Monday, 30 January 2012

Monday in Tilling

Captain H had to leave early this morning to catch his plane back to Gatwick. Last time he was diverted in terribly high winds to Stanstead and missed his day; today he was diverted to Orly as another passenger had a critical illness needing immediate treatment. Day lost. Think maybe I should publish his timetable so you know what planes to avoid.

Its lovely here. France is under a cold white blanket which has yet to hit us in Tilling. The TV is advising prudence and people clearly are staying home despite the clear blue sky - there is scarcely any traffic and the few you meet on the street want a chat because there is no-one else to talk to. Its a bit post-rapture. Oh, talking of which I hear that the aliens are getting near; the 'Space Brothers' [possibly aka giant green lizards] will arrive definitely this year. The Illuminati prevented them from landing last year but their power is ending. Then we'll see some changes....

Sunday, 29 January 2012

any guesses

I'm too mean to offer prizes but anyway you'll never guess.(... and the fact its such a bad picture doesn't help.)
So I'II tell you.
Its a bit of melted plastic, right? Not just any old bit of melted plastic though. This bit was melted during dinner last night as Margaret left a plastic base on top of the log burning stove which rather affected the excellent meal :)
Hilary and Mike, John, Margaret and Bob were mercifully not overcome by fumes but some of us were rather overcome by booze and are a bit slow this morning. Its snowing - grumpy, granular, mealymouthed snow - so the market is slight. Its a dozy day by the fire for me.

Thanks for an unforgettable evening folks!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

more anachronisms

which is the more anachronistic - the sign
or the fact that it has a hunters bullet through it?
Captain H is here till Monday, lovely:) Here he is waking Lily down by the river opposite the chateau des Ducs de Joyeuese.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

what a day -

Can't remember the morning.

The afternoon was spent with Yann-the-photographer, watching him photograph the last years' work. Depressing or what.

Then - incredibly - I drove a car. It was a dark one, not very big. Margaret's. She had volunteered to give me a driving lesson, at least to see if I would like it> We both survived. I have never driven a car before and my knees were trembling as I got out, which makes me suspect the whole business of being sexual or akin to sex...

At the little celebration afterwards involving blanquette, we got into a position where we had to go and see Kat and check that the bar l'Origynal was OK. As a result of that I can suggest a drink invented by Luc for the evening, called La Confidence - very good too.
Below you can see the state of Kats gallery. But is it art??

Sunday, 22 January 2012

hedging the bets...

So, anyone know whats happening? First was the lavender hedge by the little car park over the railway line at the side of the Maire. Pulled up and disappeared without so much as a bye-your- leave. And not replaced. Then the hedge the length of the peluse, the other side of the river, beautiful big long dense hedge; I asked as it was being destroyed, why? and was told, disease. Not been replaced. The the hedge by the little fountain (the two phallic stones one), boff! Disappeared. The big laurel hedge by the river by CrossClement uprooted, leaving bald riverbank. Then yesterday morning, this one had gone - it used to run parallel to the short one that is (so far) still there.

Et alors???

Then again, somethings are appearing. Here we have a Templar well apparently growing in the impasse des Chevaliers at Campagne- sur-Aude, a genuinely Templar enclave and ex-fort.

Walked to Campagne yesterday for the pleasure of it - beautiful day as is today, spring pretending to have arrived - also (really) arrived are John and Clare, here for a measly week, chauffeured by a nameless gentleman farmer. Took photies of them in the market but they were rubbish.

Friday, 20 January 2012

So, farewell then....

E.J. Thribb (17.5) writes:
So, farewell then, Maevis.
Keiths mum thinks you were here before God.
She may be right.

Hilary and Mike, Dermot and Kate, Pete, Kat, Oscar, Margaret and me gathered to feed Maeve before the off tomorrow. Good evening of good stories, memories and wild hypothesis.
Can't believe she's going. Neither can she; she'll be back! All regret that Maeve hasn't been interviewed and written up - perhaps another day. What she doesn't know of the esoteric history of the region doesn't exist.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Blue Apple day

Tuesday the 17 Jan was, as ever, Blue Apple day at Rennes les Chateau. Other duties prevented me from going this year but see entries passim for the 17th over the last three years (if you are interested in local phenomena)

The English speaking world were alerted to the mystery by Henry Lincoln in his book Holy Blood, Holy Grail (co-authored with Micheal Baigent and Richard Leigh); Trebha thinks that the Brits were alerted by the French book Le Vrai Langue Celtique by Abbe Henri Boudet, in which the good old priest encodes Pythagorean information.*

Suzie was on hand on Tuesday and caught their - hmm, 'debate' is too strong a word, 'spat' is probably the mot juste :)!

*Marcus and Corella have made an English translation called The True Celtic Language and the Stone Circle of Rennes-les-Bains, which is available here;

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

ladies lunching

Here are some ladies and

here is their lunch - which tasted a lot better than it looked
thanks for coming girls, nice afternoon
and great excuse to avoid work

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Roy is a chicken

Roy and Jo hosted an extremely good party tonight -

here Jonathon and Roy are meaningful -

and here we introduce Steve and Fiona, newcomers, who are buying Therese's house.
They are most welcome. They coped well with a bunch of weird strangers at the party and I'm sure that Therese would have enjoyed them.
Great evening, one of those really good mixes of old friends and new blood, of happy gossip and intelligent banter.

Can't wait for next year. Roy!!

arques lake on a sunday

Captain H took me and Lily for a walk - brill, beautiful at Arques this time of year, or indeed at most times of the year-

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Saturday in Tilling

Ok, I'm lying ;)) Epstein's great sculpture of Jacob wrestling the Angel is currently in Liverpool's Tate Gallery. But a girl can dream -:)

Its all very quiet here. The Captain and I are pottering about and having the odd treat - like today, old friends Richard and Allison drove over for lunch. Since Tilling was shut we went to Pierre Lys and had the sort of calves liver and bacon to give a vegetarian nightmares. Hmm.

Tomorrow is Roys rave-up!!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Loose weight and live forever

I don't know how Andree and her mates do it. We had what the Brits would call 'tea' at Jackies place today, Pierrette, Edmund, Andree and me; Jacquie had made a Gallette du Rois, 2 centimeters of frangipane wrapped in butter and sugar, hmmm, which was followed by an enormous caramel ice cream log, hand-made (by Nougalet) chocolates and crystallized ginger all washed down with a sweet white wine. We chatted and told jokes and enjoyed the very pretty house.
I tried to explain English tea. How you had to eat your bread-and-butter or grim sandwich before you could have some dry cake. How it resembles some sort of punishment rather than a celebration.
Les filles were baffled.


To Toulouse to meet the Captain.... no trains from Carcassonne (railworks) so a lengthy bus ride, not without its pleasures as the journey is full of scenery. Thence to my favorite bookshop, where I squandered all available resources and on to the galleries; Vincent Debanne at the Chateau d'Eau which was all about photography and I don't get photography though the building is remarkable. Only went because its the first time Ive seen it open and the name of the show was delicious - "Tribute to Archaic Devises".

Whilst waiting for the bus to Limoux (to catch the train to Carcassonne to get the bus to Toulouse, pay attention) I saw this in the library wall. Nice, isnt it. Does it mean anything? If so, do you know what?

Captain is knackered but OK and very happy to be here:)

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

halcyon days...

...Lots of things happen here; as you can see, we are crowded with activity.
Was too lazy to walk up the road and see what was going on.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

tilling shines

Todays market was in mild sunshine, fully formed but not too crowded - excellent. Saw Ferren - here he is, alive and well (questions had been asked -) and later les Bowyers turned up:) Off again Tuesday. Sigh.

Saturday, 7 January 2012


Well, not much is happening. All calm. Here is a lizard, preparing for the alien landing? All the world knows - and it was in Le Figaro last week - that the aliens are arriving soon at a mountain near us (Bugarach) Giant green lizards are expected before the 12 12 12.

Et voila, a buzzard...

and an unfinished sculpture, abandoned last summer when it was too hot to work outside - still plan to finish it.

the little tiny sculpture, the magic raisin, is a specimen of what is called la fève. Fève is french for bean.
It is called a bean because in they olden days a bean would be baked in a cake, a Galette de Rois, instead of a porcelain figure; to get the bean ensures luck, makes you the king. Not sure why a porcelain figure is used nowadays (except that they might be untoxic, though if you crunch on it you would certainly crack a tooth). It is an epiphany cake, made to be eaten at the end of the christmas kneesup, - the one who gets the fève wears the crown that come with the cake. People collect les fèves - you can buy them in quantity at vide greniers-

I suspect a layering of myth and naturally don't understand any of it; why being a king should be regarded as lucky in France is a mystery. The arrival of the three kings at the birth of the infant Jesus is clearly a co-incidence. And historically unsound. But the cake is delicious, puff pastry and frangipane.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Poor Captain... ..

... as if leaving here at 6.00 a.m weren't bad enough, the traffic in Toulouse was so dense that he barely made the 'plane; then the wind was so strong that after an appalling trip the flight was forced to land at Stanstead instead of Gatwick.
I squandered the day doing the myriad domestix that arrive after a partner leaves, failing to complete them on account of hanging out with Andy and Louise, chattering on street corners with sundry neighbours and finally being taken to Limoux for dinner by very old mate Rushton.
Here's a photo of Bob on the beach a mere 2 days ago, when he was happy.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

New Years Day

For a few years now (since Steve inaugurated the habit) Le Capt, moi et Lily go to the beach in the environs of Narbonne Plage. This year Kat came too - Ian was invited but too hors d'combat after last nights excesses.
The roads were empty, the weather sunny and loads of sea shells were just lying about for me and Kat to collect. Its a reflex action, we think.
Nowhere open for lunch. I'd had the foresight to pack prawns and we ate them on the prom. Just a perfect day... great start. Hope you too had an 01 01 2011 to remember with pleasure.