GLOUCESTER AND PROVENCE FRANCE SUMMER EXCHANGE Saira Austin in Gloucester and Magali Excoffier in Mallemort, Provence, France

This will be the third summer that a French family and I exchange our houses, our cars and our friends. Four years ago Magali and Thierry and their two children Ariane and Thibaud arrived in Gloucester to spend a whole summer. They stayed in one room at the Captain’s Lodge. They fell in love with Gloucester and I fell in love with them. Thibaud spends his summers sailing at Eastern Point Yacht Club and Ariane spent hers drawing with the Rockport Art Association and learning English at a school in Boston. Now, during the summers, I live in their house and they live in mine. We exchange our cultures, our passions, our gardens, our town’s festivities. Magali and I would like to tell our story as it unfolds in this ‘Good Morning Gloucester’ blog.


Ariane, Magali, Thierry and Thibaud when they first arrived in Gloucester

Magali is introducing herself and her experience in french to friends she has made here in Gloucester and to friends home in Mallemort. If you wish to be in touch with her you can reach her best by email at

She would be so happy to meet more people who are in love with Gloucester.

Nous nous sommes rencontrĂ©es il y a 4 ans par amis interposĂ©s un matin lors d’un breakfast aux” 3 sisters” . Depuis,  nous ne nous sommes plus quittĂ©es . Fan de Provence et nous amoureux de la New England nous avons dĂ©cidĂ© avec Saira Austin d’Ă©changer nos maisons l’Ă©tĂ© suivant. L’aventure dure depuis 4 ans et n’est pas prĂȘte de s’arrĂȘter car nous Ă©changeons bien plus que nos simples maisons ! Nos cultures, nos habitudes, nos coups de coeur, nos festivitĂ©s, nos amis, notre voisinage, nos jardins, nos passions…Au fil des ans Saira est chez elle Ă  Mallemort , nous arrivons chez nous Ă  Annisquam ! Bien au delĂ  de nos  progres linguistiques c’est un autre monde que chacun apprend Ă  comprendre et Ă  aimer chaque jour . C’est une histoire de famille et de belles amitiĂ©s au  des frontiĂšres et de nos diffĂ©rences , cet Ă©change est une belle histoire d’humanitĂ©.

De la MĂ©diterranĂ©e Ă  l’ocĂ©an, Mon fils Thibaud sera cet Ă©tĂ© aide instructeur Ă  l’Ă©cole de voile d’Eastern Point.Ma fille Ariane nous rejoindra en aout pour profiter des plages de light house,  good harbor et des couchers de soleil sur Halibut Point ! 

A chacun son Ă©tĂ© ! Le notre sera Ă  Cape Ann !  

Si vous souhaitez nous rencontrer , parler français, Ă©changer sur la Provence …

Nous arrivons le 1er juillet !

Luminous French architecture


Several people have recently mentioned how much they enjoy my photos from Paris. Here are a few more!

Gothic architecture often gets a bad rap as being dark and gloomy. It can be dark and gloomy at night, but during the day it can be gloriously illuminated by the sunlight streaming through the high stained glass windows. Here are some photos I took in the church of St. Eustache in Paris last October which help illustrate that fact.  It was built after the Gothic period properly speaking (as the Corinthian columns attest), but still follows the overall style.



Although the nooks and crannies can still be dark by our standards, the progress made in building technology at that point in history allowed Gothic buildings to make better use of natural light in large buildings than had been done in centuries.

Fr. Matthew Green

Oddities, here and abroad

First, this photo I took in France:

Say what? Batman posed like Adam in the “creation” fresco in the Sistine Chapel, with Superman in place of God? In front of a Gothic church, behind the Louvre, in Paris??

OK, now the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen on a brick wall in Gloucester:

Yup, it’s a bagel stuck to the wall by the adhesive power of peanut butter.  Did someone trip while eating and accidentally stick the bagel to the wall? Or was it intentional? If so, is it vandalism, or art? Or were they just saving it for later?

Fr. Matthew Green