Thursday, 30 July 2009

comings and goings

Heres Helen - for a brief week -

and Claudio, looking unnaturally happy at his farewell apero
-hes off to Zurich on Friday with Hans (below) who is also
looking cheerful at the prospect of leaving us. Hmm.

Nonetheless, a most enjoyable evening - thanks to Stephen
who as far as we know is going nowhere.

Jim is about to go back to Amsterdam - Lex is here for a week -
Toby and Louise and Andy I think are staying -

and this handsome brute can be seen at his party tomorrow night.

*Peter D has arrived and will be attending and Peter G is getting
better - don't think it was swine flu - so he and Nel and Nels family
will be there too.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Half a beast

This is my 333 blog - too exciting - being wasted, just to say
I'm back from a weekend in Blighty where the sole topic is
swine flu.
HiNi HiNi HiNi bah.
Even the Crise Anglais dosn't get mentioned. erm...

But wait! All is not lost! I have been told to announce to our
fun-loving 'flu-free community that Leo and Toby are holding
a party on Friday.
See you there!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

reflections on the moon landing

A lot has changed in 40 years, since an American put a foot on
the moons face.

Particularly in the lives of women; I forget the dates but it wasn't
much before the moon landing, a matter of a year or so, that a UK
women could not have a bank loan without permission from a
family male -be it father, brother or husband. So she couldn't
have a mortgage. No home for the solo girl.

Of course women still earn less than men and of course the
glass ceiling is as transparent as ever, but hey - at least we can
get into debt.

These reflections led to the joyful woodcut I printed today, as
illustrated. Anyone showing the slightest interest can have one

nearly as old as I am -

Monday, 20 July 2009

sunflowers in the sun

difficult to get anything done in this heat - though I'm not
complaining - so here is a huge sunflower that I grew from seed.
Which is to say I put it in the soil and let the magic do the work.

And here is a small one.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Sian is a babe

Aint she lovely? She dosn't look that old...

here she is being inundated with unicorns and urging us
to eat.

Lionel and Pat pause for breath -

and Didier wonders where on earth he is.

Goodbye to Therese and Hello toTorill

Poor Thérèse looking very serious at the thought of having to


...we had an hysterical dinner though, Ulla B brought
Torill, his first wife, who came from Norway with
their grandchild - also called Ulla

Aileen and Kat came too and I think it was such fun
because we hadn't realized that adding creme de Violette*
to the blanquette added to its potency by a very large factor.

That and the company, of course.
Had a Goethe V. Kit Marlow contest; no contest, but a laugh.

*-Thanks for that, Lou -

Friday, 17 July 2009

Weather in Tilling

Having heard of the horrid storms in parts of France, this is
just a note to say that our blessed corner is far untouched-
looks like it might rain today but the coolness is welcome.

Late last night, prowling around looking for wells to poison,
there was a deal of lightening visible over the direction of
Jims house, east is that? -Jim/Annies land/UllaBs
direction - but my side, towards Mont Marot, was clear.

Hope those of you who are elsewhere are safe...

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Barbara's vision of Esperaza

Just got a photo of Barbaras pastel of Esperaza - and
remembered how when she and Larry were here it rained
Come back and do it in the baking sun, Barbara!

Forgot camera last night which was a shame as the party was
at Thérèses and the house - and Thérèse - are extraordinary.

It moved on and ended late at Leos, where his family are
bemoaning the loss of stuff after break-ins to their cars during
the fireworks in Carcassonne.

I've said it before - it aint safe to leave Tilling.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

The hour of glory has arrived

Here is Tilling pondering revolution, saluting the Marseillaise
as belted out from the tape player in the back of Barry and
Franks police car.
Afterwards Tilling seemed a little uncertain as what to do with
the glorious hour and went about pottering.

En route to Mont Marot I met a neighbour who asked what I
was doing. On being told that I was collecting rosemary, he
spat on the ground and expressed dislike. No, no, I said; I will
boil it with lemons and sugar - delicious-
Ha, replied; is that what the english use for cleaning their

And here is a remarkable sight ... Roys tummy.
Hes home and well though should be resting more.
Afraid he got the full benefit of Starlight last night,
Tillings inevitable discomobile.

I stayed home and watched the glow worms in the yard.

Not unlike Roys tummy, really.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Health update

Roy is safely home, though minus his gallbladder.
Bienvenue, old thing!!

When you are feeling better can we have a blow-by-blow
gory account? Plus, like, what have they done with your
gallbladder, is it being used in research or in magical
practices? Or what??

My health issues pale next to your drama. Suffice it to say
that the saturnine but strangely compelling Dr Coué has fixed
my ears - I can hear again.
This keyboard sounds like the rattle of dry bones...

New item in Tilling?

Has Marco at last conquered the cold heart of Kat?

Here they are last night enjoying G63 - the band that were
playing terrifically well in the square last night.

Tonight may not be as good, musically anyway. Its another
return of Starlight, sigh.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Im not one to namedrop but...

As everyone who knows me will affirm, I'm not one to namedrop.
I mean, have I even mentioned my letter from the Archbishop
of Canterbury, which is framed and on display in my print room?*

However, I had to share this -
in the photo above you will recognise David Whittaker, a guest
here but lately when he was researching my father, the
much-missed Stafford Beer; here he is with Brian Eno
whom I'm sure needs no introduction from me.

Eno is a fan of Stafford so when Arena, a British TV show,
asked to do a programme on Eno he asked that a Stafford
expert be in debate with him.

The photo shows David and Eno after filming a 2 hour
natter - I hope we get to see the out-cuts, David, can we get
hold of them??

*Viewable during work hours; it confirms that my thesis,
The Order of Signs: Esotericism in the Work of David Jones,
(1895-1974) is jolly good. As I'm sure you know, the A of C
is an admirer of Jones' work.

Holidays commence...

Yesterday afternoons apero at Stephens with Claudio and Lizzie,
Leigh, Lorraine and Kat... and the dogs

Saturday, 11 July 2009

drawing group of Tilling

Marcus and Corella hosted an expo of the
Tilling group last night - lots of the artists are away so those
that were there had to work really hard to help dispose of the
excellent blanquette.
Poo has gone, Annie and Pete are gone, Jim is away, many
others are swanning about elsewhere.
But other friends were there to help - it was a smashing night!

The fact that one of my images made it to the window
has in no way clouded my judgement.
I share it with Barbara Jacksons drawing of three nudes -
looks excellent - trust me, Im an expert.

Ursula expo

Ursula is showing her work at Carmens, Campagne-sur-Aude:
her lovely calligraphically-based works hang well in the big
light space.
Great party too -

Sunday, 5 July 2009

party, its my birthday again

Either by ill luck or superb planning, not sure which, I had a
nasty dose of what the french call le gastro on my birthday.
I had to spend the day in bed. Captain H and Poo were left
to get the party ready.

Above is Poo preparing hedgehogs for the feast.
And here am I, pale but soldiering on, in new blue shoes - next
to a very glamorous and healthy Aileen.

The party was very frisky, though I saw it as if through a
kaleidoscope what with being both ill and sober; folk seemed
jolly cheerful and drank and ate copiously. Pablo and Theo performed...

...and it was still proceeding in a disorderly direction when
I followed the already retired Captain to bed.

There was a deal of singing lead by either Debs or Mavis and
Ive ducked the neighbours today.

Thanks to Kate for the photos - I was too weak to point the
camera. And thanks to everyone who came - gastro aside, not
a birthday I'II forget.

Poo and I have a day off...

Poo and I had a day at Rennes-les-Bains lying about doing very
little indeed, punctuated by lunch and a different pool occasionally.
Above is Poo basking with the lizards and below is Poo talking to
a yogic person under a hot spring.

general joy in Tilling

Here are champions of France getting their gongs at the town hall, to much rejoicing

Co'e'ez'* allez allez allez, to the unfortunate tune of
yellow submarine, was much sung again that night. Forgotten
which night -Tues? - on account of much activity here.