Tuesday, 28 December 2010
quiet time together.
They leave tomorrow so had to have intrusions tonight... little
apero at chez nous which le Capt et moi enjoyed enormously.
Bon voyage and come back soon!
-Also to Peter G and Nel who left for Amsterdam today, hope
airports are all working and that the journey was a pleasure.
Barbara and Mike also left today, also - curiously - for Amsterdam,
but for them its a jumping off point to somewhere hot where they
are counting bugs in rain forests. Small sympathy to them then.
Sunday, 26 December 2010
Here is Lily opening her pressies and here is her pressie to the
Bob and I had a terrific and classy Christmas lunch with Andy and
Louise, their new son James, Lou's brother Harry and Andy's folks;
thanks to all for a memorable day!
Friday, 24 December 2010
Here is a weird cloud that was over Quillan on Weds. No doubt a
sign of the impending doom that awaits us all if you believe the
newspaper articles and indeed TV slots that deal with
Bugarach and the arrival of the giant green lizard aliens expected
in this area.
And here is Bieke, on the evening before her return to Ghent
for christmas -come back
soon dear one
....... here is Thursdays sunrise over the museum of dinosaurs
Below are Margo and Theophile who couldn't get to London
(on account of the snow there) for their Christmas holiday so
are spending a few days in a friends flat in -where else- Couiza
and this is our Christmas cake, made by Barbara and sent from
the USA. Iced by my elfin touch in huge quantities of sugar and
Its christmas eve and we have a chimney this year so I plan to
hang up a stocking -if I can find one.
Wednesday, 22 December 2010
Marcus has sent this link, very appropriate for my 666th post
Here are some edited highlights;
Bugarach,population 189, is a peaceful farming village in the
Aude region, and sits at the foot of the Pic de Bugarach, the
highest mountain in the Corbières wine-growing area.
But in the past few months, the quiet village has been inundated
by groups of esoteric outsiders who believe the peak is an
According to them, extraterrestrials are quietly waiting in a
massive cavity beneath the rock for the world to end, at which
point they will leave, taking, it is hoped, a lucky few humans
Most believe Armageddon will take place on December 21,
2012, the end date of the ancient Maya calendar, at which
point they predict human civilisation will come to an end.
Another favourite date mentioned is 12, December, 2012.
They see Bugarach as one of perhaps several "sacred
mountains" sheltered from the cataclysm.
"This is no laughing matter," Jean-Pierre Delord, the mayor,
told The Daily Telegraph.
"If tomorrow 10,000 people turn up, as a village of 200 people
we will not be able to cope. I have informed the regional
authorities of our concerns and want the army to be at hand if
necessary come December 2012."
Mr Delord said people had been coming to the village for the
past 10 years or so in search of alien life following a post in an
UFO review by a local man, who has since died.
"He claimed he had seen aliens and heard the humming of their
spacecraft under the mountain," he said.
The internet abounds with tales of the late President François
Mitterrand being curiously heliported on to the peak, of
mysterious digs conducted by the Nazis and later Mossad,
the Israeli secret services.
"Many come and pray on the mountainside. I've even seen one
man doing some ritual totally nude up there," said Mr Delord.
Several "Ufologists" have bought up properties in the small
hamlet of Le Linas, in the mountain's shadow for "extortionate"
prices, and locals have complained they are being priced out of
the market. Strange sect-like courses are held for up to €800 a
week. "For this price, you are introduced to a guru, made to go
on a procession, offered a christening and other rubbish, all
payable in cash," said Mr Delord.[ie not taxable.Ed.]
Valerie Austin, a retired Briton from Newcastle who settled in
Bugarach 22 years ago who said the alien watchers were spoiling
the village atmosphere.
"You can't go for a peaceful walk anymore. It's a beautiful area,
but now you find people chanting lying around meditating.
Everybody has the right to their own beliefs, but the place no
longer feels like ours." She said alien watchers planted strange
objects on the mountainside.
Recently she found a black virgin statuette cemented to the rock
Although she described the alien claims as "total rubbish", she
said there was nevertheless something special about the place.
"It has a magnetic force in the scientific sense of the word.
There is a special feeling here, but if I really believed the world
were about to end, I'd have a whale of a time over the next two
years rather than look for salvation," she said.
This is not quite accurate as several of the alien watchers
hereabouts think the aliens may be landing on the mountain -
their ship left Betelgeuse some time ago - and they take the
form of giant green lizards. Locally such believers are called
the green lizard folk, among other things.
Monday, 20 December 2010
Gatwick and many anxious moments and delays but his
rescheduled plane did take off and land in Toulouse, from
whence it was plain sailing in the sunshine; train to
Carcassonne and navette to the airport where the van was
Hes been travelling since 2.00 am and is therefore asleep
as I write.
All the best of luck to our friends who are trying to get anywhere.
friendship based on coming from opposite extremes of the political
We have especially debated long and hard over my site
John thinks Hitler didn't summon the VW into being to ensure
that blood should continue to be spilled to his dark gods.
(Hes wrong, of course.)
So I was surprised and totally delighted at the present he gave me
when we met for dinner last night. Hes been to Burgos in Spain
where the cathedral is distinguished by being the burial place of
El Cid. In the shop he found this little flocked VW .
So charming, tincy, cute - photographed here on my dressing table
mirror - and then, miraculously!! It opens to reveal a tiny crib.
This is prove positive that the church acknowledges my thesis
and is attempting to neutralise the forces of evil.
Thats a little shooting star in the roof of the car, its hard to see in
this snap but its there alright.
Big big thanks to John. I will display the crib with the Volksstuhl.
Sunday, 19 December 2010
Last nights concert in Quillan at the Espace Cathare was
gorgeous - the chambre orchestra of Toulouse, galloping
through Italian baroque music. They all stood to play, except
the cellists and it was enlightening to see the way they used
their bodies to force the music through.
Between each concerto the double bass player talked about
the development of the instruments and the events that
shaped the music. Being french, he couldn't talk without using
his hands and as he was supporting his huge instrument
throughout it turned into something of a dance -
Saturday, 18 December 2010
Whilst Bob and our London friends are housebound in a blizzard,
here is tonights Tilling sunset, boding well for tomorrows market.
And here is a snap of the 14.14 heading for Carcassonne...
If the snow can snow in London tonight and then stop, all may be
for the Captains Monday flight.
In the meantime I'm off to Quillan for a concert at the Espace Cathar
quietly mourning for the death of Don Van Vliet, one of the great
painters of our times. Not a bad musician neither. He was
in kindergarden with Frank Zappa. Its a pleasant to think of
their harpist manoeuvrings tonight.
Friday, 17 December 2010
Thursday, 16 December 2010
Snow this morning - very cold - but all better now. Heres the view
from the studio. Can't see Rennes le Chateau at all.
Went for an evening stroll to celebrate the bizarre Brits freeing
Julian Assange from prison. They locked him in solitary
confinement in Wandsworth for 8 nights, let him out on bail of a
quarter of a million quid in cash - because he (allegedly) didn't wear
a condom whilst having sex in Sweden.
The only reason I can think of for such abuse of personal freedom
is that the poor chap is Aids/HIV pos. and poses a health risk.
Do hope not.
The fact that he is the front man for a large team that run a legal
web site devoted to making secrets not secret wasn't mentioned in
Monday, 13 December 2010
The Church of St Michel in Tilling is notable for many strange
things. It is old and old churches acquire the patina of local
heresies and quirks...
this sign says that it is forbidden to burn candles on the body of
Christ and it seems to be signed by the bishop; who else?
It refers to the statue of the entombment that as all right
thinking conspiracists know, is proof that Jesus is buried here.
There are several books on the subject.
This statue of St Theresa, the Little Flower of Jesus, appears
to illustrate a novel departure from the orthodox canon .
Friday, 10 December 2010
Bieke is coming in then - and going on the 23rd.
All offers of lifts rewarded by the pleasure of her multi-lingual
multi-cultural many dimentional company!
Thursday, 9 December 2010
persists in its clemency. Here is last nights sunset.
Some fields on the top of Mont Marot East, where the freshly
planted earth has many wild-boar footprints -
and below, the lights in the square.
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Sunday, 5 December 2010
though, lets face it, the acoustics are dreadful and the orchestra
had an average age of 15 leading to far too much glissando for my
taste -notwithstanding, the 2 sopranos were as angels among us
as was the alto soprano(the unsung hero, as Roy remarked -)
The trumpeter was impeccable and defeated the acoustics easily.
I would very happily sit through it again, and again - what joy to
have such wonders in our little town.
The last night with John and Margaret for a while -
out to local eatery with Mike and Hilary, Kat and Marc.
Here is my new jumper flanked by John and Hilary. Larry and
Barbara sent it from America and it brought back happy
memories of the last time we all met up at Le Cantou.
Was given lots of instructions about not getting paint on
Margaret and Kat seen here plotting -
And afterwards we did the digestif thang at my house
- and so farewell to Margret and John till next time and lets hope
the journey to Ireland was trouble free. 'bye bye...
populaire de Limoux, La chorale Chants Mêlés de Carcassonne,
L'orchestre à cordes et les solistes du Conservatoire de Carcassonne.
Saturday, 4 December 2010
Friday, 3 December 2010
Jaqui is staying in Rue des Jardins, where she cooked a very
delicious and alarmingly substantial lunch (jambon cru in little
pasta parcels with Jerusalem artichokes and tarte tartin to
.... here is Lily being thoughtful. It aint dandruff.
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
Tuesday, 30 November 2010
Headline on this mornings l'Independant;
Bugarach attend la 'fin du monde'
Charming article about the mayors worries about
the influx of the deeply weird on his mountain.
Us informed residents have long expected the arrival of giant
green lizards there, either from inside the mountain where they
are hatching or from their space ships.
The mayor has noticed that there is funny stuff going on and that
the houses in his little commune are being let out to strangers,
french and foreign.
Will there be enough water for this crowd, he sensibly asks.
Dunno if lizards need water.
And on this day in 1953 Francis Picabia, French artist
died aged 74.
The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook (Gertrude Stein;Michael Joseph 1954);
The only painter who ever gave me a recipe was Francis
Picabia and though it is only a dish of eggs it merits the
name of its creator.
Break 8 eggs into a bowl and mix them well with a fork,
add salt but no pepper. Pour them into a saucepan, no,
not a frying pan. Put the saucepan over a very, very low
flame, keep turning them with a fork while very slowly
adding in very small quantities ½ lb. butter – not a speck
less, rather more if you can bring yourself to it. It should
take ½ hour to prepare this dish. The eggs of course are
not scrambled but with the butter, no substitute admitted,
produce a suave consistency that perhaps only gourmets
[many thanks to Robert for this info -]and apologies for strange layout, all out of control for unknown reasons
Sunday, 28 November 2010
missing Bob; they invited me, Mike, Hilary and their mate Ian
to lunch. They hadn't planned on it, hadn't spent days cooking
and it was magnificent. Much laughter lifted the rafters!
and very cold. Above are ice in a bucket and a sky space,
snapped in the garden.
Last night at the Artothequè was great fun -
a select group of artists and well-wishers and some excellent
The English artists remembered the stuff that used to be served
in London galleries - eugh!!!
Here is Phillipe, newly retired from working
at the local casino where he used to exhibit
us artists. Nevermind the art - the food and
drink at the private views were amazing!
Bit worrying, when artists evaluate expos on
the strength of the refreshments.
I enjoyed the refreshments so much last night
that poor Bob had to cook dinner while I collapsed in an armchair
giggling. Then he found that his flight had been switched to the
early one so it was up and off at dawn and no market for him.
He'll be here for two weeks over crimbo though.
Friday, 26 November 2010
You may remember Trade Mark who shared his
honeymoon with Chrissie here a while back-
They are artists in residence in Warsaw
Castle at the moment -this you tube video is
You have to copy and paste because
I am incompetent.
Having seen that you might like to check
our Stan, doing Hendrix on his cello -
Thursday, 25 November 2010
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
Ian sent this picture from his place
looking over to Mont Marot - says it all -
Delighted to announce that Margaret and John are in town for two weeks. Together with Mike and Hilary T- Rex exercised its magnetic pull on us all last night.
Perhaps its something they put in the water?
pretty good really.
Like, Kat and I were taking our morning coffee in the square
when one of the habituées limped in having taken a tumble.
His jeans were ripped down the legs, his head and ear were
bleeding and he was clearly shocked. The fall happened in his
home. So he put on his coat and went to the café, certain that
Alain would sort him out.
Alain called the pompiers and they arrived with all their life
saving kit, tidied him up and trotted him off to the ambulance.
See what I mean? Yes, bad that he fell but how lovely to have
help on hand.
On a similar theme, I hear that OlleB was stopped for speeding
and asked for his driving license. He had none and said so; it
had gone up in the fire with all his papers. When he told the police
that it was burnt, they said Oh are you the chap with the fire?
You can go; you have had enough misery.
Further: he and Aileen have found a strimmer for Jenny, missing
some bits on account of the fire but its a start for her - so, anyone
got a chain saw?
The terrifically bad news with precious little redeeming features
is that Annie and Peter have returned to Scotland, unlikely to be
back here until March.
I'm not dwelling on that.
Dates; Saturday night at Art-o-teque, Rennes-les-Bains, close
of season party, 6.00, be there. Head for the church, take the
steps down the side towards the library, follow the signs.
And here is a vernissage on Dec 3rd (click on pic to make bigger)
Worth going to; Victoria and mates always put on a good show.