Sue Aran

Romeo & Juliet

Obsessive Love

Of Music and Muses: Hector Berlioz’s Obsessive Love It can often be said that love has no limits or boundaries, but obsession does. This is no more true than in the relationship between the French composer, Hector Berlioz, and the Shakespearean actress, Harriet Smithson. In the years following the French Revolution (1789), a new movement …

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Waiting for a convivial lunch in Gascony to begin.

French Bounty

“I think food, culture, people and landscape are all absolutely inseparable.” Anthony Bourdain The lure of France has never dimmed, nor has the lure of French cuisine. In Gascony, the Pays Basque, Occitanie and Provence in particular (where I currently lead slow travel tours) good food, carefully prepared with first rate ingredients is not a …

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Abbaye Senanque Lavender

Going South

“As soon as we leave the urban condition behind us, we confront newness and the profoundly unfamiliar. “   Rem Koolhaas As I drove home from the end of my first women’s only slow travel tour this year, I thought to myself that youth is not a prerequisite for adventure. Originally, this tour was sold out, …

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Keeping it Real

“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” – Brené Brown It’s not the wrinkles or gray hair, it’s the death of 4 friends this past …

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Chocolate

Death by Chocolate

The history of chocolate, and its circuitous route to Paris, is not for the squeamish. From human sacrifice to the infamous Spanish Inquisition, the growing and harvesting of cacao seeds for the production of chocolate has tortured, enslaved, and seduced. The cacao tree was not domesticated in Central America as previously thought. Traces of cacao …

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