Wednesday, 31 August 2011

return to Tilling Towers

They told me I'd missed nothing whilst in Nice. Ha! For a start, the ex-restaurant on the square, (once home of La Strega and Olivier and afterwards the palace of that Portuguese chef) appears to have signs of life. There is someone painting the window frames and the a vendre sign is down. Though as Kat dourly remarked, needs more than the window frames painting.

AND the shop on the corner that sold shoes about 8 years ago but has been closed since is being done up. Gossip says variously that its another green lizard crystal shop or that the bank opposite is moving in; hence are both ends of the commercial and moral spectrum being mooted.

What else....Madame Pozo is having her roof done. The Rue de General Ferrier is still being dug up only from the other end now. Maite has sold her house in Rue Victor Hugo and is looking for a flat in Lyons. The swallows are preparing for the off -

Ian sent this photo, suggesting that Stan plays the music and Debs sings it.

Good news; as John and Margaret prepared to leave this morning, alas, they heard the glad tidings that they are grandparents to a small female child. Very happy for them but sad that they've left and now maybe less inclined to return. Lets hope we can look forward to seeing small female child here with them.

Toby went yesterday and after Amsterdam is hoofing it to India - we wont see her here for a long time.

On the plus side, I gather that Pam is arriving on Tuesday, as are Bobs brothers and their wives so happy times are just around the edge of all this damned cleaning.

That was Nice...

Nice was great. I got sunburnt. Saw the new Bonnard Gallery in Cannet. Went to the Matisse Museum. Got to Vence to see the Matisse chapel but got the times wrong and couldn't get in.

Captain H has gone back to England and it seems to be autumn here at Tilling Towers. Finally getting down to spring cleaning.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Squandering in Carcassonne

Squandered a day, wandering about in the heat.

Carcassonne continues squalid but with a charm of it own, seen here over the water meadow.

Hey, whats with DFK then? It seems he has enough credibility as a self-confessed whore-monger to oust a simple (alleged) whore who has none-

and a friend of ours who shall be nameless has been taken in the night under the mayors signature (not this commune, not our mayor -) and installed in the psychiatric unit in Limoux, apparently to protect him from self-harm. The full story aint in yet but loosing all your human rights overnight without your knowledge is a bit like, erm, being unrapeable because you're a whore.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Lunch treat

Sweet Andrée decided to treat me and himself, Mike and Hilary and Edmund to a lunch at Espinet. The heat wave is still at it and we were very happy to be seated under cover by the swimming pool.
It being too hot for decisions we ate pretty much the same menu, le plat du jour........
-stuffed vol-au-vents, sliced pork in pepper sauce, serious ices with chopped fruit. Good red wine and amused mouthnesses. Found out later that for a price you can have lunch with wine and coffee and a ticket to the pool.
The kitten is called Mimi We slept afterwards - in the bath, in my case- and woke refreshed for apero with Jill and Tony and Sian (who is in great form)
Slightly cooler now, thank heavens

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Rioting break

Letter from Sam in London:

I'm kinda sick of the riots, I understand your French friends,"You Engleesh, you do not know how to riot, you are deficient in so many ways". It was one weekend of madness caused by disenfranchised kids with smartphones then, surprisingly, it was over.
A lot of decent people got hurt and there was no political message just bad summer mayhem.
The government have gone nuts because riots seem to have struck a nerve since the 1800s and of course, they helped to bring about the sainted Maggie's decline.
The press have gone nuts because its the silly season.
The prisons have gone nuts because they were overcrowded already.

Still in mega heat-wave here... barely go the energy to peel a beetroot let alone go riot.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Auberge du Faby soirée

Here is Peter Dunn watching Stan, Debs and Mark playing at the Auberge du Faby - excellent evening loosely based on the concept of Spain. Which is to say that the buffet was tapas-like and a girl wore a flower behind her ear.

Margo, Théophilé, Eric, Ann, Clare plus many friends from the region were there. Loved it.

If like us in Tilling you are suffering from the Canicule, I have a handy hint from they olden days: soak a towel in cold water and hang between the shutters. It will cool you and be bone dry in the morning.

OOOH nearly forgot - ach! - Pete is starring in an exhibition at the V and A, London - Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970–1990. How deeply cool is that, eh.

Friday, 19 August 2011


We're having a heat wave... so Kat organised Margaret (driving), Hilary and me to a trip to the Abbey Fontfroide to see the library. Every so rarely it is opened to show the two three-panelled paintings of Odilon Redon commissioned for the space- unmissable for the kulture vultures of Tilling.
Not a chance of taking photos so Ive lifted the top pic from a brochure and t'other from their website - Apollos chariot raising the dawn. One side of the room has a 'dark' pic, the other the Apollo 'light' one. Both full of Redon's customary occult references, so private as to be baffling though some references clearer than others. Was delighted to see a little copy of Paul Gauguins self portrait nestling in a tree and we were told that another portrait floating about was of Debussy. Over the entrance was the enigmatic head in light that might be christ but is adopting an alchemical sign, which is echoed by the charcoaly portrait in the shadows of the dark pic, perhaps a mirror - etc etc. Lots of fun.
The rest of the abbey is beautiful though stark and our tour kept us all day, running ahead of the guide and the group to grab what little seating was available. Dunno about the other three but I was a damp rag when we got home.
The library was opened to support a show of Redons work in Montpelier which has reached us from the Grand Palais in Paris; see and of course

Thanks Kat, brill idea and to the others for an unforgettable day out. Take care in the heat y'all, its going to be a scorcher this weekend.Link