Still in Blighty and today I trotted out to see Adrain and Maggie Hailer, whom I know many Esperazanais knew and liked. It is no secret that Adrain has been desperately ill and alas, still is. He and Maggie are taking on the drugs company that crippled him; yesterday the Mail wrote a piece about him which explains the situation clearly. Heres the link -
They send love and wanted to know how things are in our little paradise -so do I!
Despite meeting many old friends here, being overwhelmed by culture and having a deal of fun, I'm a little homesick.
January 8, 2015
That I'm not in Esperaza is clear from todays pix - here are Frank and Liz who lived amounst us for a few years before returning to grandchildren and the manipulative dog Ben - lovely to see them in their new home on the south coast.
They send love to all.
We shared a bit of wine and a bit of food and a lot of gossip :)
We saw the expo Naked in the de la Warr pavilion in Bexhill. Very good indeed. Small, but perfectly formed.
And here is Penny, with whom I spent a lovely day which included the Chapman Brothers exhibition in Hastings. Brilliant.
January 2, 2015
Bob and I kicked off the day in the Patisserie cafe which though relatively new in Esperaza has performed wonders - good cheap coffee and tea (Tetleys, for a wonder) brilliant pastries and cakes and chocolates and buscuits all made on site by the sweet couple that run it. Sitting in the window it is possible to see the world pass by - our little commune is creaking back into life.
Thence to St Hilaire for lunch at the house of our friend Lizzie - en route passing the imposing abbey. Lunch was wonderful and a selction of well-chosen wines kept me grinning through the afternoon :)
The real news here is the letter most of us have got from the President of the Communauté de communes Pyrénées Audoisese. Each household is being taxed 195 euros for waste management, that is, dustbin emptying and dump control. Do we not pay tax d'habitation for this, I hear you cry?
My choir had warned me, their token foriegner, that this was going to happen. They had urged me not to pay as they said that it was an error made by the department in the sums it did when they joined forces with other communes. It was their mistake, we should not have to pay for it. Then when the bills arrived I heard other gossip; that this was a scam enacted on the English. I went straight to the font of all knowledge, Andree, who said we were all mad, we had not paid last year and this is to make up for it. Pay it now, she says.
Which begs the question of what taxe d'hab. is for...
December 31, 2014
December 30, 2014
In Limoux we lunched at LeClerc, of course. Was perturbed to find that all their pine trees in the car park have been cut down - an anti-christmas elf or are they up to something, anyone know?
Back in the comparative warmth and calm of Esperaza, this weird horsey-thing was parked behind the war memorial....
December 28, 2014
December 27, 2014
Heres the Captain in the special specs they give you to wear in order to be fully frightened.
Tolkien may not have recognised his work but he would have clocked the subtexts with pleasure - never break your word, always act with honour, gold is inherently dangerous. For me the thing was rendered less-than-trite by being in French. It had gravitas where it might otherwise have been portentous.