Saturday, 29 January 2011

snow settling

After a lovely spring morning, the Captain and I went to Limoux
for more oesteo; thence to hospital to visit Andrée.
Shes tired, as you would be, but as ever charming and in good
spirits - sends love to all. Shes had cards and letters that had
delighted her.
On the way home, it started to snow... its now settling.

Aileen and I have made it to La Depeche, our local newpaper,
see link -though on line the jolly pretty photo of us frolicking
in the mud isnt there.

(Oh alright it isn't in the paper either)

Thursday, 27 January 2011

ladies lunch

The occasional Ladies Lunches have been not happening much
and our Kat decided it was time to play host and recommence -

She did totally brill lunch - avocado and slug, chicken tikkaish
with pots roasted in duck fat, mixed vedge.: a watercress salad
with the cheese and chocolate brownies, with cherries for them
as likes them ( sorbet for me). Blanquette, natch, and chocolate.
Hilary, Charlotte, Yvonne and me loved it all. I propose Kat for
one of those French TV shows about the perfect meal.

For our further joy, Louise dropped by - followed by

persons of the male persuasion -

hobbits night out

Tillings newest nitespot, La Cantina (opposite the tabac) was
the only place open last night. Kebab and chips gained a new
dimension as the meat was rolled in a galette with a salad and
the chip were good. Cheap and terribly cheering.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

more excitements

By the river this morning saw two dippers swimming -
they'd gone by the time I'd got the camera out but this
is where they were.

And here is the mist on the water and bad Lily chasing
a cat up a tree.


The fountain by where the big chimney used to be has frozen
solid. Good days to stay indoors -
Andrée, safe in Limoux hospital, sends love to all. Sounds in
very good spirits.

Monday, 24 January 2011

pump it up

Huge excitements this morning; never a dull moment here.

Captain H in his quest for perfect recycling has fitted a pump,
so that my bathwater goes out through a hole in the window to
a large tank. (This inhibits my use of rare unguents, sadly)
This morning the pump gave up pumping out of the window and
squirted all over the bathroom at force - how I laughed!

After redrying myself and cleaning the bathroom, I checked the
--The outside hose was frozen solid.
A flaw in the design? Certainly something wrong with the

Sunday, 23 January 2011

advance notice and health reports

A bristling Sunday market, cold but sunny, in the course of
which I realized we are all of an age where we talk of little else
but health. The very good news is that Andree has been moved
to re-education in Limoux with her new hip and should be back
in our midst, tangoing, in three-odd weeks.

28th Jan at 7.00pm there will be a sale of promises at Couiza 's
Salle Polyvalente with music, and so forth - its in aid of the
College at Couiza and many of the young persons hereabouts
are thrusting fliers hither and yon. I promised to blog it.

Captain can walk but it hurts. Hes off back to London this
afternoon, returning next weekend for another manhandling
session with oesteo.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

artistes a suivre

In they olden days, Artistes a Suivre was called the Chemin
des Artistes but when Suzanne P-A, the instigator,
left the region she took the name with her.

Fair enough; she'd created a runaway success, originally to
honour the countryside and protect the environment through
visiting the scattered destinations of artists studios. It was
designed so that one walked from venue to venue.

It became a car fest, rather defeating the object - though the
artists benefited enormously. I showed with them for the first
few years and always sold well. From the original 12 artists, it
grew till over 50 contributed, coming from around the world
to exhibit in the Languedoc.

The last few years I'd been out of the country during the event
but this year I'm around and so submitted to the jury.

What has changed is that it is now run by artists, for artists and by
them, so getting to the meeting today on time seemed fatuous.

Herding cats, I thought. Wrong!! It was crowded and efficient and
only two hours long. This is down to Victoria and Caty to whom
hats off.
More as the event gets nearer...

we celebrate

We celebrate Kats good health - hospital have sent her home with a clean bill - Captain H., Elaine, Kat and I headed for the highspots and dined at Le Cantou.

It started to snow...

There are photos of the persons involved but since they had their eyes closed and their mouths open, the souvenir of the evening rests with this tasteful still life and the view out of the window at Le C.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

ancient rites

What is this about?? Found for 45 cents in the local supermarket
when Pete took me shopping yesterday - poor Bob still laid up -

Is it a reference to exposing unwanted infants on the hillside?
The small pink grotesquerie is tied to a chocolate log. Some
dodgy theology here, probably.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Blue Apple Day

This has nothing to do with the Pomme Bleu event of Rennes
les Chateau; au contraire, it is from Toby.
She writes that
this lady watches over one of the chapels in the Mezquita
Cathedral/ Cordoba and has the decency not to lift her middle

finger. We saw the cathedral on our trip to Malaga, Cordoba,

Grenada and Ronda. The Mezquita was very impressive.

She and Leo are back in Amsterdam, planning a trip to India.

But I digress....
I have been taken to task for not writing about the Captain, last
heard of on the tarmac at Gatwick on Friday night.

He got here, safe and sound and late. We passed a lovely weekend.

Then he did his back in, aggggggccccccccccccck

Couldn't move to get into the car to Toulouse for this mornings
London flight and by sheer strength of character managed to
creep and stumble and crawl to the local excellent Osteopath.

Oesto beat him up and will see him again on Friday; alors! Le Capt
is here for the week!

Which is why there is no photo of blue apples nor of the lunch
that Trebha made in honour of the day. There are no reports on
Facebook - have the entire cast been taken by the lizard people?

Friday, 14 January 2011

News from around elsewhere

Waiting at home in Tilling for Captain H to arrive - hes had
to sit on the tarmac at Gatwick while the fog at Toulouse clears
so will be even later than usual.

Done some Skyping, some cheap book buying on one-click; now
looking through this weeks emails.

Here's Fiona....

'You are very sensible staying in France. Over here this
coalition gov is rapidly dismantling everything and there is an
atmosphere of deep concern over jobs, redundancies and how
people can pay their bills and stay in their homes.
The ageism is frightening: the backlash against 'old people' over
here is horrible. I have sympathy for the young and the newly
graduated, it is tough for them but now I sense an undercurrent
in the media (who are mostly young or young middle aged) that
the despised 'oldies' are a waste of space and should all fuck off
and die. Once I've climbed out of the go-to-hell income bracket
I shall aim to live mostly in Europe -

Love to all your/my friends over there and a special hug for
Andy, Lou and baby. Take care of yourself and remember me to
the Captain & Lily'

And from Queensland, my old mate Richard;

'Today is hot and humid. As I tap this note there is the sound
low flying helicopters, and this has been constant for the
48 hours [it will be a lasting memory].

We will never forget taking a walk on Wednesday morning

to the railway and road bridges that cross the river high
'Tallahassee'. The river was simply awesome to behold.
It was
like swirling brown paint and was moving with such
It stank of garbage and rotten plantlife and petrol,
and it was
giving off a heat - a horribly palpable experience. '

The clean up has begun,
and we are getting our home back to
normal, and will then be
volunteering assistance through our
friends and networks.
The devastation is nothing short of
and we have friends who have lost everything.'

Can't follow that -
love to all and keep safe!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Au Revoir

Here is Andrée waving goodbye as she goes off to Carcassonne
Hospital. She sends love to everyone.

Not a lot happening

So little is going on in Tilling that I checked my mail
filter - look what I found!!!

"My names are Mr. Geoffrey Hughes I write this email to
you with great sorrow in my heart and heavy tears in
my eyes simply because my Doctor just told me that I
will die in three months time.

I am a successful movie star as I'm so sad that I don't
want my wife nor any of my family member to take care
of my wealth despite my success in life except charity
home or less privilege one in our society.

As a result of this development, I would like to donate
my wealth which is deposited in a financial institution
to charitable organizations on trust and the fear of God.

I implore you to help me distribute this fund
judiciously to charitable organizations for the saints

and the needy. By doing this humble job, you will
have 30% of the total sum as compensation."

Poor Chap. But lets not jump in to help just yet, eh...

Future info: there's a gig at the Cafe at Fa tomorrow
night;Monday is Blue Apple Day at Rennes les Chateau,
followed by lunch at Rennes les Bains at the Pizzeria
(a cunning menu devised and prepared by Trebha)

Pete is back from Amsterdamn in good form and our dear
Kat will be missing for a few days as she goes into
hospital for an investigation type thing.
Fingers crossed for her.
Andrée goes to hospital today; a week getting a new hip
then a few weeks of reeducation in Limoux. She is in
excellent hands.

Anyone got a nice place to rent out? Friend is looking
for a home - needs garden since she has a dog. Both
dog and friend are lovely.

Sunday, 9 January 2011


Et Voila!
Its the epiphany, when the french don't bother to take down
their decorations because they quite like them - or its too cold
to bother - but they eat cake, the galette des rois; seen here in
the bakers in the high street.
Delicious pastry lined with fangipane, or marzipan with added
sugar and yumminess, containing a porcelain statuette. This
you can break a tooth on or swallow, according to preference,
but in either case if you have it in your mouth you must wear
the paper crown that comes with the galette.

Captain was here for the weekend - here he is at
Maries Claudes where we ate Saturday night
and at le Garenau where we walked Lily -lovely.

He will be back next weekend too -

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Hats off!!

Here are Thierry,
Andreé and Kate,

Friday, 7 January 2011

Yvonnes birthday

Yvonnes birthday is on Sunday so we've been practicing.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

new work from Vanilla Beer

new work up on

Tuesday, 4 January 2011


Dutifully trotted up the mountain this morning with dog and
camera hoping to rise above the mist and capture the solar
It was cloudy, see above, but the clouds went a bit pink.

Thence to Carcassonne for the sales which hadn't started and
on to the library, to show its wonders to Kat. It is closed. The
books are being moved to the Dome and the manuscripts

It seems such a deliciously thrilling free treat could not
remain available for ever. They had early Latin Ficino's in
calfskin on parchment just sitting on the shelves,
that one had to make a fuss to get gloves to handle.

Kat and I had to make do with a classic lunch at the bistro
of the Terminus, a glance around the shops, a bit of a glimpse
at a photo exhibit at the Beaux Arts and hot chocolate.

A restful and calming day in the sun away from the maelstrom
that is Tilling....

Sunday, 2 January 2011

first candle

first day of the new decade

For the past few years we have celebrated the first day of the
year by going to the coast with Steve and friends; this year their
absence made it impossible. Decided to have a dinner instead.
Below is the Captain and Stan. I was too busy failing to cook to
remember taking other photos.
So you dont get to see Mike and Hilary or Debs and Jim.
Nor the unfortunately pink chicken kiev.

Clearing up this morning was a meditative affair. We have a
large collection of stolen plates which I enjoyed considering as
I packed the dishwasher: a plate from Nel left from recent apple
cake; a plate from Steve left from his last visit; a red mixer bowl
(Angus and Marys?) and a cherry-painted plate from my
birthday; a pretty blue one that I think was Claudio's biscuit plate;
Annies bread board;a cream oven-proof dish; and others.

Souvenirs of a long and merry year.

-In case this is baffling you should know that in Tilling it is not
unusual to take some food to a friend whilst visiting and it is
generally the custom to get your plate back afterwards. It seems
to be my custom not to return them.

If one of yours is here, please let me know and I will endeavor
to part with it.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New Year and Bonne Sante, as they say in Tilling....

Captain and I saw in the new year at Rennes-les-Bains, where
a small but perfect group of charmers gathered to help
celebrate the birth of Sophia, Will and Marvi's first born.

Marvi was fast asleep :))after two days without rest so we
didn't actually get to see her or the baby, but Will joined us
periodically and we basked in his new-fatherhood aura.(thats his arm sticking out behind the pillar)
Trebha was master of ceremonies and sorted the food and
fireworks, the dear heart - which reminds me, I'm a premature
baby and it is to this that I attribute my obsessive punctuality -
indeed Im early for everything. Wills birth was premature and
he too is obsessively early. Trebha chirped up that he arrived
before his time and is also punctual, at which everyone who
knows him burst out laughing - it seems that he is deluded in
this respect.
There followed some very disrespectful imitations of Trebha
in the morning.

This new camera is wonderful or will be when I read the