About Alison in France

Since 1979 I have been in love with the south of France when I lived for six weeks in the midst of July in the hilltop village of Lacoste during a Summer Art Studies program with Sarah Lawrence College while I was attending Cornish College of the Arts working on my B.F.A..  Thirty years later after visiting several times and living for a year when our son Robin attended the Conservatory of Musique in Avignon in 2007-08, my dream to own a petit maison du village was realized.  The village where I found an affordable house to renovate was Sauve, a charming medieval town of 1800 inhabitants on the Vidourle River in the department of le Gard west of Avignon.  How have I come to be here in Sauve of all villages in France?  My friends say it is par hazard, by chance, yet I know that it is nothing short of a blessing from God and no other, for how could one place be so incredibly beautiful, interesting, and inspiring?  Sauve means safe, it is a safe haven, a refuge for the creative minded.  It is a village and yet a great thriving family of eclectic individuals from twenty-five nationalities many on a pursuit of self-discovery in the midst of life attracted to the vastly intimate, human scaled medieval stone dwellings which lean and bend and wind their ways along the narrow rues and passages and into the hearts of the their inhabitants.  The intimate isolation afforded inside the timeless medieval stone walls provides the quiet to create, but when the needs arises for social conviviality, the kind openness of friends is just a stroll away.  Open your door and step outside, up the passage and into the place.  Walk down a road wide enough to accommodate a single car, smiles, bonjours, bises.  Fait le bisous means to kiss gently left cheek to left cheek, then right to right, and finally left to left again, three times.  One simply cannot feel lonely after this gentle and affectionate french greeting,  ce n’est pas possible.  My hope is to make this pieds a terre an artistic retreat for myself and for others artists and musicians. Coming soon I will post a blog specifically to describe La Maison des Hirondelles; or the Swallows Nest as I affectionately call it.   A bientôt!  Alison Johnston


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