Monday 21 June 2010

Out vile storm

No blogging, no internet, no phone, due to lightning hit in Limoux just as we were watching the final of Nouvelle Star . . .
Mark went to the SFR shop in Carcassonne to buy a new internet box. They don't have them in the shop. You have to order one and then it gets sent to Limoux in a weeks time. Err, what is the point of the shop? Also when he told them their customer help line is an unobtainable number they said 'Bof'.
Maybe back at the end of the week . . .
Good therapy; no time being wasted on looking up what is wind for, the best way to make a mohito, or indeed how to spell it, and all the other trivia accompanying a nice cup of tea . . .

Wednesday 16 June 2010

Tic, tiques, ticks,

Don't know how you spell it, and I don't care. These f******** have been eating the small dog alive for months — there's not much of him left. Being an animal of little hair, they choose the ears, especially, way down inside, to quote Led Zeppelin.
The bigger dog has also had an unfair share this year. Is it just the hills around Limoux which abound with these aliens, or are their numbers to do with the long coldness?
What is the point of a tic? Well one could say that about many things. Reality T.V, spam fritters, David Cameron . . . but really, what a life. Wait for about eight months in a freezing bush, jump onto a passing smelly dog, crawl into a dark warm recess (actually, this bit sounds quite nice) and gradually inflate yourself with manky dog blood, until you feel like you really did eat too much Christmas dinner. Then fall off, only to be squashed by the next passing dog. Great.
I am generally 'live and let live' except perhaps with hornets, but the many ways can you finish off a tic? My favourite is to hold one with tweezers over a gas flame, pszzzzeettyttt! well we have to have some hunter sport in our veggy house from time to time.
One last tic recitation. I was cleaning our bedroom in the old house and removed a large pile of books from beside the bed. Amongst the fluff, etc, from under the books was a small flat brown dot. As I was about to sweep it away, it inflated and stood up in manner of scary metal police man in Terminator 2.
These creatures will inherit the earth, survive any nuclear attack, asteroid collision, or plague, we can be sure of that.

Tuesday 15 June 2010

Hi Ray . . .

from another ferry.
Had an idle, and indulgent hour yesterday (while pieces of paper soaked in tea were drying or not drying due to sudden October dampness - part of an art process) 'googling' folks from my past.
Difficult to imagine, is it not, what it was like before the computer. Thoughts like: I wonder what Queribino de Suza  from my secondary school art class is doing now?" would be thunk and forgotten, unless you made it ones life's work as an art piece or you happen to be a stalker.
These days, just tap in the name and voila, people with the same name inhabiting all the different corners of the world appear on your screen.
I looked up me yesterday, yes sad . . . I think we all do it — hope so anyway.
I share my name with a blonde woman who writes attic loads of romantic novels (in fact we have one in the loo, thanks Ruth and Chris). Another lady who paints (confusing) an actress, and someone in a tight leather outfit, not me, unless I really don't remember last New Year's Eve do. The blog makes it into the first page sometimes along with 'Alfi Beasti don't eat that'.
Bref, (French for I digress) I found Ray, photographer, living in London . . . Nice to make the contact, lots of good memories about an art college trip to Malta; I'm not sure how much use it was as a college piece of work, but it certainly was one of the most important two weeks of my life, and part of the reason we made the move Southwards.
Malta was the first mediterranean place I ever visited; the colour, smells and light made a profound impression on me which has never left.

Friday 11 June 2010


I am going to do it. Soon — along with the book of French roundabouts. Peoples' front gardens. The statement: who we are, how tidy are we, are we just a little bit exciting, eccentric?
A short wander through one of my lurking zones of Limoux found this wall. I want to meet the people behind it . . .  might go back and try and sell them some solar panels just so I can find out what they look like. Chances are, knowing that district, she will be about sixty-seven in a blue-flowered house coat, and his high point of the week will be getting the spotless clio out on a Saturday to do the Leclerc run. Or . . . maybe I'm completely wrong!
When I was about eleven I used to walk to and from my terrible comprehensive school in London, quite an astonishingly long way really. It was the best part of the day: gawping at newly painted front doors, reflecting on strange house names 'thiseldome' or 'dunshoppin', listening for a particular wooden wind chime and smelling the suburban dusty roses of June.
Nothing much has changed really, I'm taller and wider, and the houses are shuttered rather than curtained, but its the same fascination with how people decorate, display and fasten down their own small patch of the earth.

Monday 7 June 2010

One learns something everyday.

Yes indeed, even in advanced years.
Today I learned that it's a good idea to put supporting canes in WITH the tomato plants —  not three weeks later when the ground is rock-like.
Our lovely neighbour Andre had kindly donated me proper rustic bamboo canes for the job. I sallied (is this a word, am behind large glass of wine, too late to be doing this) forth into the veg patch and proceeded to push the canes in . . . about three centimeters. Result: much horrible cussing, boy offering glasses of water and foot massage in vein hope that I would calm down, and weird eventual structure like something I once saw in a Paul Nash etching.
Thank God I am not an architect. My buildings would have a exciting element of sea-sickness to them, and a readiness to collapse at the first cross word from an aged tea lady.
I'm sure, however, that I give much pleasure and hilarity to our local community, most of whom are expert in their veg culitvation. 'What is that'? 'What will they make next'? 'Why do they like weeds so much'? 'The English are mad — this is proof, evidement . . . "

Friday 4 June 2010

Summer cordial

Taste of early summer. Rose petals steeped in sugar water with a cinnamon stick overnight. A delicate pink colour, perfect with just-picked cherries and fromage blanc.