Saturday, 30 July 2011

summer saturday

Such a lovely day... I made 7 large greengage crumbles for the freezer out of our trees sudden fruitfulness and three small pots of tomato puree to reduce the tomato mountain.

Couldn't help reflecting that what with buying the plants, Ian and Bob's planting and watering, Ian's staking and picking the toms; my blanching to peel and core them, then the simmering for several hours, that these small pots are probably very expensive. Tomato puree cost about 29 cents. But it was a gentle pleasure.

Afterwards, hey-ho to Margaret and John for apero: the tribe gathered and much delight was taken in their company. From there I stumbled to T Rex, where Zoe and Chris were taking us to dinner. They and their babes are off to Spain today so it was a farewell pressie - here is young Kitty Moon encanting some sort of spell.

Friday, 29 July 2011

sunshine back

Gods in her heaven and the sun shines once more, the rain leaving tremendous swathes of weeds in the gardens; the folkdancers are in the square and joy abounds.

Somewhat over-energized by the leaping dancers yesterday, I headed for the hills -here is a view from the top of Dr Clot. Afterwards I dropped in on Arnie and his son Luke...

Café des Sports

Tillings famously never open Café des Sports is open this day only - once in two years it must be opened to the public to preserve its license and todays the day.

At one time it was the hub of the town with a restaurant upstairs. The granddaughter of the originator is keeping the license going in case her grandchildren want to run it.

For your diary; Manifestation anti Corrida. The Comité Audois pour l'Abolition des Corridas are organising a silent hedge of dishonour on Sunday 28th at 17H facing the arena of the bull run and again at 19H at the way out. Please wear black and red.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

bonne folklorique

Anders Behring Breivik not from round here

Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian murderer and half-wit, is NOT related to Olle-Bendick. The poor chap who really fathered the monster lives not far away and is under police protection. Since it seemed to be generally known that the father lived here and since the only Norwegian we all know and love is Olla-B., many people have asked if ABB was Olle-B's. So I asked him in the cafe this morning and am happy to report that his family have more creative pastimes than indiscriminate murder.

Don't forget - 5.30 today in the square at Tilling, voila! The folkdancers of Brazil will be twirling their stuff, weather permiting. See you there.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

what to do with children when it rains

You can shove 'em outside and lock the door but their parents rarely agree to this sensible course of action - what, do they shrink? - or you can phone dearest Edith on 0468 74 16 06 and book workshops with clay. 10 euros per adult, 5 per kid; 2 hours contented silence and happy joy; Edith will fire them if they are staying long enough. Not the kid, the pot. Or whatever they make.
(I made napkin rings based on Mobius strips which kept me very happy)

Here are Luke, Tilly Star, Felix, Rowan, Kitty Moon and Zoe being angelic.

Sunday, 24 July 2011


Voila! Le Capt in the new bar.

There are five children and three extra adults staying here

It is raining.

Friday, 22 July 2011

yesterday in the café on the bridge

-much like today. Its grey and cold and damp.
My neighbour has lumbago.

Tilling at one with art world

Alas, Freud is dead - aged 88.
He was loyal to his friends and would come to their private views; l clocked him a few times when mingling with the great. He was ashen grey presumably from never coming into daylight though perhaps it was some illness - looked like it, pernicious anemia or worse. Amazed hes lasted this long, outliving most of said friends.
But what a painter, eh. Most painters can slam on a likeness with lots of paint but he went beyond that, somehow. It wasn't that the work became sculptural or relied on tricks of the knife, it was something other. And nothing to do with how the painting looked.
He belonged to the group of artists that escaped Nazi Germany and took British nationality, perforce Jewish - they were the yeast of British art, the reason for its phenomenal success aesthetically and intellectually.
I'm sure that most of Tilling is grieving today.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Bitter sweet evening

Apero at Thérèses house...

...first time since her death. Her daughter Sophie and son-in-law Dennis invited me and Andy; it was wonderful to be there again and awful that she wasn't there. Though there was a strong sense of her about to pop in.

Here is the hunting scene over the fireplace

- and the adorable grandchildren, Gregoire and Solange

Below are Sophie and Dennis. They are selling the house, ending the long line that has been here since before 1500.

We remembered the first ever French apero there at Thérèse and Mimi's invitation; non of us knew we were supposed to go after an hour, beginning the now-acceptable tradition of English apero, where no-one goes home and someone goes out and gets some food. Or not.

Monday, 18 July 2011

slow update

The much-loved Café de la Gare, closed for two seasons, cannot be re-opened while the owners conduct legal shenanigans against the disappeared lease-holders.
So they have built another on the pétanque court opposite, in front of Le Cantou, and called it L'Orygin'l

very witty -

Rue General Ferrier still closed off on account of they dug it up to change the lead pipes and then wandered off...

The Museum of Dinosaurs, Tillings special claim to fame, has been re-tarted again and very good it is too. Old mates Mike and Jo were here this weekend with their three boys, Callum, Ruben and Frank -a great excuse to go - here they are measured against the femur of a T Rex

They have a large animated T Rex there that roars and gave me bad dreams.
Preferred these little fellows...

The place was packed on account of the Tour de France slowing the local traffic. It was a real buzz - highly recommended.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Steves party

Dunno who took this pic but I love it - expresses totally the glorious storm that broke over the party last night and the hilarity that ensued. The guest list was small but select - those that had known Steve when he lived here. All agreed it is such a pleasure to have him back albeit for a short time (he goes tomorrow)
Thanks to all and especially to Steve B who has left for foreign parts but bequeathed the packet of jelly babies seen above. Try squinting if they are not immediately obvious.

Monday, 11 July 2011

money is the root of all evil

-at least it was the reason the washing machine didn't work.

Dear Steve is rapidly establishing the benchmark by which other guests are measured. He dismantled the washing machine, found this beast in the pump, and re-mantled it so that it now works, with a screwdriver and without special training. Having waited in last Monday for the electricians not to come and really not wanting to have to do that again you can imagine my delight...

Last night apero'd with Jill and Tony and alfresco'd with Lucky Leo. (He wants a name change from Easy L) Lucky Leo was awarded the runner-up shirt after the tug-o-war; the dutch team will be passing it among themselves until the challenge in 2012, invasion of Green Lizards permitting.

On which topic the local rag informs us that there is now a team devoted to the care of the survivors of the end-of-the-world event due next year. Dr Coué is the medic in charge: the fear is that there will be suicides if it doesn't come to pass.
Perhaps Nostradamus really meant that the News of the World would come to an end?

Thursday, 7 July 2011

culture in Tilling

n'oubliez pas les Portes Ouvertes à l'Artothèque demain de 16h00 à18h00 avec un apéritif a 18h00 featuring the work of Angele Donjacour, Jim Barty and Jonathon Moss - by all accounts a very good show. Head to Rennes-les-Bains, go to the Place deux Rennes, aim for the church and follow the signs by the library.

Saturday is of course the Olympic games of COES, our champion rugger team. Troop down to the stadium at noon for 'jeux et distractions pour toute la famille' but more importantly for the TIR A LA CORDE, the tug o' war. I understand that the Scottish have a team who will be challenging the Dutch though I may have got that wrong. At any rate, Easy L (the Dutchman formerly known as Leo) and the Scottish Dave tribe will be pulling to become the first champions of the Languedoc. The address is Stade J. Biart, Route de Carcassonne (leave Esperaza towards Montazel and stop by the point propre)

Hoping that Mr Hall will get here in time and that he still enjoys a good tug o'war -

The event goes on to midnight and has food and drink on sale, but should you need a touch of more elegant culture afterwards head off to the Auberge du Faby where Lazy Boo - Stan, Debs, Mark and Kate - are playing over a generous menu. And an exquisite exhibition. Yes, by popular demand, my paintings are still up. Reservations 0468 74 35 42

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


A glow worm from last nights ramble, taken in Rue Dr Clot - or a UFO, lots of them about, can't remember if this was one or not- this is for Annie and Pete whom I miss on the late wanderings.

This is for Andrée. She insisted the other night there were no blue bees in the region. Here is one and I ran it past Barbara who is a bug woman by profession and she says its a bee. And blue.

These are eating the potato leaves, anyone out there know what they are? And how to get them to go away organically?

Forgot to take a camera tonight when I went to join the Scottish Dave clan at the crepérie. Pleased to report that the 3 brothers are in fine fettle, as is El and also Leo - Roy and Jo and Debbie happened to be there too and in high spirits.

My brother-in-law Phil has sent the Kurdish translation of the word 'Tilling'.
It means 'nipple'.
Tilling is the place (along with Riseholme) in E.F. Bensons' books about Mapp and Lucia, where gossip and scandal and notes about dinner parties are the theme.
As the son of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the brother of a number of scholars, mixer in mixed society, could it be possible that he knew this? I think we should be told...

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

contary to custom...

For the first time in living memory I didn't have a birthday party and spent the evening having a healthy salad and drinking green tea. Very selfish not to share - sorry -

The above was part of Nels card:)

Actually had a very good lunch at Steve's with Bob and Pete and Kat; Bob left for London, poor man, Andy and Louise and young James popped round followed by Edith (we are working on the subtitles for the Hat Museum film) then Kelly. If you have been trying to contact Kelly, use a non-electronic method. Live Box packed up - as has Andree's, BTW - so the answerphone kicks in and you think you've left a message. You may have but its inaccessible until the man comes and replaces the box. Andree has been waiting three weeks.
Kelly had been in a car accident on Friday night in which no one was hurt. It was unbelievably shocking as a child on a bicycle shot out of a little road onto the Rouvenac road. Kelly, always slow and careful, saw him in the corner of her eye and braked so the child didn't go under the wheels; he hit the side of her car and flew over the bonnet to land the other side. After all the hospital stuff he was discharged as battered and bruised - and he was not wearing a helmet. He was lucky. Time to take note, parents, and insist the brat is hatted.