Tuesday 30 August 2016

Specialist magazines

While trawling the internet for inspiration - story involving odd-titled magazines, I noticed these two which must both have (or had - doily news heralding from about 1976?) a fairly small readership . . .

Sunday 28 August 2016

Story starters from junk hauls

Here's a good one: a small 1920s ceramic, sea-bathing-costumed lady, forever captured in an oval glass enclosure on a porcelain stand. The name of the seaside resort she had been a souvenir from had almost disappeared, just an F left, and, as the old man selling her had remarked - all the surrounding fluid long gone, just a scattering of dusty sand and shell left.
I bought her at this morning's 'Vide grenier' (car boot sale) trawl, for a euro - the price of a baguette.


Saturday 27 August 2016

Oh no . . . more hours about to disappear into Youtube . . .

Priceless. And there's LOADS more . . .

One year and a couple of months

Last summer a new band was formed (along with, no doubt, about 500,000 other ones) but special to us as our son was the drummer.
From tentative attempts at a few Muse songs they soon progressed to thirty or so numbers, still mostly covers but with a sprinkling of their own compositions.
I hadn't seen them play for a couple of months but went along to a gig last night and was amazed at the recent progress they have made - confidence (but not too cool to forget that the audience need to be included - a problem with many French 'fete' bands) great energy, and an exciting display of what many, many hours of practice can produce, (thankfully we have very tolerant neighbours . . .)
So, the end of summer looms and the band will disperse a little - two members to Toulouse, our son to Carcassonne, but they are determined to keep it together, regular meet ups and scouting for possible venues. This time next summer . . . Toulouse Zenith?

An extract of The F.E.W playing 'Yogurt song' last evening. Note Freddie the bassist at the end realising he has bloodied his strings after an enthusiastic previous Funk number.

Thursday 18 August 2016

Some things never change

A post for our friends from far away.
Shame you don't live somewhere a tad nearer . . . but how incredible that when we meet, the fifteen years or so that have lapsed seem like a few hours - same humour, same outlook on this mad, and, wonderful world.
Maybe we'll make it over there, but hopefully you'll return here soon.
Much love from us on the other side of the globe.


Tuesday 16 August 2016

things impossible to remember in midwinter

Dusty, heat-beaten tracks, walking in the shade, whirring grasshoppers and cicadas, washing drying within an hour, plant-watering on a vast scale, siestas rather than hot water bottle-naps, endless salad, fridge full of chilling water . . . and dogs trying to keep cool rather than wishing to be buried in wool on the most draft-proof chair.

'Bali' on an early morning walk under evergreen oaks and olive.

Saturday 13 August 2016

Dear John

For some reason, when I was about twelve I decided it would be interesting to keep a diary of all the loo/Johns/lavs, etc, that I ever visited. As with many ideas it never happened (oh . . . what a terrible shame and how the world would have benefited, you may be saying) but over the years I have actually tentatively started, as part of various notebooks, this great work.
What is it about these tiny rooms? A place where you are (usually, or possibly not!) alone for a few minutes to contemplate your surroundings - horrible, recently redone, cockroach-ridden, left over from the 70s or oddly restful and spacious.
I often find myself musing, what I would do if I was trapped in the room? How I might escape, or if that was impossible, how I would while away the time - counting tiles, inventing exercises involving the loo or simply meditating until someone came to check where you had disappeared to, if they did...
My latest notebook has a few accounts of loos on a recent road trip but I think perhaps visuals are more effective, so - Loo number one:

The smallest room in an ancient pub I have visited a few times in Dorset.
I think the small basket of plastic flowers must have been placed there in about 1968 and has never moved since.
Loo's noted elements:
Faded lace curtain hung with nails, rusted can of lilac air-freshener, interesting and unusual metal/enamel cistern with lever handle, wooden seat whose rubber protectors could appear rather like goggly fish eyes if you did happen to become trapped in the room for too long.