Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year

Bonne Annee, Bonne Sante... from Maevis's, where the diehards partied until after midnight!!

The cake was Barbara's from the USA, delicious, iced over-ambitiously as I couldnt get the green lizard to stand up.
Absent friends were toasted.

Here's to when we all meet again. Many thanks to Mavis; there was a touch of tristesse as it was her last party. She has sold her house and is retiring to Hove.

Friday, 30 December 2011


Anyone know what this is? It was an earth ball type thing in a wood (above Alet-les-Bains) size of a walnut and currently smelling deliciously of earth and leaves, firm but with a blue/lilac coloured inside.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

news roundup

Big news is Barbara turned 80:) Clearly this is an encouragement to us all, will she ever slow down?? I lifted the picture from her facebook page. She wrote from the USA; ' We had a series of luncheons and suppers with children. Nice birthday lunch yesterday. Very sentimental. Made turning eighty easier.'
Its not just about not dropping dead; Barbara keeps on with her political agenda, her welfare activities and more importantly, sending cake to Tilling- just some reasons for loving her. I'll be bringing her delicious annual Christmas cake to Mavis's farewell NYE party.

I'm sure that no-one who lived in Tilling when Tchouki was around will have forgotten her. Most of us have a picture or two by her and regret not having more - she writes, I think from Turkey,
'I have a plan to spend some tıme ın southern France agaın, maybe thıs summer. I hope to come vısıt ın the near future..... Am scheduled to show at the culture center ın Kusadası ın May.'
Kusadasi?? Ive asked, will report back though I fear its an anagram.

Dearest Toby has written from India;

Hello sweeties, wherever you are.
I wish you all a merry christmas night (boxing day, right?) and already a happy new year.
Don't know about the temps out there but I spend xmas at the beach in a very religious hindu town called Mamallapuram. The old Shore Temple attracts thousands of pelgrims, but then again pelgrims are moving all over the country all the time. An amazing country!!

This morning there was the pleasant surprise of all the pavements with colourful rangoli - holy signs and signatures - blessing the household and the people in it. Carefully designed between the shit and the garbage - and in front of the hindu shrine.

I gave myself a holiday, 3 days of swimming pool, beach, ayurvedic massage and long walks on the beach. Could not be happier.

See you all soon.

And Iain has been in touch from Edinburgh- I've edited his letter - eliminating references I don't understand, or I understand too well, or I think might lead to libel claims;

I’ve taken to making chutneys jams and preserves ... I’ve been doing it because I keep buying fruit and finding that it is inedible and am unwilling to throw it out. Fruit here is dreary. I do miss the peaches and apricots from the market. Still not eating much of the stuff myself but I’m quite a popular guest bearing tasty gifts.

This year is so different from last year. Temperatures are in double digits when last year we were knee deep in snow. That will be because I reshod the car preparing for a hard winter. It does make walking the dogs easier although I actually enjoy the snow when its crisp and deep and even. The dog walking is going really well and I continue to be fully booked. I sometimes think I should spend more time with humans but I’m beginning to prefer the dogs. I get up in the morning and look forward to picking them up which is a pretty good place to be.

I really love my flat which is now finished and I can hardly believe I’ve been here for almost a year. The nasturtiums are still flowering in the garden which is a bit weird.

Life is very easy and I seem to have slipped into a series of routines. I go to the auctions on a saturday morning. I enjoy it enormously but I’m going to have to stop buying. I mainly buy paintings, water colours mostly and I’m always amazed at how little I need to spend to own something that gives me such pleasure. Unfortunately I’ve run out of wall space and things have to be rotated. I enjoy trying to find out more about the artists, most of whom are very dead. I’ve also been collecting bits and pieces of deco pottery and glass. My intention was to sell them on but I’m enjoying them so I’ll keep them for a while.

I’m joining a choir in January. I’m going to be a singing queen and am joining a choir called, “Loud and Proud”, which is a Scottish gay choir. I’m not sure if I can still sing well enough and I can’t sight read music but the worst that can happen is that they throw me out. It sounds like fun. I looked into joining an amateur drama company but when I went along they were all producing farces. Brian Rix is alive and well in am dram land. I hated that stuff when I was young and like it even less now. I fancied myself as a put upon Shylock and not as a man with his pants around his ankles. I’ll be happier singing protest songs, show tunes and a bit of Handel. Steve and I are going to Handels Messiah on the 2nd January so I can remind myself of how it should be done.
Edinburgh is as lively as ever. The theatres always seem to be busy and there is lots of ballet, opera and concerts. Steve and I went to Mathew Bourne’s Nutcracker which had to be the campest production I’ve ever seen. We both loved it.
Have a great Christmas and I hope the New year brings you both joy and contentment.

Phew, thats enough for the moment. The only other news fit to proffer is that RyainAiritis got me as soon as I landed in Liverpool, got soaked to the skin in the dash from plane to customs and have been snuffling and snorting very unattractively ever since. Best avoid me till its over.