Sunday, 29 April 2012

Sunday lunch

 Sarah and Jonathon gave us all lunch today in Bouriege, on their terrace in the sunshine - perfect for birdwatching and we did. And ate too much totally delicious food.
Got home to rumpus in the hen house. Oswald was stalking a fledgling collared dove which is sitting about trying to achieve adulthood -  that Oswald can move pretty fast when shes interested enough.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

food and more food

 Lunch at the Auberge du Faby courtesy Captain Harris, seen here in summit meeting with Ryan and Alicia - not only have the auberge got a very fine collection of paintings on view but the food is ace - had duck breast in honey, mmmmmmm

 Dropped in on the folk of the Maison Chapelier for tea (lemon drizzle cake) and  found Mike in the kitchen making pizza for the tribe, see below. He and Barbara are still engaged in counting insects on rain forest floors. Extraordinary, what people get up to. Cheers, Mike!

Later; Andy sent a snap of the outcome. Not  bad...

Thursday, 26 April 2012

quiet life

All quiet in Tilling, except that we are living well on Ryan and Alicias cooking - this week has been epic and several friends have experienced new culinary delights.
Captain H arrives tonight at midnight.
The photo today is of the meeting at Galerie K where much plotting is going on to spread art all over the place. Beginning to enjoy the way that a few minutes debate, previously agreed, can be stretched to 2 hours at French meetings. Its probably to do with bonding. Each for one and one for all. Liberty egalite tootiefrutie.

Sunday, 22 April 2012


Sunday was the first round of the election to select a president for the French Republic. Much voting in Tilling though not by anyone without French nationality; we foreigners can only vote in local and European elections.
Its is something of a day out here. The voters dress up - note splendid jacket in the pic above - and there was much chattering in the street.
The outcome seems to have split the right wing. Le Penn, who will expel all foreigners from France, has a massive 18% +(deeply disturbing, do our friends really hate us?) so Sarky has lost a tranche of his traditional voters - and the socialist might slip in between them. He (Hollande) is currently in the lead. I'm assuming that come round two the right wing will back Sarko against the socialists and Le Penn will disappear but I'm alarmed.
It is worse locally - in Tilling 252  voted for Le Penn and 227 for Sarko. (Hollande got 313, phew) Don't want to be expelled...though they say in the 8a8 that its a traditional protest about Sarky and it'll be OK in the next round.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

saturday with Pete

Dinner with Pete - missing Nel, back in Amsterdam - all of us had fun and ate possibly too well:) Fortunately with Annie and Pete (the other Pete), Ryan and Alicia and me we had three dogs who needed walking. Weather good enough to provide a jumping tree frog, a scopes owl or two and the beginnings of a frog chorus.

Much excitement in the hens enclosure today when Oswald decided to move in. She is now cocooned in a bale of straw under the hens roosting place having nicked the hens lettuce. They were too scared to snatch it back.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Alicia, Ryan, Leroy, Freddie and the parrot arrive

 Here are Alicia and Ryan, HelpX workers, expected to stay for 2 months in the company of Leroy the dog, Freddie the cat and a parrot whose name escapes me- delightful people and smashing beasts who will enrich our community no end:)
 Kat came to dinner too - actually she cooked most of it -
and here is Bella, fave hen, inspecting the new art in the yard. Its a complicated installation, a delicate reference to weight and lightness, to absence and presence. Very exciting.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

hols by the sea

 If you can get to Quillan before 7.50am, you can catch a one euro bus to Perpignan - below is the driver - the photo below him shows a strange device which prints tickets, all very clever- and mounted on a block of wood painted black. From there its a ten min wait for another euro bus to Collioure.

I went to Collioure, it was great if you like storms by the sea :) Here I am taking a clever photie.

Getting back is harder as the buses don't map very well - waits are involved, which means hanging about in cafes, restaurants and shopping centres. Not unpleasant.

Back home to rain-washed Tilling - very pretty and smelling of Spring.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

we're off :)

Here Pete, Pam , Clare and the (absent) me have a farewell dinner at the remarkable T Rex... Pete and Clare back to Blighty tomorrow, Pam soon ish and me off to Collioure for a day or two.
Captain H last heard of on the train under the Chanel.
It is raining here with that leaden air that shows no let-up - we may be doing good, scattering like this. More anon.

local political opinions

Friday, 13 April 2012

At home with the Bowyers

Dinner with Annie and Pete at their gracious mill - here the view of Coustassa from the garden; a real ruin, that :)

The Mill, looking very
beautiful in the evening light

Ditto Annie, looking at a fruit tree-

and again, different tree
with an admiring Bob.
Lots of planting going on

And a delicious dinner shared with Peter D and Claire

featuring some art works

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Vanille de Mayotte

No, not a name change - a present from Mayotte. Mike and Hilary are safely back:)

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

cassoulet for 22

Its as easy to make Cassoulet for 22 as for 2 - you just make extra -whats tricky is finding chairs to sit on to eat it from. All OK though- and farewell to sixteen of Petes family, who leave tomorrow. Here's wishing them their various safe journeys till the next time. They are such a brilliant clan.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Easter Monday

Weather beautiful ... Bob and I went to the communal forest where we found traces of those old round stone houses you get hereabouts; who built them, when or why, seems to be unknown.

Any info., anyone?

SAW A HOOPOE! Was too slow to photograph him - not that he was fast, but mesmerisingly beautiful. He sat on a post and wiggled his crest, then took off in a glamorous flutter of stripy wings.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Easter chick

Here's handsome Gomez - who was a chick last Easter and would now be in the freezer had Ian not kidnapped him at the culling time- so a very Happy Easter from him:)

Market damp but enthusiastic. It seems last nights party ended at 3.30 in the morning and everyone who was there loved it.
Very sad news about Aileen and Olle-B's lovely dog Cedric. Hes in hospital after being bashed by a car- I'm sure I'm not alone in Tilling in wishing him well and restored soon to the bosom of the pack.
Toby and Leo leave today -impossibly quick visit - they say they'll be back before too long.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Happy Birthday Peter!

Riotous night. Photos rubbish. Sign of a good night...

Friday, 6 April 2012

triumph at T Rex

T Rex are jolly impressive really - they served 30 of us without too much hair tearing, got food and drink on the table and everybody had a laugh.

Time for a little rest before the party tomorrow...

Souvenir photo

4 Cyberneticians at work - Mike, Luc, Roger and Jan. Signed copies may be made available.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Toby makes a bid for freedom

Is Toby going over the wall??

All calm here, despite the family and friends who are flocking Tillingward for Petes party.

Captain H arrived last night having driving from Greenwich. In fine fettle.

Weather looking good, despite forecasts.

emergency party invitation

If you have been wondering why you haven't been invited to Peter Dunns birthday party, don't fret; his computer is down (Orange, dontcha love 'em)

Et alors... Espace Louis Alibert, (over the footbridge) 7.00pm Saturday night; bring a plate and a bottle

This view is of the mist lifting from the square - looks like the weather will be good for Petes party:)

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Strange day...

Weird. My Mama shuffled off this mortal coil in the night - knowing how she had longed for this made the death easier to bear though those things that will now no longer occur are mounting up - you know? If you've lost a parent you'll know what I mean. All the day-to-day things of a very long-term relationship, ceasing.

My nephews and nieces are posting their reminiscences on facebook! She didn't trust computers but would have enjoyed her image and stories of her wit being zipped about the world. (My favorite; 'Never run after a man or a bus, there's always another close behind.')

In the meantime, the forces are gathering for Peter D's birthday party on Saturday. Five installed here and many more clumped about Tilling. A very acceptable sense of celebration in the air.

Didier Bourdon had a vernisage at Sieur d'Arques tonight. Very good work, of course. Exhibition on till 13th April - visit if in Limoux, nice work. Here he is ...

and afterwards Toby and Leo and Raine (guessing at the spelling, that's what it sounds like) gave me and Kat dinner. Raine off tomorrow so farewell to him till next year and a safe journey back to Holland. I probably shouldn't post this picture of him waking up the morning after but he does look cute:) He was looking at the damage in the garden at the same time as I was, the day after the party when Toby and Leo arrived here. Happened to have a camera poised as he opened his shutters -

Monday, 2 April 2012

strike action benefits us all

Jude and Peter got caught in a strike and their plane to Stanstead was cancelled. They came back to Tilling and gave me the chance to see them again; I nabbed them and Andrea and Max for a farewell dinner. Very convivial evening:)
Here's to the next time and may that be soon.
Nel left today - not caught in the strike - and plans to be back asap. Peter D arrives tomorrow with several friends for Saturdays party.
Oswald the Tortoise has gone back to his winter quarters. Whilst not actually hibernating he has given up prancing about the garden and stalking the hens so we can assume the weather is taking a turn for the worse.

Claudines off again

All these restless spirits... here is Claudine saying goodbye, off to Toulouse and Madagascar. Come back soon:)

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Voila le Captain

Here is Captain Harris on the beach at Greenwich where he was being filmed today. Details of the broadcast as and when...

90 big years

Professor Spencer Brown, author of Laws of Form and genius mathematician - or magician, depending on his mood - is 90 tomorrow. Above is a study I did for an unfinished portrait.

Which is by way of avoiding local news; I'm still knackered, unfairly, since Ive been mostly abstemious . Last night I was eating with Max and Andrea and party at Normandy Frites while the Dutch and their party were at the Creperie and you could hear everyone all over Tilling- the T and C buses were still disgorging party goers long after midnight, also not silently. Market was crowded and sunny, full of delicate survivors of the night before.

Mercifully Claudine is here; a calming and charming presence. We did T Rex and Lukes bar...