Saturday, 31 March 2012

Tilling visited by The Rapture

You know that thing about The Rapture, where all God-fearing Americans ascend to heaven and disappear totally from the earth? Eagerly aniticipated, it goes without saying -
Tilling was touched by that sense today - no-one around. But the sign on the post office is a dead giveaway -

Closed for the Toques et Clochers!! Everyone is in Antugnac, this years host village.

-I've explained the phenomena of the Toques et Clochers before,
see entries for
previous years or Google it - I'm wearied by doing other than engaging and enjoying - all the world was there.
here are the drummers that greet you
on entry to Antugnac, very thrilling after the free bus ride from Tilling - marvelous organisation BTW, many coaches picking up and putting down -
there are bands all over
the village, often vying with each other for the jolliest noise -
Its a tribute to the caliber of the
booze that everything is so good humoured, hundreds - nay, thousands - of folk just getting on with it in circumstances that would have a Brit health-and-safely person breaking out into a cold sweat. Despite the heat.
Saw many of out friends in the throng, including the Scottish Daves who are here safely. Turns out the mistake about airplane tickets wasn't Daves, it was Els for not having her married name on her passport. Or something. Anyway it was her fault.

Friday, 30 March 2012

toques et clochers commence...

How many Toques et Clochists does it take to change a fuse??
There was no microphone for most of the speechifying; people paid attention and listened carefully. Honest.

It all went well - the exhibition seemed of rather good quality - several really nice paintings - though I was wearing dark glasses on account of the hangover from hell.

Here is our own Didier, from the drawing group, who chaired the committee of judges - a thankless task - good speech about the difficulties of the artists life.

Mostly the whole event was upstaged by a terribly pretty little girl who won a prize and stayed on stage, being a wriggly ballerina kid. Charming.

Chantal Thomas's studio is open to the public - she is showing Catherine Mascalls and Annie Poulan too, so well worth a look. Other artists are dotted about; Margaret and Kat and I have put them on hold till tomorrow, me on account of the H from H previously mentioned, they because they were hungry and shot off to the Creperie.

Buses run from Tilling to Antugnac all day Saturday.

*Steve and Jeanie have left early this morning, heading to Lyon and thence to Paris for a day or so before flying back to America. Shame. BUT there is a sporting chance they'll buy a house here. Fingers crossed. This photo of Steve was taken as he helped with last nights burst pipes crisis, for which l'm sure Leo is grateful:)

Thursday, 29 March 2012


Toby opens her back door and finds the garden full of friends:) Fortunately after their long journey, she and Leo were just too exhausted to put up a fight and just joined in the party -We all had a wonderful evening, very good hearted apero in the garden - in the course of which it was discovered that some of the water pipes had burst in the winter, woops, and that the large dancing Krishna Toby had bought in India was in pieces in its packaging. The indomitable Dutch carried on cheerfully.

Max and Andrea have more guests plus many of the usual suspects turned out so we were a tidy crowd- Stuart arrived late and alone since Scottish Dave and El had missed their flights. Well, not missed them as such; Scottish Dave had booked the plane tickets and got his wife's name wrong, et alors? So they weren't let on the plane. They will allegedly arrive today for the Toques et Clochers in Antugnac, which is where we will all be tomorrow...

When the blanquette started to run out we decamped to the Creperie - here are Stuart and Leo - and made a lot of noise late into the night.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

strange old world

So there we were, having dinner at Max and Andreas... but lo! What is Mike doing there? Surely he is en route to Mayotte with Hilary?
Alas; they were at the airport when the customs persons showed that for once they were paying attention. Mikes passport is 20 days out of date.
He kissed his wife goodbye and re-booked his flight, hoping that he can find a consulate that will update his documents in the next couple of days.
By the time he got home after this sorry debacle, his dinner was in my chickens. Andrea and Max took pity and asked him over; with Kat, Dick and Humbert it was a very merry night though of course Mike is concerned about Hilary, having to manage her holiday without him.
The rest of us had a hoot though:)) (Sorry Hilary)

Here are Humbert, petite moi, Max, Dick, Kat and the missing Mike - Andrea must have taken the photo.
Tomorrow is the grand arrival of the Toques et Clocheristes... my guests Steve and Jeanie are still here, its just that out paths haven't crossed. They spent today sunbathing in Collioure.
Hoping to catch them tomorrow.

welcome home

Heres Margaret back amongst us, hurrah - apero and dinner at hers last night, thank you for such a feast:) also a farewell to Mike and Hilary who are away for two weeks. Bizarre of them as all and sundry arrive in Tilling for the Toques et Clochers; Leo and Toby tomorrows, ditto the Scottish Daves as we rev up for the vernissage of the art event on Friday night.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Stan at La Sauzils

By great good luck I saw a poster saying that Stan was performing at La Sauzils; since Bob had arrived and Steve and Jeaney were here, it seemed a triple treat to drive into the mountains, enjoy the weather and watch Stan play.

And so it was. La Sauzils is tucked in the mountains above, well, above everywhere really - the sun was setting after a hot day and a tent had been raised to shelter the red wine (de l'Aude), the white wine (Chardonnay) and the pizzas.
Stan played like the demon he is...

and was joined by a frenchman I dont know who was wonderful. Jeaney thinks she might be able to you tube her film of the evening - if so I will link as it was masterly and so very strange, class A music in a commune of perhaps 30 persons.
---a perfect and magical evening.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Steve has arrived

Steve and Jean have arrived, from Massachusetts via Paris and Lyon - here to tour for a week or so, full of fun and excellent ideas:) Steve is the father-in-law of my godson Kozmo who spent his honeymoon here a couple of years ago; Kozie and his bride Nicole are awaiting the emergence of a baby girl, due in a month or so -
and below is some medieval slip-ware found in the hole created to make a door between numbers 5 and 9 in the impasse. My authenticator is Rowena, a girl who knows slip-ware and its date when she sees it. Curiously touching, this breath from the distant past. I'II set it in the wall when I come to plaster it.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

vernissage at Kats...

Dont forget...

.... tonight!
Its the exhibition of the group Arthe - the bunch of artists that work together at the MJC to share the costs of a model. At the Boulangerie Patisserie de l'art, 5 Rue de la Republique (off the square) starting 6.30.

Hoping to get some sleep and vitamins today or I shall be a bit under par. It was Andreas birthday yesterday so we split a bottle of the magic potion of Limoux, ran into Mike and Hilary and had wine. It was therefore late when I grandly offered to take Andrea to the Normandy Frites to celebrate, discovering later that I had no money. Alas; she paid for her birthday dinner and we drank more wine. It was great:)

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

brace yourself

Went to Carcassonne - its still there, see above - and so was the house when I got back to Tilling, supported by this ingenious brace...

Monday, 19 March 2012

good night out in Tilling

Started when Kat rang; shes organising her gallery for the exhibition of the nude artists of the Center Culturel (no jokes, please) and was knackered. She thought gin at l'origyinal would help - on the way there we met Sian who was looking for us, also stressed out. Jill is in hospital and shes looking after Tony.Very worrying time for her and the family.
Alcohol is not a solution to problems but its a great alleviator:) Ceri joined us and time flew past. Which is why we were slightly late to meet Nel and Pete and Shuff at T Rex but meet we did and more jolly fun occurred. Concluding at mine with some iffy wine and highly original cake.

DONT FORGET Vernissage on Weds at Kats Gallery....

Sunday, 18 March 2012

St Patrique

Yesterday being St Paddys day the expats were fascinated to note a cultural cross-fertilization -
the first time, possibly, that leprechauns and kindred have hit Tilling.
Little green people? Makes a change from giant green lizards.
An entertaining day was followed by the band playing at the Center Culturel and when they went home a disco commenced.

Rowena and Ka'ren were staying and Andrea and Penny joined in for a night of girlish fun; so yea, we did go to the disco though Rowena was the only dancer of our number...
here in the market the morning after is Eddie telling us about Paddys night in Fa which was also good, he reports.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Thursday in Spring

A lovely sunny Thursday... here Brigit, mother and son come to look at the art stock whilst below Mark makes some more:) Finally, that door is painted and no, he didn't sign it. He's off tomorrow in search of an easier life nearer the sea though hes already caught the sun and if it gets much hotter will have to find night work.
Oswald sunbathes for hours
and the hole that is going from number 9 to number 5 displays interesting architectural features - beams are suspended on bits of wood balanced on rocks stuck on earth. We thought there was a simple partition wall there. And there is, the other side of the highly complex old and weird one.

The cat got the cream...

....but Louise and I had a good deal too! Lovely evening with the dear friends, relaxing after a day wrestling with accounts. Which is what I should be doing now, sigh.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Report from the Cyberneticians...

The first response from the last few days :) from Luc.....

Between two hot spots for esotericists , Rennes-le Chateau where the tomb of Jesus and Mary Magdalen is situated ( and mount Bugarach (, the place to be on december 21 2012, is the small town of Espéraza. Espéraza could be read as a deformation of the spanish Esperanza, which means hope.
But a more esoteric reading of the name gives SPRRZ as the hebrew root for secret book, secret information, book of the secret, etc.

In this town on 9 and 10 march 2012 four trained cyberneticians, Roger, Jan, Mike and Luc and two natural born cyberneticians, Vanilla and Vera, rediscovered the secrets behind "beyond dispute". Behind "beyond dispute" is a "revelatory" statement: it veils again what was unveiled. Behind and beyond are two prepositions illustrating this.

....Theres more to come as the academics prepare papers and other projects; more as and when. Fantastically fruitful time.

Back to what passes for real life here now. Everyone gone but Mark, Im doing my taxes despite beautiful sunshine and the call of the wild, saw Max, Andrea and Rick briefly last night, getting ready for Kats vernissage on the 21st. Which is a hot diary date, BTW - expo of the artists who work together at the MJC on life drawing. More anon but keep that evening clear if you are close to Tilling.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

cybernetician free zone

Much debate in the study over the last few days... and last night,
farewell dinner at the Plan B , cyberneticians plus Andree, Mike and Hilary, Kat and the Captain, Helpx Mark ; fine meal, the new restaurant is a Good Thing for Tilling. There are two menus, 19.something euros and 20something euros, wine not included - we had an amuse bouche which was fairly amusing, a salad about which I remember only the raspberry but it was lovely, canard and frites served with a pansy and stuff followed by a peche melba.
I'II never make a food critic.

Here Jan exhausted by the rigours of the weekend has a kip after the market.

Its so quiet here now.....