Sunday, 28 March 2010

dinner at Quillan

Mike drove Hilary and me to dinner at Annie and Pete's tonight -
an excellent evening concluding in my courtyard over the last of
the Chilean red.
Lovely end to a lazy day, spent reading in the sunshine.

Erm, anyone going shopping this week? I'm out of booze and could
use a lift. Bit low on the food stuffs too.

Forgot camera so here is an image I have carried in my heart
and head since the Toques et Sloshers (Annies phrase -)
It is from an installation by by le collectif tant qua faire, aka
Isobelle and Liz.

It is currently very trendy to make ecological issues central to
art - which tends to make the work rather dispiriting, fashion
being fashion.
Not so here.
This is a complicated piece. The white blob things, for instance,
are scaled models of the pollen of the lily which explains both
their coherence and their strangeness. There are casts of tree
bark. Paintings of trees taken from photos of specific trees.
Tubes of bark containing photos of tree thangs and a sound
track I didn't inquire into. All packed into a little dark cave
lit cleverly to lead the eye, inviting the viewer to consider
the being and death of trees.
For all it is depressing, it is also so beautiful that the topic
becomes approachable, maybe even resolvable.
Quality work to find in a wine festival.
Congrats to Liz and Isobelle -
and to Annie and Pete, on providing a dinner of great delight
and children ditto. Theo and Gus are a joy, as is Annies cooking.

I feel a paucity of superlatives coming on.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Friday, 26 March 2010

Kates award

Heres Kate collecting the goodies at Toques et Clochers tonight,
sorry about photo quality but couldn't get near...
The girl done good!

Great to see so many old mates out and about. Heres Sami looking
endearingly solemn next to his painting of Angela.

He took one of me in front of my oeuvre - it is the
form, judging by everyone elses behaviour - but
I look like Nurse Diesel and it has been suppressed.

I stayed only to glug the free blanquette, woolf the little lovely
nibbles and then took off, feeling guilty that I wasn't doing this
party thing justice.

Because of the road blocks tomorrow, Mark has to be back at
7.30 am to set up his kit for an afternoon sound check. Any
later and he can't get the van in. So he and Kate and Ezra left
early too.
I have no such excuse. Just a faux dilettante.

delicious evening

Its clear that spring has sprung....

Toby is back with her friend Arnie and Bieke and Willhem have
arrived to sign for their new house.
Margaret goes today and leaves her friend Janice Fitzpatrick
Simmons to take up the slack.
I didn't photograph them last night because Janice
has just told me that she used to ride the train to M.I.T. with
Noam Chomsky and I was overwhelmed. She is also a highly
successful poet - words rarely seen in conjunction - she is here
working on her fifth book. Blimey.

STOP PRESS Just seen that Kate has got third prize at the
Toches et Clochers! You can see the picture at her site,
Kate Hardys hot site, listed on the links here. See y'all at
the vernissage tonight and big felicitations to Kate

Monday, 22 March 2010

Art gallery break in

Last night a couple fought outside of Kats gallery and broke
through the window - blood on the work, ugh.
Kat is in Venice.
If you see this, Kat, don't worry. You've lost the window and
some work which is horrible but not being in at the time seems
to be a Good Thing.
Pete and I spoke to the Mayor who knows all about it and says
not to worry. Pete has stapled stuff over the window so all is
safe and sound.
Hope Venice is calm!

Big Bang Theological Feminisim

Spent last night with my new best friends Leonard and Sheldon
whilst doing the ironing.
Afterwards I wrote a theological analysis based on the role of
women in the programme. The programme being The Big Bang
Theory and if haven't seen it, do - terribly funny.

This morning I realised that no-one is interested in Leonard's
mothers' parallels with the mother of the Virgin Mary nor the
discorporeality of Raj and Howard's mothers. Nor Sheldon's
mothers' relationship with Jesus.

Must remember to get out more.

Didnt even finish the ironing.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

best value

Went to Perpignon with Nel yesterday - the bus from Quillan
all the way costs 1 Euro. Only trouble is it leaves at 7.50 a.m
and to get to it one has to take the 7.10 from Tilling (cost =
2.20 Euros) which means after a few hours shopping one is fit
for nothing.

Gorgeous though and the trip through the mountains is the stuff
of dreams.

Dear, sweet Pete cooked us dinner. Which meant I was fast
asleep around the time I'm normally thinking of going out.
Woken by the dawn chorus; all the birds are back and
breeding. This long, long winter is (surely) finally routed-

Friday, 19 March 2010

shocking gossip

Tilling was shocked - and scared - by the news that an elderly
couple had been woken from their sleep on Monday night
/Tuesday morning by a couple of men who took jewelry and
portable phones and - horrors - hit the householder in the face
until he gave them his PIN numbers.

The alleged miscreants were under arrest last night, however.

Not being the brightest sparks in the barrel they used the
stolen cards to get cash from the ATM, where the only video
camera in the Aude snapped them.
The Gendarmes recognised the criminals, 17 year-olds with

What community service would you award them?

Speed gossip

Last week the goats were baffled.
Claudine sent this photo of Marcel's goats while I was in Italy.

This week all is what passes for normal with them.

In between I have had guests - Ken and Carolyn and Allenna -
and the Captain has visited. Pete and Annie and Angus and Mary
have fed all or some of us, splendidly. Ferren and Joan have been
incorporated. The builders continue to hack and hammer.

Which is concise if not very informative - l've been so busy since I
got back from Florence. Still hard-hit by the place.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Florence City of Penises

Florence, Penis City...
everywhere they are hanging about, in bronze, marble,
paint and plaster. I thought of nipping about and putting
condoms on them to celebrate International Womens Day but

Here are some artists taken whilst in the queue for the
Uffizzi - on International Womens Day so they let people without
penises in free.

I was missing Lily and the next two pix reminded me of her.

Had a merry old time on the transport. The bus was wonderful
and each passenger had 10 seats so I was fast asleep when the
Guardia di Finaza rudely boarded, thwacking me on the shoulder
to wake me up. Heigh ho, I thought; Florence!

They were five and a few plainclothes men plus sniffer dog. Took
them no time at all to find the two cocaine carriers. Nor to
dismantle their seat and take them and their luggage away.
What took three hours in the middle of the night was the
paperwork... checking luggage against manifest, passengers with
luggage, driver with star signs, I dunno. Maybe they were bored,
it was the middle of the night, not a lot to do on the motorway
- they let us go at 5.30 am.

Fortunately Allenna had decided to meet me and kept the
concierge from giving away my apartment, which was a little
16th century gem in the middle of town. With modern

There followed a happy few days wandering and gazing and
pondering the commodification of art.

Evenings were spent hooking up with the Democrats Abroad folk,
who were amassing in Florence for their annual plotting.

Made some new friends and ate a great deal proving yet again
that travel broadens the hips.

Little did I know that while everyone in Florence was
complaining of the unseasonable cold, in Tilling it was snowing...
so I had to hole up in Toulouse last night, the bus returning me
6 hours late and missing the trains which weren't running anyway.
Plus it was the day the lorries did a barrier across the Route

Travel aint for the faint hearted, is it - though it has its pleasures.
The people you meet, especially. Waiting for the outward bound
bus met a Finnish conductor (not bus, orchestra) who was pinning
for her rabbit.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

ellies new house

this is why Ellie and John are deserting us -
hmm, they may have a point -

Im going to be quiet soon. Off to Florence. Normal noise
will be resumed next week.

Proud Auntie

My nephews, Alfie and Bertie Beer, aged 10 and 8 respectively, have written

and recored a song with 2 other brothers.

Bertie does drumming and backing vocals. Alfie wrote it and plays guitar.

Clearly, they are going to be accomplished rock musicians - or

psychopaths - fairly soon!

There is a prize at their school for the most downloaded track so please go


It's free to download. Theirs is called House of Pain by Valhalla

Monday, 1 March 2010

Haiti heros

Last nights fundraiser was a huge success.
I'm not sure how huge because all the money isn't in
yet - that is to say, I have to hand mine over.
(I bought a nice young man for an afternoon.)

Should you wish to drop in a donation, Roy and Jo's is nearest for Tillingites - otherwise Martin and Jane or Leigh and Lorraine.

Here is Jo, doing the rabble-rousing and Leigh in the legendary lapin chaud shirt.

The organisers were truly organised - congratulations to them - the food was fantastic, and the level of management of the auction superb. I suspect at least one of the team has had prior experience of fundraising.

Lorraine was on great form - here she is showing an adorable picture of Joans that I missed and clever Kat got at a great price.

And top marks to Oscar - who darted about all night being
everybody's helper - Dermot and Kate have reason to be
proud of their charming sprog.

So Farewell then

So farewell then, Ellie and John....
Seen here at Joans party for them last night, which was a
very frisky fun event. They will be missed.
I have been trying to contact E.J. Thribb at Private Eye,
anyone know the address????

Nels lunch

Nel will be living in these parts for a few months, hurrah;
and started off on the right foot by giving a splendid lunch
which I enjoyed too much to remember taking photos.
But here we see Annie and Pete arriving, Annie apparently
trying to leave, the hard way: a random table shot featuring
Joel, Monique, Pete, Dermot, Peter G: a view of Quillan from
the terrace.
Keep up the good work Nel