November 30, 2015

travellers all -

Allenna has gone, seen here waving from the Carcassonne bus... this will take her to Carcassonne station where she will take a train to Toulouse, where she will join the Paris train in a couchette for a decent rest; after which she has two hours to get her next train to Zurich.What can possibly go wrong?
Very sad to see her go; but fortunately New Kelly had invited me to dinner, where Jo and Roy and Laura were also being entertained. My heartache was eased.

New Kelly is a fabulous cook - fois gras, devilled kidneys, mango-and-creme like syllabub thang. She has upped the ante for us all. Not that this is a competition, of course.
I snapped this below in the mirror so you get the back of Laura's head and no sign of Roy, dunno why not. Perhaps he's a vampire.

Extremely good night. Wide ranging, informative and erudite conversation. Laura has moved in next door to Bobs house so is a neighbour and is a most welcome addition to our rag-bag hotch-potch riff-raff creative types.
Not that she falls into any of these catagories, of course:)

November 28, 2015

Life goes on

Last night in the crowded creperie - Allenna, Kat, John and Margaret. 

Did some speed gossip some of which is printable; the fire in Mikes workshop, ouch! mercifully no-on was hurt which is the main thing. Lots of kit lost including Mikes motorbike - the special circumstances of the fire meant that the insurance wasn't adequate, alas. One of the lessons learnt is that we should all address the beastly small print of our policies.

Our  mayor has clawed his way back from the abyss by finding a candidate to take the place of the dissenters, so we won't be having an election. A Good Thing for the community, in that we won't have the expense. He has agreed to been re-trained in democratic processes; also a Good Thing.

Its raining. Allenna  and  I, still in the grip of colds, will be catching up on admin today. oh joy.

November 27, 2015

Home again home again

 I'm back, with Allenna - and a ferocious cold.

Such a relief to be home! We took the Megabus from Victoria to Toulouse which is far nicer than it sounds.
Effectivly, 9 hours to a 2 hour break in Paris then 9 hours to dawn in Toulouse where the 6.45 Carcassonne train awaited us. The bus was 25 quid; the train slightly over 12 euros. Go figure.

Bob met us and brought us home, then left for the airport and a gruelling fortnight in grey and dismal London, poor chap.

Here, the river is high and the sun is shining.
 Laughing Anna is out doing the christmas windows... here she is painting the new butchers and here is the new butchers new house, undergoing a spot of radical surgery.

The chemists is flying the flag as are several other places and the rabbits have taken to sitting under a bomb- proof trolley - apropos, when we were in Paris our resturateur told us that the Parisiens are not coming out anymore, they stay indoors with their familes and are afraid. Not like us in the days of the IRA but perhaps we have no imagination.... In SE London French flags are flying half-mast which I thought remarkable but my French friends have accepted as a just tribute; and rightly so.

November 20, 2015

Old friends in London

Pam and Janey came to my exhibition in Deptford yesterday - wonderful to see them both.

I was embarrassed that I'm not up to speed on local news, having been exiled for an age. I'm back before December since my show closes this weekend (should you be in London, please pop in - The Art Hub gallery,SE8 4SA)

All I could report is that the market had been closed due to the state of emergency declared by the President of the Republic after the terrible slaughter in Paris

Pam and Janey miss their  Esperaza mountain home and send love to all their friends. They won't visit yet, they say it would be too upsetting :( but in a year or two, perhaps.

November 2, 2015

Esperaza's refugees arrive

 Susie has interviewed our refugees in the market - those who don't have facebook  can read it here :)

So these refugees, they had come by boat from Egypt (14 days) or Libya (2 days) to Italy, and from there to France . They stayed two weeks at the Jungle camp at Calais which was so rough with no water and every night walked miles in the dark with no torchlight to try to get through the channel tunnel, but there were many police and they never succeeded. They speak Arabic and English and no French and England is their dream destination. Anyway the French government offered help and sent them on a bus all the way to small town obscure Esperaza and they are going to have their asylum applications looked at here. They have been put in social housing and given 4 euros a day for food.— 

October 22, 2015

emotional farewells...

well, maybe saying goodbye to the crop of wild mushrooms wasnt too emotional but it was a bit... neighbours brought them over but as I leave tomorrow I had to hand them over to Ryan and Alicia.

Who are themselves leaving so we had a farewell tea with Andree

followed by a  dinner at St Gobains, where the new (french) chef turned out to be brill. Robin as ever was a gracious host and much fun and good eating ensued.     

Can't believe these guys are really leaving us...

Now Im off to tomorrow for a month. News from abroad if relevant - otherwise, unaccustomed silence from here till late November.

Should you be in Deptford on the 12th November, please come to the private view of DRAWN, my expo at The Art Hub Gallery, Creekside, 6 - 9 pm. 
                     Music by Bull. 
                                        Wine from the Languedoc.

October 21, 2015

creepy morning

 Strange morning light yesterday, seen here just around dawn... but whatever it presaged didn't occur; windy but pretty day. Here is some of the walnut crop :) Gathered by Ryan and Alecia, thank you xxx
Bob unwell, had to cancel our evening with Dermot and Kate. Another time...