Sunday 25 September 2011

Please don't go . . .

Summer, we love you.
What a beautiful patch of time this last few weeks has been. The manic re-greeningness of all plantage and the time of salad on the table prolonged.
Sadly, I have to leave the Mother Ship and travel back in Ryanair space pod to the grey rock tomorrow. What to take...? aqualung, moon boots? Actually the weather looks all right for the next few days, but I don't want to go all the same.
Going back to earlier blog re aging parents and the lack of a manual in this situation means an unknown and taxing two weeks, hopefully with highlights such as a bit of London nostalgia- wanderings and buying a bra in John Lewis. Wooo! Somehow the down to earth 'fittings people' in the underwear section don't trouble me as much as the stick-thin doll like assistants in lingerie shops over here. I don't think in fact one can say 'John Lewis' and lingerie in the same sentence . . . big white pants come to mind rather than lace-encrusted nylon cheese wire.
Anyway. What was I saying?
No, it will be good to see Mum, family, and to get a lot of things sorted out, but I hope there still might be a few sun soaked days left on my return.

Saturday 17 September 2011

Happy New Year

Ughhh, not that again . . .
Yes. That time will be upon us all very soon, and remember folks, it could be the last one, unless you have a seat reserved on the green lizard escape ship when it slips out of Bugarach around December the ?
So, what better way to celebrate the ultimate one, than to have Les Malfonctionnaires play for you. Solidly booked up until December 28th . . . er, not quite,  we are looking for a home for New Year's Eve. Les Malfoncs are all house trained, very friendly, and will play until you shake your asses off . . . so to speak. Check our face book page or site: http:/

Next gig: La tournebelle, Gruissan 29th October: 04 58 75 40 84

Men, not in black.

Blog post for no other reason than I love seeing men in flowery shirts. Here is husband (looking a bit 'apr├ęs repas') in lovely daisy print, and Chris in super pink number, more flowers please . . .

Friday 16 September 2011

Onwards and forwards...

The boy person has grown up a lot over the summer, (as is to be expected . . .) I am no longer allowed to say: "it's time for snuggly bed" . . . (well, only to Mark), and if I walk with him to college, the gap widens between him and me as we approach the establishment; all good normal stuff.
He has been through many many phases: reptiles, roller-blading, mice, electronics, chemistry, Japanese cooking, knitting, art generally and drumming. The last two are the ones that are sticking the most, and in particular the art of animation at the moment.
Here he is with parrot helper (providing hideous squawking and ample amounts of poo) working on his program 'Flash' for animators. I think this one might last as a life-interest - a good melange of imagination, drawing skills and techno. Time will tell.
I think I may have only just figured out what I want to do many decades on from him, and if he's anything like us he may take a very wandery path through life's forest, going off at tangents to look at a new butterfly here, falling into a muddy pond there, but generally having an interesting time.
Or maybe he will be one of those people who say 'I just always knew I wanted to be a . . . Probably simpler, but in the world as it is now perhaps it will be easier to turn a hand to cooking, gardening, writing, taxi driving, whatever; seems like the days of sticking it out for the gold clock are a long way lost.

Thursday 8 September 2011

The turning year

In Autumn a young man's fancy turns to the thought of . . . how to keep warm.
The impending time of soup, fires, healthy striding walks in frosted landscape. Shit.
No, its not that bad really . . . I just hate to feel that time of freedom, carefree dressing etc, ebbing away. Those dark mornings, cringing in the bathroom, fumbling for a pair of socks in the semi darkness. Anyway, hopefully a good few weeks to go.
This the new wood pile, handsome is it not. Not very well formed when one looks closely, but then I always say, or rather I said yesterday: a person whose woodpile is immaculate has too quiet a life.
The wood delivery people are called 'Belamie' delightful name, and delightful family. The mum and dad watch with pride whilst the 'boy' huge seventeen-year old or thereabouts wields the chainsaw on the truck.
This time we all watched sadly as one of the tyres on the lorry deflated with a pathetic hissing. I paid them extra as the culprit nail looked suspiciously like something from our compound. They assured me this could not be so. As I said: Belamie - good friend.
An enlightening thought has just occurred - well, something that is of enlightenment to me. When I lived in a filthy, post-student, crumbling house in West Norwood we had a landlord named Mr Bellamy. One pronounced the word with the accent heavily on the bel rather than the amy. It never occured to me to think of the origins of the word. But then this is several decades ago and my French was limited to 'der beers si vous plate'.
Mr Bellamy was about as far as one could get from a good friend. A miserable bastard dressed in biege acrylic, he ignored the fact that the loo froze in the winter and that there were mushrooms growing out of the skirting boards, just kept taking the rent. I wasn't even allowed a cat, which I did obtain - "Hide Wandsworth, Mr Bellamy has arrived for the rent."
Anyway, back to the wood pile.
The trees growing or rather rampaging behind it are some sort of weed tree that came over from Japan. I rather like them: Amazonian in character and lushness, they hold the soil down, and (hopefully) stop the bank collapsing. They do need a bit of a cull however. We have had the annual Autumnal discussion, 'to have a chain saw or not to have a chain saw, that is... etc. As usual we have decided it's too scary so it will have to be the previous house-owners dressed in shorts and sunglasses ploughing through the undergrowth as effortlessly as if they were cutting flowers.

Saturday 3 September 2011

Going with the flow.

We actually all got a day out, everyone, even runty dog with re-broken leg.
The sea was calling again. Opted for a place called 'La Palme' near Port la Nouvelle as it had some interesting features such as an eerie looking pumping station.
Took the N road and then a yellow road through some pretty villages. Stopped for a pee and then noticed. . . we had a flat tyre. Holiday spirit prevailed, no-one went: "awww its not fair, ******* typical", or anything else. Swerved our way to Sigean, pumped up the tyre and just got to a Renault garage before it shut for lunch.
I love this bit . . . Mark said, "Nous avons un plat" unlike him to say something idiotic in French: hoorah. Being so close to lunch the man obviously thought we were very excited about going to eat our main course or something. How we all laughed . . .  sorry Mark.
There was to be the usual two hour lunch gap so we walked into the town very slowly with hobbling old dog and hopping runty dog. Had a look around for food, not too much on offer. I quite liked the look of a dark mysterious tapas bar with scary looking men smoking on the doorstep, but considering Mark was wearing a pink flowery shirt and holding a tiny dog we might have not been too welcome, or possibly beaten up.
Were about to give up when I saw a sign down the road saying 'Le Potager' on an old black wooden door. Further investigation revealed the wonderful bistro pictured above. My sort of restaurant. Great decor, not at all pompous, plants, old chairs, interesting crocks, even checked table cloths.
We were greeted by the Chef, and I was amazed to recognise him as the man who used to run the restaurant 'Marmite du pecher'(which was brilliant) when we first lived in Limoux.
We ordered. Very reasonable priced menu at 15 euros. The chef came to talk to us, and asked how we would like our fish cooked. The gaspacho was superb, grilled dorade with chunky chips 'copuios' (large) and fresh, my red fruit pudding light and acid sweet, mmmm.
Wish we had this in Limoux!
Car was done. Got in it. Drove to La Palme - not grabbed overly; then being impatient to get in the sea, went to La Franqui.
Last time I went there, the sand was blowing horizontally and a menacing sky painted everything a monotone grey. This time there was enough wind to make the waves a bit exciting to play in, but sun and warmth to make strolling a pleasure. Nice . . . will return. Tired and still very full up from lunch, drove home to seething parrot who was mightly pissed off at being left alone all day.