November 25, 2014

Wigeon on the Aude

Nel writes;

Is this may be the duck you've seen in the Aude?
If so, it's a Anas penelope, Canard siffleur, Eurasian Wigeon.
Quite common. I think they're the smallest ducks.

It  certainly is the duck and I'd never seen one before - arent they lovely! Great name too.
Cheers Nel :)

Its raining BTW; our spring weather now has spring showers. Unnaturally warm - the house is full of bees for some reason -

November 24, 2014

Attention scottish contingent

An ex-Esperazanaise writes;
Well here we are again. The decorations have been up on the Dome for a month and the shops are now full of it so no matter how much you try to avoid it Christmas is nearly here. The definitive proof that Santa is lurking is that the Loud and Proud Christmas Concert is almost upon us. Is there a better antidote to the glitter and glitz of Coca Cola Christmas than the subtle camp of Loud and Proud bringing you an almost traditional mix of carols and festive tunes. Included are wine, cake and a beautiful venue and for the almost derisory sum of £10.00 or £7.00 concessions.  It hardly needs much thought. It takes place at St Cuthberts Church , Lothian Road and is on FRIDAY 12th December at 8.00pm. Tickets can be had from me with no booking fee. You know you want to. It’s a guilty pleasure
Text or phone 07814447450 or email
Bring the choir to Esperaza soon, Iain??

November 23, 2014


The latest news commences with Nels new haircut :) Very pretty indeed - must find out which of the towns three hairdressers did it.

The other big news is that those of us who signed the petition to prevent the changes by the station (see post for October 22cnd) have had a letter from the mayor, signed by himself on behalf of the Council; with three exceptions. The letter points out that he (the mayor) is freely available at any time and that a petition is a last resort. He outlines his plans and their history and includes the new designs for the road system.

I'm delighted, not only because we all now know what is going on but also because none of the big plane trees will be cut down and the trees already dispatched will be replaced. Not sure that we need another road between the bridges but we're clearly going to get one.

Perhaps it would have been easier to display the plans in the porch of the town hall???

November 21, 2014

who are we?

The powers that be are changing our regions' name from the Languedoc to something as yet unspecified. You can vote on a range of possible names in the local rag -

Any duck lovers' out there? Spotted a pair I've never seen before, quite difficult to see in these pix as indeed they are in real life. If their little white flash didnt bob and down they'd be invisible on the water.


Here is a snap of what greeted me this morning, over last nights' washing up - a little scorpion and a wiry spider clasped in a death embrace. I guess they got each other. Aint nature wonderful.

Pete and Nel on form

Pete and Nel came to supper and I forgot to take photos but take it from me, they both looked wonderful. Instead heres a picture of a twig from the river with delusions of grandeur, now hanging over the dining table.
Our neighbours are complaining that there are no mushrooms. Weather too dry.

November 18, 2014

jolly day in Carcassonne

 Carcassonne was pretty in the autumn sunshine though it was rather a bizarre day. Couldnt get a fridge anywhere; Geant was hosting a strike (and didn't have small fridges anyway)

Geant are making des profits colossaux whilst cutting staff and salaries.
    ---Isnt that what supermarkets are supposed to do??

After finding the Beaux Arts closed, sigh, I found an expo of amateur work at the town hall. It was awful - every single one was a copy of something else already painted.
And talking of amateur art, the stupendous exhibition of Art Bruit that was left to the townsfolk of Carcassonne has been moved to Lagrasse. It showed that amateur art could be a sensational source of creative material. Not clear why its left its agreed home.

The good news is that they are hosting a show of the work of Raul Dufy in Feb 2015.

And finally my train was searched by some 16 customs officers and their sweet black labrador - not before I'd seen them chase a white-faced young man from the station. Really don't like drugs nor their impact on lives but hope he got away. And learnt a lesson, of course.