A Twinning of Two Cities

(Hotel de Ville)

The Town of Nantucket and the city of Beaune were officially twinned (Jumelage in French) five years ago. The first ceremony took place on Nantucket in 2005; later 50 Nantucketers traveled to France to commemorate the event. This year was the fifth anniversary of Jumelage, and Frank and I were delighted to travel to Beaune with another group of Nantucketers.

(Dinner our first night in Beaune)

As founder Denis Toner wrote, “Beaune and Nantucket share a common interest in history, culture and gastronomy,” and our sun-drenched days there did pay homage to the glories of good food lovingly prepared, the perfect wine paired with each meal, and the beauty of the surrounding countryside.

(Trudy and Frank with Denis Toner at Montrachet)

Beaune is considered the capital of Burgundy wines, and is located between the Cotes de Nuits to the North and the Cotes de Beaune to the South. Sipping the delicious, jewel toned wines at a table filled with old friends and new added richness to our travels. In addition to Beaune, we travelled to Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Vougeot, Abbaye de la Bussiere and Cote de Nuit.

(Les deux chevaliers: Trudy and Frank are knighted!)

One of the highlights of the trip was seeing and tasting the delicious truffles, found by Le Montrachet chef Theirry Berger and his dog, Etouffe.

(Truffles in the marketplace)

It was an enchanting journey through a beautiful country. As always, the people we traveled with and met while there were the most charming part of our adventure. We can’t wait for another Jumelage celebration.

(Trudy entering la comedie for paulee de jumelage)

A beintot!

Three Books You Shouldn’t Miss

A History of the World in 100 Objects, by Neil MacGregor

This book is the result of a joint project of BBC Radio and the British Museum, from a 100 part radio series presented by British Museum director Neil MacGregor. It’s the history of humanity in 100 objects made by human hands, from cooking pots to sculptures, from mummies to spear points. It’s not just a jumbled list of stuff, though. MacGregor explores questions such as “What happened as people moved from villages to cities? When did societies begin to express themselves through myth, math and monuments? How did people seek pleasure 2000 years ago?”

When you open this book, you’ll find yourself spending time with The Rosetta Stone and the Head of Augustus, a Chinese bronze bell and the Sphinx of Taharqa. It’s a fascinating trip back in time. You’ll be glad you took the time to make it.


The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, by Nicholas Carr

Nicholas Carr has something he wants us to think about: is the internet changing how we think, even to the level of our internal brain activity? If you’ve ever spent an hour (or a day) surfing the web, and walked away from your computer wondering about the deleterious effects on your mind, you won’t want to miss this book. A Finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction, a Finalist for the 2011 PEN Center USA Literary Award, and an international bestseller translated into 22 languages, The Shallows explores how human thought has been shaped through the centuries—from the alphabet, to maps, the printing press, the clock, and now the computer—and questions how information can literally reroute our neural pathways.

His point? We are becoming better at skimming, but we may be losing our capacity for concentration and reflection. If you read it, I’d love to know what you think.


Last Child in the Woods, by Richard Louv

A good book to accompany The Shallows is Last Child in the Woods. Author Richard Louv links the lack of nature in the lives of today’s wired children (kids with a nature-deficit, in his words) with the rise in obesity, attention disorders and depression. He presents a new and growing body of research that indicates that direct exposure to nature is imperative for healthy childhood development, and the physical and emotional health of children and adults alike. This powerful book will inspire you to think in new ways about how to incorporate more nature into your life, and the lives of the children you love.

The Season of Giving


When the winds turn brisk and trees undress, it’s the season of giving! The snap of cold wind and frosty evenings bring us indoors to sit by a crackling fire.  The holidays are upon us, and everywhere we go we are reminded of the joy of celebrating with family and friends.

In the spirit of enjoying all that the holiday season has to offer, I thought I would share a source for table linens that will add beautifully to your celebrations.  Setting a very special table will be easier this year with Leron’s heirloom quality linens, hand-embroidered and hand-appliqued, that showcase old world, European style craftsmanship. www.leron.com