Friday, 30 April 2010

work finished

friends and workers of five nations came to bless the finish of
building works last night, just as the weather changed, sigh.

Its all finished; a terrace, a balcony, a conservatory.
The Captain hosted and I drank too much so all as normal
otherwise, allelujia

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

News from Chile

From Barbara, who used to live in Chile.
She and Larry will be visiting Tilling next
week. They are only here for a few days - book 'em quickly -

Here are extracts from her post earthquake letter;

'Everywhere we founds roads being rebuilt. Some overpasses
just broke off and fell flat. So we did a lot of detours, usually
with good signage, but not always. We drove south down the
coast from Zapallar, lunched in Valparaiso, where downtown
had minor damage. The quais showed long cracks and here
and there you saw cracks in buildings or a pile of rubble brought
out from inside.

The new airport had no major structural damage but ceiling
panels fell in and damaged a lot of shops, offices. But by the time
we returned to the airport there were a number of shops open
and a couple small restaurants. It was a good example of efficient
organization. We went as far as Santo Domingo along the coast...
found no restaurants open. We bought the makings of sandwiches
and ate in the car by the beach, out of a cold wind, then walked.

We did stop at Pablo Neruda's house at Isla Negra and did the tour.
First time Larry and I have been able to get inside. Three other
times we have found it closed to the public. Wonderfully eccentric
house, full of collections, mostly connected with the sea.
In Santiago his house is similarly eccentric but without the amazing
view. At Isla Negra the windows all capture the sea which roars in
over jagged black rocks . We spent the night a few meters down a
sandy road in a tired old inn run by retired folklorist singers.

Country towns all had rubble piles along the streets and
occasionally you saw a whole building down. We did not venture
farther South where whole towns are down. Lovely old Talca
has lost its entire historic center and big Concepcion has
apparently lost much of the old city and some of the new.
A friend reports her grandfather's house fell in, with eight
family members sleeping inside. They did manage to get out
but since then have had to mount guard over the rubble.

Air was dry, dry, dry. Andes shrouded in smog most days in town.
Skyscrapers have replaced the gracious old houses of Providencia
and Los Condes so we could barely see bits of mountains from the
school or even from an 8th floor apartment that used to have a
great view over the top of the British Embassy residence and its
gardens. The residence used to be downtown. I remember
freezing in a downtown church during a concert, then going onto
the embassy for dinner and being seated by the Bishop of
Bradford, who became the Archbishop of Canterbury not long
afterward. The Ambassador had been out shooting so the main
course was little birds, quail, I think. Neither the bishop nor I
could cut into our birds which simply had not cooked long enough
so we enjoyed a vegetarian dinner and giggled rather than have
our birds skitter unto our laps. Too funny. There we were in
evening clothes, gradually warming up from the freezing church,
waiters in white gloves!, and we could not eat our birds."

Sunday, 25 April 2010

last night and this morning

Being served by, erm, Rasputin?

This is a photo of Bobs terrace taken without a visible light
source - yet there are Orbs! Not very clear and not very exciting
but independent of the refractive index possibility, possibly.
Since that needs a light source or preferably two. Of course there
was the flash of the camera but lets not get pedantic here.

Margo and Theo and Didier and Anne and Monique came round
after the market - which was lovely, brilliant sun and though busy
not insanely crowded -

and this little fellow popped out to see what was going on. Ahh.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Andrée says hello

Heres Andrée cropping her flowers - she sends love to all -

and Pete and Nel, snapped while we were orb hunting last night.

In the course of trying to discover what conditions made them appear, Ive been snapping into the darkness all over the place.

Have found many, in many circumstances, sans ostensible rhyme or reason.

anyone going to Sigean

From april 10th to 25th May, this expo at Lieu d'Art
Contemporain (LAC) at Hameau du Lac, Sigean looks like
it needs visiting. Open every day except Tues., 2-6.
Should you fancy a drive and a spot of culture,gi'usa

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Cranleigh school

Invited by Mike and Hilary to meet Ken and
Nan Wills, whom I'm sure will be remembered
by many of my friends from Cranleigh. Had
a great evening rolling down memory lane.

ORB it

Marcus says the aliens below are called Orbs.
There is a load of scientific hocus-pocus which claims they are
bits of dust that refract light and get caught on camera - see
But to any right-minded person it is obvious that they are the
spirits of angels that are scouts for the giant green lizards (cont.

Since it should be possible to duplicate the event I took
lots of pix and only found one decent orb -

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

doing our bit

Upon discovering that Scottish Dave and Mrs S. ("El") D. were
trapped in Tilling due to 'plane fear of ash, I invited them to
dine with Mike and Hilary, Andy and Louise and Jim.
It was a serious and sober evening. Honest.

So what are the two blue things to the right of the photo? I've
bigged 'em up and looked at them and can only conclude that we
were having enough fun to attract les aliens.

If I were an alien I'd have joined in. It was brill. Thanks, all.

Monday, 19 April 2010

new palette needed

This palette started life as a table at Olivier and Aileens
restaurant in the square at Tilling - I forget its name, le petite
sorcerer? - much loved here for Oliviers inability to get food on
tables unless everyone was totally legless.
They threw this out as broken and its been a palette for the last
seven years.
It was good when I used a lot of colour in small amounts but now
there are fewer colours and bigger paintings so its unusable.
Has anyone got a table they dont want?

-Just seen an aeroplane, looked like a Wellington bomber without
the three pronged fin. At a guess, its out testing the air. If you are
somewhere you shouldn't be (hello there Scottish Dave) I hope it
gets sorted soon for you.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

escape from toxic cloud

Having raced across Europe to escape the silver shroud that
threatens the health and livelihood of many citizens and subjects,
we are safely back in Tilling where no Icelandic interloper would
dare to come (I hope-) - and thence after market to lunch with
Annie and Pete.
All is therefore well with the world.

Here are some windows in their new house in Couiza

Picnicing outside is safe here -

Congats to Annie and Pete on acquiring the most beautiful place,
with the River Salz behind it and enough work inside to keep them
busy for a few months. Its like a childhood dream of where to live,
come true...

Friday, 16 April 2010


A volcano in Iceland has rubbed out the possibility of a plane
home. Me, Claudinne, Le Capitain and 4 friends should be in the
air now; instead of which Claudinne and I are in a cyber cafe in
Woolwich Arsenal.

Le Cap., undauntable, has booked a very early Eurotunnel
crossing and will drive us home.

Should be in Tilling late tomorrow night. Though we must also
brave the strikes in France. Something of a saga perhaps.

Anyone know the Icelandic gods we should address? I fear hubris
in this enterprise though Im relieved to be getting out.

The election in England is just toooo much.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Easter in Tilling

Easter involves Les Fecos from Limoux hanging out at the cafés and drinking alcohol - as can be seen by Le Feco here, clearly feked. The first procession is at 9.00, they play and drink till lunch at the MJC and then they do it all again. The finale is at 8.00 tonight if anyone is still standing.

The market was rather under par but still good. Rushton and
Clare turned up so we went to the caravan to check the orchids
(still there)
And then in the afternoon, out of a hot sky - hail. Great lumps of ice.
Msr Francois, my fiance, says that God is too old
and has forgotten how to do weather.

bizarre coincidence

My friend Robert has sent the following;

Son Theo is in India with a couple of friends. Last week, while I was in the
local library, my mobile phone rang. It was Theo reporting from Rajasthan.
I asked him to hang on for a few seconds while I went out of the library and
into the street; better reception and less disturbance to everyone in the library.
On the way out of the library I bumped into Sally (friend and fellow Bedales
parent). As I was telling Theo that I had just met Sally he excidedly announced
that Flora had just that moment got off the bus he was about to get on.
Flora is Sally's daughter ...

What are the odds? Its been driving me crackers thinking about it.
OK if the kids know each other and are perhaps at the same school, plus
similar folk hang out in the same places - local library- then its just 2 people
bumping into each other, plus another two, whilst being on the phone at the
same time.The distance thing is just a distraction. Can someone do the equation?

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Look who didnt come to dinner...

Sian and Lionel looked in on Jill and Tony and came for apero but
not dinner; that was with Steve and Claudio and Kat in T Rex.

So, Sian is looking terrific after her brush with death (see Sians
cancer blog, listed with my faves at the side here) Shes still the
same, and we'll get over the rouge/ blusher issue; OK? In a few
months there will be nothing but a terribly cute lisp to recall this
dreadful time.

Lionel is looking good too -

and our Kat is back!!From the calm of Venice to the maelstrom
of Tilling, she held up well through a healthy dinner of confit de
canard, those sweet puds that Philippe does so well and a
digestif of pears william.

If you are at the market tomorrow look out for 'em all.

sprung spring

These photies from the caravan -
spent a happy day avoiding real
things and pottering about on the
land. bliss.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

shattering news

(thanks to Shuff for alerting me to this)