Saturday 25 June 2011


We played Limoux for the Fete de la musique last Tuesday - Le Fracas (our samba band, that is). Fantastic. Played between 12.00pm and 2.00pm in Rue de Augustins for the benefit of two shop owners and a dog. Somebody was jiggling about in an upstairs window, but they might have just been telling us to bugger off as it was siesta time.
Limoux never seems to quite get it together for this countrywide festival; the shop owners were trying their best to get things moving with people dotted around strumming guitars, but I got the feeling there would have been more interest if it had been some sort of eating festival. I could be wrong as we had to leave soon after; maybe it was pretty damned hot later . . . I think not however as a near-tropical rain torrent announced its presence in the early evening.
Better luck next year.

Tuesday 21 June 2011

Helas . . . pas de vache.

I was hoping to load up a little film of the Visa's last dreamy perambulation to the casse auto, or rather, sweat-inducing nightmare crawl with line of 'faché' drivers as car was only moving at about 10 KM per hour but blogger told me it was a bad film? Okay, was not a masterpiece worthy of Cannes, but neither did it contain violence, swearing or dodgy people in tight leather outfits
Shame, as I wanted to broadcast all the little squeaks and grinding noises which had become so familiar to me. Oh well . . . here is a picture of the vache's rump instead. Anyway, sob, she is no longer with us and I will be looking out - in a relaxed fashion as we will try and make do with one car - for another old character motor to take us to the dump, etc.
So, if anyone has an old Renault 4/5 Citroen Ami/ Ford Capri/anything else interesting, let me know.
On a serious note, I went and bought a bike helmet this morning as I intend to get out more on my wonderful shell-suit coloured vide.Grenier  bike. This was prompted by an awful piece of news from my godmother. One of her friends died from a head wound after falling off her bike while just 'nipping to the shops' makes one think . . .

Friday 10 June 2011

Don't panic.

Good old Douglas Adams, wherever he is; somewhere exciting I hope.
Fellow H.H.G.T.T universe fans will remember the famous words on the cover of 'the book' (not the bible) mind you, if it did have, 'don't panic' printed on the front it might get a bigger readership these days . . . I often recall that phrase and many others from his writings, and I think I might finally know 'where my towel is' so to speak.
Had a bit of a revelation the other day re stress. We were in a fairly thick and muddy patch of it. Art trail and all associated music events etc, dog with broken leg, mother staying, all normal work to juggle etc. There was added stress to do with 'who had put what where', and 'why was this lost' etc, etc.
I started to get a niggly jaw sensation which was the build up to a lot of horrid neuralgic pain I had had before. My body was saying 'bloody well calm down' basically, so I did.
Have done a lot of cogitating over the last few days about what we call stress, what use is it etc, then I read an article which really did put all our stupid ideas about how much pressure we are under into context.
We all can give examples of how cruel life can be but I think this is the one that will remain in my head as a reminder of what we have, and why we should never moan.
There are people living in the jewelry quarter of Calcutta who spend all their waking hours (including kids) sorting through buckets of other peoples excrement in the sewers to find (if they are lucky) some tiny fragments of gold they can sell back to the manufacturers in order to keep themselves and their families alive.
Puts worrying about whether Mr Bricolage are still stocking the tiles you have run out of somewhat in perspective.
A lot of our so called stress is self imposed, especially for self-employed bods like us. We take on too much; it seems like a good idea at the time, or sounds interesting or is just crucial to keep the bills being paid.
The point is - must stop rambling - if one tackles the same amount without adding stress into the mix it works better. A bit of adrenalin is good, keeps the mind focused; angst and worry just muddles everything.
So I have been for a week now, not stressed. I am less cross with the boy, I let more stuff wash over me and don't soak up other peoples stress and turn it into guilt. I feel better, people are saying I look loads better, I seem to have lost several frown lines. Nothing else in my life has changed, I'm just trying it without adding my own self imposed stress baggage.
Well, we'll see . . .

Tuesday 7 June 2011

Artists a suivre 2011

WELL DONE Victoria, Caty and the team for the brilliant event, as ever.
As I ran a similar art trail for several years in the U.K, I know how much work it takes, how much free time one gives and how much you want to thump the odd moaner who has to have their say . . .
Stress levels were at a high point in the hothouse (see next post) as we worked our way through art expo with sound installation, (with lovely Sue doing salon du thé) samba gig (in the rain in a barn), improvised music, rock gig, Baroque music, jazz....
I loved my venue, the 'vestiere' at Couiza: high ceilings, no yellow walls, and the sound worked really well in there. I had to stay each night as the security was pretty basic, but enjoyed waking up in the loft-like space before hastily shoving the futon away as people arrived.
Here be photos, in no great order.
Samba gig: Gawd, and blimmin ek never 'ad to play in a dirty great barn before . . .
Expo space and salon du thé
Les Malfonctionnaires gig, Saturday night at les pres en bulles. (Me singing - third pic down).
Today. Clearing up and sleeping.