Thursday, 30 September 2010

BBT Explained

Many people have asked...
sorry I thought the whole world was agog for the complete third

The Big Bang Theory -BBT - is an American sitcom.

It features Sheldon Cooper as an aspergic physicist who shares
a flat with fellow physicist Leonard. They have two friends who
work with them, Raj and Howard. Together they have a decent
share of peculiarities, psychical flaws and cultural difficulties.

A lot of the jokes involve contemporary physics; though I regret
to say that this series is more about dysfunctional relationships
than matter and its origins.

But Im only half way through - it might pick up. Will report back.

Leaving the DVD player briefly to go shopping with Peter G.,
it seems there is chaos at the end of the Impasse. -the neighbours
roof is being redone.
Fancy giving blood? I like the idea of diluting the sang of the
French with the froid of the English.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

social life ended

- the whole of series 3 of The Big Bang Theory has arrived.

All will be quiet here for as long as it takes.

Monday, 27 September 2010

visiting architect

Richard is visiting and since he is an architect I took him to Leo's
palace; after the tour we gatecrashed his dinner party and had
one of his spectacular meals.
Here is Richard testing his sobriety.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Claudines birthday party

Here is the birthday girl engaged in a stately Malagasy dance with
her brother, who had flown in from Benin.
We had an unforgettable evening.

Claudine had arranged for us to be collected from the hotel and
driven to the party, which was bizarrely in a high-security salle
de fete, electronic barriers and passwords needed ("les amis de
")Turned out to be the workplace of Claudines daughter.

During the apero various
young persons entertained
us, singing, rapping and
generally being
adorably talented.

The meal, which was Madagashie throughout, was for 100-plus
people and delicious and since I was one of the few drinkers on
our table I managed to steadily down a deal of wine.

I guess this is why I'm a bit hazy on the order of events after this.
There was more singing - below is a famous Madagascan singer-
more dancing, birthday cake and our driver drove us back to the
hotel leaving the party in full swing.

I imagine it went on till late; Captain H and I cant cope like we
used to -

mille mercies à Claudine xxxxxxxxx

News from Biz and Mick

Biz (Elizabeth) and Mick are back in NZ and write

We are missing France terribly and on top of that it is
freezing cold & unseasonable snow happening down south.
Little lambs dying all over.

However, the cat came home very fat & purry so that
makes us feel a little better.

Can't wait til next year!

Have fun but not too much, want you back here where
we can get some proper work done

Thursday, 23 September 2010

talking sofa

here's a proper link to the taking sofa that I failed to
get right a couple of postings ago -

Bad photos

I've not been moaning about cameras lately because I went to
visit my friends Richard and Alison at Pech Luna for the
weekend and Richard mended the one with electrical problems.
So, now I can't remember how it works; which is why there is
a blurry pic of dinner last night.

Leo cooked Shuff, Ian, Kat and me a perfectly marvellous
meal; his famous chicken soup, then a salad of tomatoes, basil,
anchovies and mozzarella followed by a Thai dish of noddles
and stuff with crushed peanuts and lime and coriander. Brill.

This morning I took loads of photies of new paintings and
didn't change the settings when I ran into Ferren, Tillings
genius. Here is is, hazily on his bike, en route to Quillan to
get some tortillas to feed to Joan who has closed and packed
up her kitchen and is therefore not able to feed herself before
leaving on Monday.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

sofa so good

Have taken the radical step of making a little movie of my sofa,
The Peoples Chair. The link up top might work if you have time
to kill; or cut and paste

There'll be no stopping me now...

Kates OK

Kate is miraculously uninjured - apart from quite a nasty bruise
on her elbow and a bit of a stiff leg -

after rolling her car down a ravine in
She was hauled out by the Pompiers, to whom she explained
that she'd always had trouble parking.
They made her go to hospital in Carcassonne after that.

She has had two major life-saving ops and three big car crashes.
I figure that if there are only four lives left to her, she'd better
slow down.
See y'all at the MJC AGM tomorrow night, 6.30, joy!!

Monday, 20 September 2010

plan ahead -

Le vendredi 24 septembre:

Journée porte ouverte à l'artothèque de Rennes les Bains,
rue de l'église, à
partir de 16h, avec un apéritif à 18h

avec les oeuvres de:

* Vanilla BEER
* Katrina HEAD
* Ole-Bendik MADSO
* Victoria MILROY

Unmissable, naturally - Rue de l'eglise is at 1.00
o'clock if you treat the Place Deux Rennes as a clock
face, behind the stage in the square where the cafes

news from Edinburgh

Iain has written; I'm editing because its long and I understand about sound
bites and attention spans.
Also because I'm sitting on a phone waiting for a human to pick up so
I have time to edit. But I am moving forward in the queue and will be
answered as soon as possible...

- the Festival over, so here in Edinburgh it's the countdown to bloody
Christmas. The city generally dies after the Festival is finished.
Still we've had great excitement in that we were, "blessed" by a visit
from the holy father. I watched his procession along Princes Street
from the window of a coffee shop. The city was packed for this event.
I had a good view of the pope-mobile and I managed to catch a glimpse
of the back of his head. I can't claim to have found it spiritually uplifting
but many of the other customers seemed very excited.

Lots of hawkers about with pope flags, pope scarves and jolly pope
balloons. It all seemed entirely appropriate. I thought he looked
somewhat lonely in his noddy car but I did not realise that he had a
couple of bishops at his feet hidden from sight. Not sure what they
were doing but once again it all seemed entirely appropriate.

I expect that John Knox was turning in his grave and I have to say that I
rather missed our own Pastor Jack Glass who during the last visit
proudly held banners demanding no popery here.
He died some years ago and we don't seem to have the same standard
of high profile bigots these days.

Beginning to get a bit cold here but lots of sunny days. I walk up Arthurs
Seat most days and it is just brilliant. I expect you'd think it was freezing
but I do love it. My business is sort of up and running now. The adverts
are not live yet but I am getting a trickle of leads and have submitted a
few estimates to insurance companies. It looks as though it is going to
work just fine.

I presume you are all lying about in the warmth and the sunshine and still
enjoying balmy summer evenings. I hope so. Have much fun, lots of love.
Iain Mac

BTW you may have noticed in Links a site listed as Growing Food
Without a Plough. This is in fact from the Edible Gardner column in a big
Brit paper and Alex the author has a home here or at any rate up the hill in
Antugnac.I'm so impressed by all my neighbours - what class folk -

Tilling for the Tango

Cours DE


A partir de classes qui se forment actuellement à Espéraza

Alain Gély

professeur de tango

Septembre début le samedi 25, 2010

Campagne-sur-Aude Camping, Petit Paradis

La première classe et la démo :

16h30m – 17h la démo

17h – 18h30m la première class

€5 participation

Venez à la démo et trouvez un partenaire de danse

pour participer au cours de tango argentin !

Come to the demo and find a dance partner to participate

in the course of Argentine Tango!

le cours – samedi pour 2 heures, 17h-19h, 2 fois par mois

(en français avec traduction en anglais)

Alain Deborah

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Joans farewell-

Joan is abandoning us for
Bordeaux or somewhere,
a mistake and golly she will miss
us all - tonight was the first of her

Here she is looking triste, and rightly so - and the photos carry
on getting worse, dunno why.
Excess of good snaps of Chris because he felt that in previous
posting his orbs were invisible.
And so they remain.
But the flashy light thing?? Whats that then??

Not only is Joan going - not yet, allelujia - but Annie leaves
tomorrow morning. Back late Oct., or Nov.... make it soon -

On the plus side, our Kat is back!! Ditto Steve, though not
for long - no photos of him because he indicated in forceful
sign language that his excessive good looks were not for the
riff raff.

Saturday, 18 September 2010


Sete is OK if you like that sort of thing.
The chief problem mostly being cars; its claim to
be the Venice of Languedoc-Roussian is erm, improbable.
Venice has no cars. Sete is constantly growling with them.
The place has been done up and is now undone, falling apart -
all the modernizations and renovations are cracking and lifting
and generally being seedy.
It was a fishing village.
People are poor and the only substitute for fishing is tourism.

The Dufy expo which I was there to see was excellent, of course.
Its a very long uphill walk to the Musee Paul Valery - should you
go, check out the buses. They are rare- best spot a queue, join it
and get on anything that comes. Once you get to the top its easy.
Getting to a beach was another matter and you begin to see why
everyone has to drive, sigh.

The flea market was fun and I found the intaglio, above, which
cost lunch and dinner and was worth it.
Food all fish-based - nice restaurants separated from the quai
where the fishing boats come in by a road full of cars - that'll be
complex hydrocarbons and sardines, then.

Glad to get back. Mike met my train with an umbrella -rain,
hurrah!! - and we ate at Annies where her mill now has glass
in the windows. Its hardly fallen in at all.
Here are Mike and Hilary toasting its staying power and
Annies marvellous cooking.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010


You may have noticed that in the links at the side and to
the bottom of this page is one offering a list of who to
complain to if the multinationals offer you a brick wall.

Our Marcus is not unimplicit in making this list.

There have been repercussions; see

Nationwide chief executive shuts down email address,


Complain by email, just not to Nationwide boss,
Evening Standard

Well done that Marcus; keep up gadflying the
unaccountable and we'll have a whip-round for a
bullet-proof vest for you. You take care!

Pete and friends...

Pete cooked an excellent dinner for his visiting friends and for
me and Leo and Annie... here are Annie, Karl, Tony and Pete,
Chris having bunked off early and Leo being discrete behind
the door.

And look at those orbs!! Above and below Karl and around
Annie. I know they are supposed to be optical thingies but we
all love the possibility of illusion being concrete.

Hope your computer shows them clearly, try clicking on the
picture and magnifying them; if you find this baffling just Google
orbs. Are they telekinetic thought forms, angelic beings or etc
etc?? If only we could communicate - there must be a way.
Suggestions on a postcard ...

I'm off to Sete tomorrow to see the Dufy exhibition. Will miss
Ferrens birthday so HAPPY BIRTHDAY FERREN and have a
great time without me, I'II be back Friday for the postmortem.

wild grapes

There are wild grapes on our mountain and here they are, not
altogether Dionysian but still with an air of magic.

Finding an irresistible recipe that involved a pillowcase and an
inverted stool, they are now grape jelly.

Spoke with our hunt correspondent (Kevin) and he says that
the hunt has started. They are not allowed to hunt the boar
above Tilling however- that area is protected so they can hunt
the little things, partridge, rabbits and so on. Lily is safe, being big.

Though there are many boar up there, apparently damaging the
vines. Someone should have a word with them.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

dinner chez moi

saying goodbye to Biz and Mick - who return to NZ - are Adrian
and Maggie and Hilary and Mike. We were lucky enough to
receive a guest appearance from Annie, who is here for a few
more days before exile in Thurso.

Also saying goodbye is Biz's rather lovely necklace which
lurched from her chest and scattered at a meaningful point in
the conversation which I regret I have forgotten.

Biekes figs went down a treat. Sorry that the general strike
delayed her flight to the extent that she couldnt get home
yesterday but glad that she left us the figs that wouldn't keep.
She has reported that she and Wilhelm made it to Girona by
bus and train and caught the substitute flight to Brussels the
next day. Knackered but triumphant.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Nature notes

Awful not having a pliable camera; there is nothing to hang the
chatter on. So now I'II just ramble...

I write on a little balcony because its the only wifi spot in this
house (the one with my studio in where Im allegedly working.)

Opposite me is the terrace where there is a bee hive in the wall.
It is ambushed every morning by hornets who pick up bees as
they fly out and carry them off. At first I was outraged and
depressed by these assults but now I see the hornets rather as
farmers, taking beasts away and using them. The bees carry on
carrying on; though they have been smearing one of the stones
in the entrance to the hive with something that may discourage
the hornets because there seem to be less of them.

Just watched one take over a minute to pick up a bee - the bees
are getting better at avoidance too.

The redstarts are increasingly cheeky. One is on the balcony
now, evaluating me as breakfast.
The swifts and martins are getting their flight plans sorted,
judging from the activity on the wires this morning.

Billy, from the other side of Quillan, has been bitten by a
vampire moth. New to me; apparently a recent import. It
used its proboscis as a syringe on his shoulder while he was
trimming a plant - behaved like a bad mossie bite, swelled
up and went down but its left a raised round dark mark with
the diameter of a pencil. Apparently they normally feed on
I will be watching him with interest.

Annies back!! Only for a fortnight but alive and well.

We had rain last night for the first time since she left, but not
enough - she'd better stay.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

big nasty fire in mountain

In Tilling we were alerted to a mountain fire by the sound
of 'planes apparently straffing us...
In fact it was planes that had sucked up water from the lake
at Montbel to be released on a fire above Antugnac.
All very impressive. Seven or eight 'planes plus fire engines
from as far Chalabre.

The photies were taken at close of day when the fire was nearly
over but concerns remained for the outbreaks at the edges and
fear of the roots continuing to burn unseen underground.

They are taken from the top of Mont Marot East- standing on the
path that leads to the chateau d'eau - by our top garden gate.
Scary - except that the emergency services were fabulous.
It was something of a theatre as many residents turned out with their kids to watch the show - how fortunate we are to have such guardians, we all agreed.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

need a laugh?

Annie put this on her facebook page. If you aint her friend -
surely you are! - then cut and paste and take a look, its had
me laughing embarrassingly out loud while my neighbours are

DONT FORGET tonight - Surrealism, Dadaisn and Fluxus expo
at Rennes les Bain, Espace d'art. Having helped to hang it
I can assure y'all that its a fine show.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

blessings and love

Blessings and love to whoever left the Juraçon Bi de Prat 2007
hidden in my cupboard - just had it with prawns provençal and
whilst I realise this may be too sweet for some palettes it is
perfect for mine, AND I AM ALONE

Summer over. Back to work.