Riviera Reporter
Riviera Reporter

Features and Diaries

Feature subjects and diary columns.

save me lifebuoy

Provence Diary: The life-saving course that made my head swim

Dan Briggs | Oct 08, 2016
So there I was in the village watching a Euro 2016 warm-up game. The bar had put a TV outside on the street. A woman squeezed through the crowd to stand next to me. She was wearing an off-white party frock, short and frilly around the knees,…
Man touching woman's thigh

Provence Diary: The thigh’s the limit on French TV

Dan Briggs | Jul 22, 2016
My French teacher has advised me to watch as much French television as possible. My favourite shows are the current affairs programmes. They are usually presented by an older man, a wily old fox. Rather than having one co-presenter, the Fox is…
Bouncy Castle

Provence Diary: Not the king of the castle

Dan Briggs | May 06, 2016
In general, attempting to speak in French to the French elicits a positive response. There may be a disconcerting pause as the harsh English accent is deciphered, but this is nearly always followed by a warm smile and an effort to continue the…
Soren Kenner

Denmark is no longer the country I used to love

Søren Kenner | Mar 26, 2016
Denmark is changing and not for the better. But if you complain or criticise, you can be sure someone will promptly tell you that it is still the world’s happiest society. So here is what is really happening in Denmark these days: One out of 11…
"Voters here" sign

Provence Diary: On the run from school mums

Dan Briggs | Feb 27, 2016
Dear reader, you will not believe what happened recently. So far, this story has been one of social mishap after social mishap, of exclusion and self-doubt and, above all, a gnawing worry about the fate of our children within the French school…
Chemin des Ecoliers sign

Provence Diary: Life at the French school gates

Dan Briggs | Jan 02, 2016
Dan Briggs gave up his job as a journalist in the UK after his wife went on secondment to the South of France. Now he’s a house dad in a foreign land struggling to cope with life at the village school gates. Put it this way, the first month has not…
Provence village

Provence Diary: Shattering the illusion of Provençal paradise

Jamie Ivey | Oct 16, 2015
I recently overheard a row in our village square. I’ll set the scene: beautiful sunny day, around about that time in late afternoon when the shadows are getting longer and one’s mind turns to having a drink. The trees are throbbing with cicadas, and…
Hair Chopped

Provence Diary: Benefits of a hair cut by a visiting stylist

Jamie Ivey | Aug 16, 2015
Normally I have my hair cut by a pompier. My wife says you can pretty much tell by the end result. By this she means it’s evident that I have been attacked by someone more used to cutting people out of crashed cars with industrial machinery than…
Bidons Yellow Cans

Provence Diary: Let bidons be bidons when having a urine test

Jamie Ivey | Jun 20, 2015
It’s just possible that this is my last column for the Riviera Reporter. Either the mystery illness I’m about to write about will get me, or the editor will decide the column’s content is inappropriate. If this is farewell, I’d like to say it’s been…
Flashmob in Luberon

Provence Diary: Flashmobbing in a Luberon village

Jamie Ivey | Apr 13, 2015
Every Wednesday I stand and watch them. Fifteen women of varying shapes and sizes, grunting and groaning to the music. Some of the moves are embarrassing to witness. Particularly the moment when as a class they get down on all fours, place their…
Castaway in Provence

Provence Diary: Castaway in Provence

Jamie Ivey | Oct 04, 2014
So here they all come, in their red-kneed posh-car glory, the tourists, nicknamed the gibier d’été, because with no winter birds (gibier) to shoot, the locals resort to preying on the influx of outsiders. The glasses of wine shrink in the cafes, the…
Human saxophone at Nice Jazz Festival

Craig Glenday, “Guinness World Records” Editor-in-Chief, makes a stop in Nice

Riviera Reporter | Jul 20, 2014
On Saturday June 21st, 2014, the city of Nice entered the Guinness World Records. As a kick-off to the Fête de la Musique and Nice Jazz Festival, Mayor Estrosi’s very clever team decided to attempt a record for the largest human saxophone. There was…
Jamie Ivey

Provence Diary: Paralytic in Provence and loving it

Jamie Ivey | Jul 09, 2014
In a news series, author and Luberon resident Jamie Ivey unravels today’s Provence. Some years ago our local doctor pronounced me “a medical marvel”: I was the first man ever to develop gout from drinking too much rosé. At the time I was selling…
Les Pastras, Picking Olives

Luberon Diary: Pickers find peace at Les Pastras

Lisa Pepin | May 03, 2014
Extending the olive branch November 1, 2013 As Eleanor Roosevelt famously said, “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” For us, that “thing” was getting people to pay us to pick our olives. They said it couldn’t be done. They unkindly said,…
Sad Woman

Stripped bare by a swindler

Nancy Heslin | Apr 23, 2014
Lara is about to speak, but then her eyes well up with tears and a lump in her throat stops the words getting out. She looks away. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know I was going to cry again. I just never know when it’s going to come on, it’s such a weird…

Luberon Diary: The family tree

Lisa Pepin | Jan 24, 2014
Forget genealogy. American Lisa Pepin explains how anyone could have roots in the Luberon. August 22, 2013 My husband Johann and I, like the rest of France in August, took two weeks off. Or so we thought. Today we were lounging poolside when a car…
Visitors at Les Pastras

Luberon Diary: The truffes about truffles

Lisa Pepin | Dec 12, 2013
Third in our series, American Lisa Pepin chronicles life on a Luberon farm. July 27, 2013 Earlier in the year, in my typical American fashion, I shared with my husband my enthusiasm about how wonderful all of our tour guests had been so far. And…

Luberon Diary: In Deep Truffle

Lisa Pepin | Oct 20, 2013
Second in our series, American Lisa Pepin chronicles life on a Luberon farm May 9, 2013 Today was our garden party to kick off the summer truffle hunting tour season. We invited tour guides, travel bloggers and food writers, as well as friends from…
Big draw of the e-cig

Big draw of the e-cig

Gus Hurd | Sep 30, 2013
... But should we heed the no-smoke alarm? Anyone following the 66th Cannes Film Festival this year may have noticed the presence of the latest gadget in the A-list star’s inventory: the electronic cigarette. Granted a high profile by media figures…
The Pepin Family

Luberon Diary: Honey, where did you hide the truffles?

Lisa Pepin | Jul 24, 2013
American Lisa Pepin and her French husband Johann have an 11-hectare organic farm in the Luberon. They each have days jobs, but come the weekend they change into gentleman farmers planting trees, tending to bees and giving truffle tours. March 10,…
The Garden of Earthly Delights

What happens after we die?

Patrick Middleton | Apr 01, 2013
In the long run, as J.M. Keynes famously insisted, we’re all dead. And then what? The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch, painted between 1490 and 1510. Is it a moral forewarning or panorama of paradise lost? A few months ago, around All…
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