Tuesday, 31 March 2009

quick update

Toby is back in two weeks, let joy be unconfined! She has been
away far too long.

Mark and Christie are in Munich having done the London show
and about to do the Eindhoven one; nothing in France alas.
See www.Evolution-Control.Com

That's really all the gossip but I wanted an opportunity to share
a comment that Babette heard on the TV; everything has an end
and a banana has two.

And anyone interested in printmaking should take a look at
Carolyn Trants blog;

The Captain has left today so I'm forlorn and catching up.

hurrah for Annie

Dinner to celebrate Annies birthday... here is Annie with Pete,

before they realised I'd forgotten the trifle.
Which as trifles go was fairly substantial.

(There is a space below for you to write your
own trifle joke)

We came back to Tilling to eat it
which lead us to consider dinners where each course happens
at a different venue.

Spread the cooking, spread the washing up and possibly
ditch the bore you had been stuck next to!

( This is an abstract notion as these creatures are mercifully
rare in Tilling.
Last night I was sandwiched between Gus and Theo; I was
so thrilled I let Gus mess with my portable and Gus with my
Have since corrected the settings, guys.)

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Prize rash

Just back from Jons birthday lunch in Fa; forgot the camera.
Great shame, not only for the fun of seeing friends there but
also for the lost opportunity of sharing Andy's rash.
Spectacular! And they say it had been worse yesterday.
When I think of a suitable prize, it shall be awarded - unless
there are other contenders?

Sues cooking was fab and me and the Captain are well replete.

Good to see Andys mate Pete again(as opposed to Peter G,
Peter B, Peter C and Peter D - don't know this ones initial, AM
Pete will have to do -) He is working on a photographic project
that had me and the Captain captivated but dunno if its under
wraps at the mo., so more anon.

Much talk of some sort of economic crisis and the London demos.

Louise was there - barely a contender in the rash contest, must
try harder - and she has been blogging. You can see the quite
beautiful ear ring she made for the Captains 60th below...

Isn't it great? The fact that it is my design does not affect my
excellent judgment. Her blog shows it too - dubbed the Harris Whirl at


Here she is too, lunching with Kat and Yvonne and me at Kats -

That was great too, its been a good week!

Ate last night at Espinet (opposite Champion by Quillan and up
the hill) a treat from Andrée. Highly recommended, the place is
very welcoming and the food really interesting. Had sea bream
stuffed with parma ham after my oysters cooked in blanquette .
Can't remember the pudding because I'm still full of the Pavlova
at Sue and Jons; theres something about being spoilt rotten that
makes me forget things. Guilt, probably.

Oh one piece of very exciting and unforgettable stuff: there is a
Hoopoe in the field at the end of the impasse! Possibly a pair...
watch this space.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

goodbye Nel; Limoux still there

Nel goes to Amsterdam this morning but expects to be back soon -
PeterG took this artzy photie last night at TRex where we said goodbye.

But lets not get depressed - the Limoux festival continues!

This appallingly bad video (of Frenchmen cycling around a carpark)
could be worse - the other I took has Andrée using a bad french
word. And its worse anyway.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009


Congratulations to Tita and Kevine who are getting PACSed today-
as Edith said, marriage without the tralala and easier to get out of.

Nonetheless, a sign of mutual commitment and we know they are
in love - so good luck for the forseeable together.

Diary date, y'all: Friday night at the Salle de Fetes in Rouvenac, a
Grande Soiree to raise funds for the school in Fa.
An auction of promises where you can bid for a half day of tree
pruning, a day of plumbing, ironing, and many other useful services
including the supply and delivery of manure. Bar open at 7.00pm
bidding starts at 8.00 and you don't have to buy, just come for the
fun, plus food and drink and live music.

Monday, 23 March 2009


Many thanks indeed to whoever left a glorious pot of growing mint
on the front door yesterday. I'm painting it and I'm sure I can see
it grow. Smells great in the studio.

Anyone feel like leaving a leg of lamb to go with it??

And does anyone know if Oscar is going for a prize for being the Most
Photographed in the Petite Journal? Last week his caption was
Pongist - cool!

Friday, 20 March 2009


Girona, whilst undeniably dinky,
is full of steps and sudden vertiginous
views; bloody awful for such as me.
Cramp still with me and I got back

Oh, and everyone smokes cigarettes.
The only reason to go outside is to use a
portable phone, which don't work indoors.
So the sight of a crowd all chatting to themselves
is normal.

Many pluses, however. Joseph Beuys exhibition, the
Seychelles Diary, was on at the Fontana d'Or and
the Jewish Museum does a fine job of explaining
the 1495 debacle.

Which, since you ask, was when the Jews were expelled
from everywhere but thanks to some sensible planning
in Girona, only a handful had to go and bloodbaths were

The Christians instituted a series of public debates
to try to convert the Jews by logic (really, they thought it
logical -) The BIG question was whether the Messiah had
come or not. If he had you were probably a Christian, if
you were still waiting you were a Jew. Complicated
somewhat by the Jews who thought he had indeed come,
as predicted in the Talmund, but was waiting in Eden for the
right time to pop up.

The reason this was important, as I'm sure you know, was
because Jesus couldn't come back again trailing clouds of
glory until the conversion of the Jews. So it was everyone's
duty to convert (or kill, depending on your position)

The cathedral is triumphalist, loads of gold and flummery
and over-the-top told-you-so ness, which irked. The town
is scrubbed to within an inch of its history.

I had to go to the University to find any graffitti and fear
it will not be there tomorrow.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

date for the equinox

As usual, the 21st March is celebrated chez Urs,
Prat de Juge, Granes. He's starting the drumming
at 10 in the morning. Bring your own tambourine
and a picnic.

spontaneous oysters

Here are Larry and Barbara being romantic
in Ulla-Bendix sylvan grove after a deal of

And Ulla-B himself, engaged in the work.

Apart from the sudden cold snap - its been in
the 20's here, suddenly we are in woolies again -
it was a marvellous party. Hats off to Aileen and
himself for brilliant inspirations: that is, for being
inspired to buy oysters to feed their friends and
for being inspiring anyway. That house is becoming
an artwork.

London Drawings

if you are in London for the 24th March go see PeterC's
show at Morley College....
and if you persist in being absent go to Andrew Logans
event, the Alternative Miss World, on May 2cnd at the
Roundhouse; this years theme is The Elements. You could
go as Miss EDF and be late.
www.andrewlogan.com will probably have the details, or
google Alternative Miss World.

Saturday, 14 March 2009


Friday night in Tilling?
Lotto!! To raise funds for the school; to buy new
treadmills for the kids perhaps, who knows.

In France you don't do bingo for money- ho, whats the
point -you do it for food. Duck - pair of, with livers -
smoked hams, panniers gourmand (sauvage) -and etc;
fiercely fought.
The mayor was there and the head of the fire department
plus most of the towns notables.

It happens at the school and the Centre Culturelle.
The numbers are drawn at the CC and spoken
down the phone to the school. By an orange telephone.
We played - thats what its called - from 8.00pm till
after midnight. It was knackering and being in French,
Et alors? We lost.
At least two of us had sterling headaches at life drawing
this morning but we think thats because we were sober.

Friday, 13 March 2009


Sorry Ive not been blogging - I have the very fashionable burnout,
which affects successful bloggers after a while, according to the
March edition of Newsweek. Someone I'd never heard of is trying
to sell his blog for 100 million dollars because hes so exhausted by it.

I know how he feels. Anyone want to buy a blog? Will accept offers
over a fiver.

Out every night this week except the night I took off to do some real
work - which I failed to do, since by the time the components were in
place I was knackered -

Most of my carousing was done in T Rex which meant passing the
trees outside the school. It was PeterG who discovered that the mad
rustling from 5 of them was caused by magpies. They looked
extraordinary, fat black and white balls squatting on the bare
branches - about 40 of them we counted, though our presence
disturbed them and they wouldn't keep still. The next night
there were fewer and currently there are about 3 - the gay
ones, at a guess, who don't have to set up home to breed.

If its one for sorrow, two for joy etc, then 40 magpies
represents (obviously) a clue to the whereabouts of the
treasure of Pere Saunier.

And Neleke and PeterG have seen a whole bunch of Gryphon
Vultures above Rennes les Bains. ANOTHER clue!

One night there was a nightingale in the Avenue de la Gare...
hallelujah, they're back. Though not the next night.
Burnout, probably.

OOH big news, Le Petite Journal carried a sweet report of Andrées
birthday party with photos.
Marvelously it also printed a photo of an empty room, titled New
- in black and white.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009


... Larry and Barbara are here for 2 months, I'm thrilled to say,
so you will meet them soon. They survived their first dinner at
mine last night, or at least I think they did - haven't seen them
today. Annie and Pete added to the fun...
Which occurred after a meeting at the MJC where a bottle of
blanquette was opened to celebrate the success of the ski outing.
Sounded like hell on earth to me but the kids claimed it was great.
The MJC website will be posting the photies when the team have
clearance from the parents for the use of the images.
I suggest in order to get round this difficulty in future the children
wear goggles, hats and scarves as well as their ski suits so that they
are completely unrecognisable.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Kats birthday apero

Kats birthday is the day after Andrée Bonnets.
Despite a certain amount of knackerdness from
Andrées dinner, a fine apero was held and enjoyed,
judging by the photos.
Here is a random selection of some of the more
presentable ones:

Andrée Bonnet comes of age...

Andrée Bonnet, incredibly, is 80.

The fact that the photos are dark, blurred and in many original
ways deeply weird, shows what a good night it was. Something to
do with the energy.

Thirty-six of the usual suspects jammed themselves into the
Café de la Gare for dinner on Thursday to celebrate our favorite

Andrée made a birthday speech which had us all
rocking. She introduced those of her family who were
attending the meal and clearly could make a living as an
after dinner speaker.

Here Andrée and Ulla-B can be seen plotting; perhaps
designing the 90th celebrations.