Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Away to France

Dear Reader,

On Monday, I'm returning to Le Mazel:


It's the hamlet in the Cevennes mountains of France where I first came to know Mai Zetterling, a beautiful Swedish film actress who starred in a lot of British movies during the 1950s and 1960s:


Mai lived at Le Mazel until her death in 1994. The house stayed empty for five years until my cousin bought it, and when he took over, the place was still very much intact. Mai had left the place in a hurry because she thought she'd just be taking a quick trip to London for treatment of her cancer. She never made it back to France.

I lived at Le Mazel for three months in 2000, during my summer of love when I reinvented myself with the help of my bad girls. Needless to say, the spirit of Mai Zetterling was all around me then--I wore her hat, slept in her beds, sat in her chairs, ate off her plates, broke her wineglasses, read her books, and snooped through boxes of film stills and family snapshots in her office.

It's been several years now since I've visited Le Mazel, and I wonder how it will feel to go back there. I'll tell you more after my return to NYC on July 4. There will be no blog posts while I'm away. Part of Le Mazel's charm is that we have no computer, no phone, no television.

Cheers, Joyce Hanson

1 comment:

Hutch said...

Joyce, I finally got caught up on your blog- downloaded it all to my new phone thing, and I gotta say this is such an interesting story you are unravelling. I really love this maypole way you just sorta unwrap and swing around the idea of the "bad girl." I'm really compelled by this batch of women, most of whom I never knew.

Thanks for these posts!