Tuesday, 10 July 2012


... its very fashionable, rebranding. So Tilling-sur-aude is become Esperaza Follies, new, improved, with extra erm factor Zx22. You can find it at www.esperazafollies.blogspot.com


Saturday, 7 July 2012

Leigh and Lorraines annual party

Here is Leigh himself, master of the bar and host to his annual bash...
Lorraine, helpmeet and co-arranger is here below.  Steve and Iain are there along with other friends
Under the dogs is Roy and under the Blanquette is Kat :) There are other nice pix but the  machine wont let me upload them, claiming that I'm out of storage space and must buy some. Anyone know what this is about? Is this the end of  Tilling-sur-aude??


...forgot the camera when lunching at Scottish Daves. Met some of their friends whom I hope to meet again and ate recklessly. Captain H and I had to walk it off and went to the vineyards above Autugnac; nice view of Bugarach, our sacred mountain and site of the end-of-the-world scenario. 


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

pre-birthday dinner

Ryan and Alecia organised a pre-birthday dinner last night which was a gem in my not-inconsiderably large necklace of birthdays - here they are flanking Ian and below, random shots of the night featuring dear friends all. Thanks everyone (blinks back sentimental tear-) I'm off to Toulouse now to meet the Captain off the late plane. Older and wider.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012


 The Scottish Daves are back - here is eponymous himself and El (with friend) and below is Jack. Also back are Jane and Zara - forgot the camera - and the seasonal fledgling.


Saturday, 30 June 2012

red carpet

Great to be home:) Its cooler, for one thing - and I love to sit in a cafe and see my friends.
The tapis rouge in Rue General Ferrier hasn't been laid for me though; its for Steve and Iain who arrive next week. Its the street where they used to live. How thoughtful of the council!!

That seems to be all that's changed in my weeks' absence, except that there are glow worms in the courtyard.

Friday, 29 June 2012


Back from Seville, via Barcelona -  on trains with all the attendant excitement that is implied. An offer of apero will buy you many amusing tales. There is also a fine photo of the Captain in a jacuzzi which is negotiable.

Seville is brill even in temps of over 40 degrees. One special memory is of our last night, in the gardens of Real Alcazar where Marina Prado sang to the guitar of Juan Carlos de Mulder. Quite astonishing - here is a  link where some of the music can be played.

We came out from the park to the big streets knowing that the Spain/Portugal semi-final had been played (seen the first half, good foot but inconclusive) We had heard a faint cry followed by a greater, which indicated the penalty shoot-out.  The streets were rather calm, there was neither jubilation nor despair... took a while to discover that Spain had won. A great conclusion to a lovely week.

                                                                                                                                                                        Et voila! Captain H and Hugh Hawes, my old college chum and Seville resident, who housed us and took us to wonderful places.
And Velasquez. Spikey but on form.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

happy birthday Debs

Everybodys favorite chanteuse has her birthday today. 
Dropped in for tea on Sunday and had cake. Above are Serge and Edith and a cake of some complexity made by Catherine...have a really great year, Debs, surrounded by your many friends:)

Other news; Tillings mayor, Msr Torrent, is in hospital in a severe state with hitherto undiagnosed diabetes. He's now in safe hands and I'm sure we all wish him well.

And finally: I'm off to Spain in search of art. Tomorrow its Barcelona to rendezvous with the Captain, the day after I hope to be in Seville with him. All by train.
Train strike? What train strike?

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Clement and Christelle get spliced...

    Remember Clement and Christelle? They had the Normandy Frites when it was Le Schlimnick, after Msr Joly's tenure.

They decided on a medieval wedding. They live at Campagne-sur-aude (aka Lower Tilling) where the village church is a rather special Templar fort so it was a smart move - but the ceremony still had to happen in the town hall as well and the Mayor did the job with a  happy heart:)

(Hmm Im finding an historical anomaly here captain )

Max and I did a nine hour stretch at this fabulous event and its quite difficult to compress  it into prose; we left at midnight, he jet-lagged, me old, before they'd started the duck course. We walked back to Tilling - nightingales sang as we tottered along the star-lit riverside- marvelling at the french joie de vivre.
 These scenes are because Les Compagnons used a catapult to pelt the women and children with bon-bons and later to hurl the brides bouquet. They asked for marriageable virgins but settled for single women.

Max had quit his habit, nice short brown frock with hood that showed his legs to perfection, for cooler eating. The day was a scorcher. The knights wore quilted padding under their armour stuff and must have been roasted like the suckling piglets we ate. Which reminds me, I sat next to the only french vegetarian Ive ever met! He ate his plate.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

saturday at the pont

 coffee at the Pont this morning - knowing that there is a vide grenier tomorrow and the forecast is good.

Tim is only pulling a face because I said he looked sweet and he STILL looks sweet, I think
Yvonne is basking in the sunshine...
 Many old-timers of Tilling will remember Msr Jolie though you may not know him without his string vest - here he is, waving - and below, Max, who has survived another birthday without looking any older:)

Friday, 15 June 2012

comings and goings

Max arrived yesterday, as did this finger-length caterpillar, which though lovely was not as much fun as Max. We celebrated his birthday today - Max's - with hot chocolate in Limoux. Tomorrow Peter G leaves us for the preferred company of Neleke and tonight we toast him on his way. Ryan and Alicia have made syllabub.

Monday, 11 June 2012

le foot

Here is Alecia with the first of the beetroot - we're about to eat it - and here are Pete (with little flag), Ryan, Ian, Bob and Lily watching Le Foot. No-one won but it was a good match.

the mill at Couiza

 Absolutely no trouble up t'mill last night - glorious fun with Annie and Pete and behold! Theo and Sylvia were there plus Ryan and Alicia - Captain H is in evidence too though he leaves today for rain-sodden Blighty.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Liane Lang

Everyone remember Liane? Of course you do!! She continues to go from strength to strength... she has sent details of her latest events, voila -

On Friday 15th June her work will feature on the BBC Culture Show presented by Alastair Sooke. 
The program starts at 18.00 (earlier than usual due to the football).         


Saturday, 9 June 2012

guess whos back in town...

Yeay, Annie and Pete! Back for three months...; expect many dull postings listing meals and soirees of sobriety and sense, not.

  This morning began at 10.00 am  with the GRANDE FOIRE D'ESPERAZA where the local artists were expected to perform: alors, me, Kat and Stephan did just that and by 6.00pm  tonight had to turn away the queue, too knackered to do anymore portraits. It went very well though so I guess we'll do it again. But next time we work shifts. 
artist at work

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Kelly Kathy and Kenny

 Heres our Kelly, about to go walkabout to foreign parts - concluding in Cambodia in five weeks. Will miss her; expect postcards and updates regularly:)
Here are Kathy (John and Margarets' daughter) and her fiance Kenny - with Alecia and Ryan we had a lovely summer dinner in the garden. Fortunately Ryan kept an eye on my cooking so it wasn't totally overdone.

Thoroughly enjoyed everyone's company... thanks to all x

Monday, 4 June 2012

dining on the clouds

Could be that I've drunk too much today but eating with Pam and Janie was very like sitting on a cloud up in the mountains - the view from their house is amazing, Tilling directly underneath, then swathes of mountains and a whole bunch of sky.
Wonderful meal and quality conversation too, can't believe my good fortune:)

lunch with the queen

 Lunch at Chateau Rushton, St Julia le Bec;
done with all the Rushton style and panache. Don't think anyone was really waving the flag - the principle was anything for a party - but a great excuse to see Max (left) who has just finished his degree show. Plus his mates and family, friends and neighbours. Cheers John:)