Such beautiful photos.

  8. As mentioned by others, your photos are superb! I can only dream to be so artsy-fartsy. As for your musing about not seeing what we are conditioned to ignore, you may praise the Powers that Be that you are not in the US for all this political bickering. I have a few friends on the far side of the spectrum and we can discuss issues but truly never budge off our marks. I think the funniest comment usually has to do with their disappointment I have not been convinced because I seem to be intelligent. uh huh.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I’ve had interesting conversations like these with my friends too 😜

  9. Farmgirl says:

    No one can capture a day like you can! Gorgeous photographs, scrumptious food, and it looks like a warm weekend! How lovely to be with new friends.

  10. C’est toujours merveilleux chez toi … j’ai toujours l’impression d’avoir été présent en regardant tes photos !

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Merci Mathias. J’espère que tu repasseras bientôt ds la région

  11. Angeline M says:

    What a wonderful long weekend this must have been. So comfortable and laid back. Your photos translate that very well.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Angeline. It was indeed a perfect weekend. You know me: good food and a camera and I’m a happy man 😜

  12. Dawn says:

    What gorgeous images! You have beautifully captured the small moments that make each day memorable! I truly enjoy each visit to your blog!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Dawn. And thanks for dropping by 😉

  13. Looks like a great time with wonderful people. 🙂


    1. My French Heaven says:

      It really was Janet. I hope I get to show you Cap Ferret one day. You’d love it there…

      1. That would be a lovely thing. We’ll work towards it. 🙂

  14. ladyredspecs says:

    I sound like a broken down record praising your photos Stephane but I am a true admirer of your talents. I believe most people are programmed to see what they know, not what really exists. I’m not sure whether if it’s a learned response or a sense some are born with while others are not. It’s what sets the artist apart, it’s a nuance I see in your photos which are beautiful as always

    1. My French Heaven says:

      It never gets old my dear friend. You know I’m a very insecure man who always doubts his abilities. Your lovely comments always make me feel special and make me want to get better at what I’m pssionate about… Thank you for always being so caring and supportive!

  15. Kathy says:

    I just had to tell you what a beautiful post you have written. You captured the essence of a seaside holiday perfectly. It looks and sounds like you enjoyed immensely. And, I loved reading about it.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I’m so glad you liked the post Kathy!! Thanks for dropping by !

  16. terrepruitt says:

    Something new with the photos? They seem different than your usual shots. Beautiful, but different.

    My husband will often ask me to look for something. He will say, “Ter – can you look for XXXX? I KNOW it isn’t there, so I can’t SEE it!” And usually, I walk over to where he is and pick up what he is looking for. And, of course, there are times he does the same for me. When you are looking for something and KNOW it isn’t there, you can’t see it! It is as if your mind cloaks it. Funny how the brain works!

    I am glad you had such a lovely weekend!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Terre. Yes, i am experimenting with my photography. I find the images less agressive to the eye this way…

      1. terrepruitt says:

        Oh. Interesting way to describe it.

  17. So so so beautiful pictures!!!!!

  18. Michael Latimer says:

    I think your observations are not at all “blabla” ,but a good question for anyone who wants to know themselves better.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks M! Give a kiss to the wife for me will you?!

  19. sabine says:

    If I could, I would press the like button more than just once. It´s boring, I always say the same, but I adore your photos, your eye for people and scenes. Plus: I LOVE nutella, there you have it 😉

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You afe so kind my dear Sabine, and so funny. Have you tried Nutella on fresh baguette with salted butter? If you haven’t, then don’t! It is highly addictive… 😜

      1. sabine says:

        Nutella with salted butter? No, I haven´t tried….but I will, and then you´ll be the one to blame, dear Stéphane 😉

        1. My French Heaven says:


  20. Peggy McGill says:

    I love the style of your photos and am enjoying your blog very much.


    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you Peggy!

  21. Wynn says:

    I feel so relaxed after viewing your photographs. A nice break during the work day.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      So glad I could help 😜

  22. Such intimate, happy, inviting pictures – loving your blog as always!

    1. My French Heaven says:


  23. chef mimi says:

    Oh it looks so beautiful! Love the post. And I cannot WAIT!!!!!!!!!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      We’ll be there on Monday my dear Mimi! 😉

  24. What a lovely thoughtful post … and wonderful photos as ever.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Kay! We had such a great time. The best part for me was eating fresh turbot with a lemon butter sauce at a restaurant on the beach called “Chez Hortense”. You know me, only happy when I’m eating 😉

      1. Fresh turbot with lemon butter!! I am so envious … I’m only happy when eating good food too 🙂 I’m glad you had such a good time.

        1. My French Heaven says:


  25. Nadia says:

    What beautiful photographs! Truely a feast for the eyes.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Nadia. Cap Ferret truly is heaven on earth. I hope I get to show it to you someday 😉

  26. Great post and fabulous pics–as always 🙂 Thank you for sharing, Stephane! Our oldest son, Skyler, will be spending his fall semester in a study abroad program in Marseilles and has a good friend who lives in Bordeaux, I believe. I’ve told him he needs to look you up. He just may 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      What do you mean he may?! HE MUST!! If I can’t have you, I can have the next best thing! Tell him he must go to Cassis while in the Marseille area!!

      1. I shall do my best to convince him, Stephane. He’ll be there 3+ months and has been going gung-ho with his French language classes in preparation. He took top award for his accent and fluency. He is interested in learning to cook beyond French toast, so perhaps we can arrange some lessons if he gets to your French Heaven 🙂

        1. My French Heaven says:

          Absolutely 😉

  27. Steve says:

    Great pics as always. Question: What are you doing in your post-processing to produce that “matte” look? It’s almost like a very fine haze that takes the unpleasant harshness out of the images and produces a very flat “flat” look. Normally, “haze”and “flat” ate not compliments, but in this case it works marvellously and I want to do the same.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I sent you an e-mail with a link!

      1. What a wonderful post Stéphane, I always love your photos as you know, but your story of the boy and the moon has made me think too! I think it’s one oif the fine things you offer in your blog, your view of life; so full of joie de vivre and simple beauty – the most perfect recipe!.

        1. My French Heaven says:

          Thank you my dear Jane. I feel we have a lot in common creativitywise you and I. We are so close. We need to meet at some point this year!!! Maybe in September at the rallye…

  28. Siobhan says:

    What beautiful photos! I miss being able to go to Cap Ferret at weekends, it really is a special place.

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