Tuesday, 26 August 2008

tuesday is pensive

Last nights excellent dinner (Toby and Leo, thank you -
and Andrée, Daniel, Edith, Pablo et al) caused me to wake late and metaphysical. So, here is a snap of the ancient carvings at Rennes la Chapeau (dated by the town hall @ c.4,000 - 4,500 BCE) and possibly a star map; which in turn reminded me of the following zen maxims that Fi sent a while back - all of which made me laugh. Cheers Fi, hope you are doing OK...

1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me for the path is narrow. In fact, just bugger off and leave me alone.

2. Sex is like air. It's not important unless you aren't getting any.

3. Always remember you're unique. Just like everyone else.

4. If you think nobody cares whether you're alive or dead, try missing a couple of mortgage payments.

5. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

6. If you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably well worth it.

7. Some days you are the bug; some days you are the wind screen.

8. Don't worry; it's only kinky the first time.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Saturday in Carcassonne

I dunno why I thought a day in Carca would be quiet - it was Saturday, it was summer - but it hadn't occurred to me to check if there was a festival, nor to consider the possibility of bullfighting. Another failure of the imagination on my part.

They told me in the tabac that Les monstres de Zaballos - named after Miguel Zaballos, the breeder - were due out that evening. I got the train home again, nimbly avoiding girls in flamenco spotty frocks that had all the authenticity of shiny Dorothy Perkins creations. This backwards-looking nonsense is depressing.

Cheered by Pete and Claire deciding to have a scratch dinner and a throughly silly and engaging evening occurred, a good farewell for Tony and Noel-Anne who looked OK on Sunday at the market so they survived. Lots of sweet friends. Here is Toby looking glam...
Then Tony and Noel-Anne left, followed on Monday morning by Pete and Claire; come back soon everyone!
Actually not for a couple of weeks as I'm off on my hols and I won't be back till mid-September.

And my next show is in Amsterdam in November so get saving - final date when I know it. Being an artist is quite a good job sometimes.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Greetings from Iain

Censored extracts from Iains letter:

It is chucking it down here and it is bloody cold. Life here is otherwise quite pleasant. I seem to spend most of my days working in the sodden garden or up the sodden hill with the sodding dogs. That makes it sound so dreary but it's not, it's simply sodden.

Been doing a bit of festivaling, mainly with Molly but also with Stephen McGowan and Steve. The state Ballet of Georgia were brilliant although I suspect some of them ought to have been back home manning the barricades against the Russian hordes. Plenty of morning concerts, Schubert, Mahler, Strauss and Wolf, loads of lovely miserable music.

By the way looking at tilling-sur-aude I need to sort out a little error. There is a photograph which makes claim to be of myself and I can assure you sure it cannot possibly be. I see my face in the mirror every morning and that is certainly NOT the face I see, that is the face of a much older man. Indeed if I were not absolutely certain that my father was incinerated 15 years ago I would have sworn that you had taken a photograph of him. Perhaps its an archive piece.

I'm glad I've had the opportunity to sort that out.

Trevor and Irene are staying with us for the August bank holiday so [censored]

Some good exhibitions on in the city at the moment, Tracy Emin has a retrospective at the gallery of modern art ( I didn't realise she was old enough for that), Anne Redpath, Elizabeth Blackadder (a favourite of mine) and Leon Morrocco(fab stuff) and the Scottish National Gallery has Impressionism and Scotland with works by Monet, Manet Renoir and Sisley to name but a few. I'm going to leave them all until after the festival when it's much quieter.
I'm rather missing the sunshine, my friends and my garden but as you can see there is at least plenty to do. I'm hoping to get out in September after the tests* but it rather depends on what, if anything, they decide to do. I don't want to do lots of traveling backwards and forwards.

Give my love to all I and look forward to seeing you all soon.
Much love

*Iain goes into hospital for tests on the 28th -
Other important info in the letter is that he and Steve have sold their land but he hasn't said who too - Iain, please, is it to an artist, a musician or a poet? Do tell!

Last night at T Rex

It was the blues singer's birthday and he sang
mournfully of being as a sheep on the sea.
Good evening for the rest of us though...

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

20 08 2008

Look at the date, what can it mean???
Its like a kozmic stutter.
I'm celebrating it by repeated visits to
where some clever geezer has managed to
post a youtube video of Steve Harley
singing Cockney Rebel. Wasn't he a music journalist
at some point? I'm trying to remember why I was
(briefly) in love with him. The dead cats, the flares?
- my past mystifies me.


I have had complaints about the quality of the gossip here -
for of course all real gossip is unprintable.

The news update is fairly simple; Annie has rung and its
raining in Ireland, Iain has emailed and its raining in Edinburgh,
Steve has called, it was raining, Bob has rung in from London
and yes, you've guessed...
and its getting a bit chilly here as you can see from Noel-Annes
cardigan. The photo is of her and Tony in Andrées garden,
Andrée also invited Edmond and Leo and Toby; it
was terrific. Most of them have gone onto Mavis's party but
some of us are claiming alcohol poisoning as a reason not to go.
Last nights excesses at Peter and Claires have taken their toll
of the day; they have pushed off to the mountains for a while
to recover.

Peter has contributed a very fine hat to the Hat Museum of
Tilling, that he found in his house. It has a label that explains why
it is special but I can't remember what it says. When they come
back from the mountains, I'll ask.

Maggie-from-Cumbria is back in Rouvenac with Tom for a week.

Katrina is visiting her cousin on the coast.

Poo is in Ireland where she has failed to meet
up with Annie and Pete.

I sold 4 paintings today!
(Well, three; I gave the littlest one away.)

Sunday, 17 August 2008

seaside fun

After Zoe and Chantal, Felix, Tilly,
Kitty Moon and Kaine left, we thought,
lets have a holiday...
Thanks to dear friends who shall be nameless
we had a little apartment on the Med for the
It was brill.
When we arrived Friday night the moon was rising...
there were persons using kites to waterski and rise
to fly off the water. Didn't manage to snap them
but got the plaster elephant.


Tuesday, 12 August 2008

georgia on my mind

Tilly is smiling because she has just spoken with her father on her
mothers mobile phone; her Dad has just left Georgia.
Unlike the Russians.
Its amazing, he tells her - There are all these tanks on the roads!

Sunday, 10 August 2008

goodbye Freya and Colette

Freya and Colette head for the coast tomorrow and fly back to
London from there so we don't see them again till December.

Also missing are Sally and her three beautiful kids,
Rushton, Clare and Max and who knows who else is
sneaking off. Why, for heavens sake?

Robins cave

Don't often leave Tilling but an invitation to Robins
converted cave for Sunday lunch was irresistible ...
Here are Robin, Andy and Captain Harris
in the splendid entrance foyer -
and lunch on the terrace that was still happily
progressing when I left at 7.00 pm.

Friday, 8 August 2008

stuarts farewell

In the middle of Stuarts farewell dinner last night
at Tobys, he announced he wasn't actually going
so thats alright then. He plans to join most of Tilling
at Edinburgh for the festival at some point -

OI! Mr Hall! I daresay you are busy but
we are waiting a full account of your goings on

Toby catered for 18-odd people with apparent ease,
Pete sang like an extremely dissolute angel. Great.
Above are Freya's bracelets. After that I got
Chocolate mousse on the camera.

Before dinner was the vernissage at Espace d'Art
for l'Air expo - lots of artists catching up with each
other, thanks to Marcus and Corella -

and after that Philippe came round and played his
'bamboo jazz clarinet'.

Hey, big news: Ali and Martin have moved
to Tilling! ( Guys, I'II be round to interview
you when I've got the mousse off the camera)

Thursday, 7 August 2008

tortoise dinner

Captain Harris (above) accompanied me to Jims
'thank you for feeding Oswald' dinner -
scarcely necessary as Oswald is the sweetest
tortoise imaginable and a pleasure to shove
lettuce at.
It was a very good dinner though. Not a lettuce in sight.
And my fellow Oswald feeders are as rowdy and
entertaining a bunch as one could hope for.

Maybe Jim could be persuaded to do this regularly -
'Oswald nights' - special food is de rigour but we could
have special clothes, oh and code words and leave secret
messages and make a proper order of all this chaos...

zen ve can take over de vorld...

video de Tilling

Have tied for a while to big up Vivienne's video
and failed... search YTube for Black Chiffon made
in Esperaza and you are there.


Here we see a Tilling citizen with a Quillan friend,
in a photo taken in 1986, possibly,
with a rock star who shall remain nameless.
If you haven't spotted the identity of the central figure,
heres a clue; today in the market at Tilling he was
wearing the same shirt as he is wearing in the photo.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

This months word...

I have stolen this months word from a blog called
le Poulet Noir
which you can search for -
I did, following links from
Chase me, ladies,
I'm in the Calvary.
One of the funniest blogs in blogdom.
But then, I'm warped.

It is technishererfolgangabemangelsfrust. Or, if you translate
it from the German: the frustration caused by having a sense
of achievement for completing a technical task but being unable
to boast about it because it is too boring.


Downloading last nights photos of Scottish Daves party,
I am surprised to find the photos of the unicorn crashing
over the roof ( that I was sure I'd photographed perfectly)
are not there. Some jealous elf clearly deleted them. Pity.

Not only is the unicorn missing but it has been replaced by a load
of snaps of headless people dancing in the dark. Weird.

Toby and Pete, see above, is the only coherent photo in the machine.

Smashing party though. I fear the Scottish clan are establishing new
standards hereabouts, especially for food - totally fab -

Friday, 1 August 2008

airport lift anyone -

Anyone got space to pick up two people from Carcassonne airport
on the 19th August, from the 4.00ish flight? Bringing them safely
to Tilling with incur a sack of petrol money. They need to go back
on the 24th, if anyone is going that way.