Thursday, 23 August 2018

lavenders blue dilly dilly

while treasure hunting with my friend
we spotted some stems wrapped in ribbon
the lady explained 
it's for your linen
and is made from fresh lavender
yesterday morning we cut the stems
before the heat of the sun
in the shade of the terrace
I stripped the lower leaves 
and flowers
picking 13 stems
and tying them with ribbon 
underneath the flowers
turn the flowers upside down
and bend the stems over
the flowers
then weave the ribbon around
lifting every other stem
tie off then wind around the stems
or not
make a loop
or not
and trim the stems
hang them to dry 
in your wardrobes and armoires

Thursday, 9 August 2018

>>>------> soleil et la fille

it was a good day
to share something creative
with a sweet girl
of 15 years old
an old process
175 years old
this little bird
flew away smiling

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

**** flowers, fetes and friends

one thing the French love
is a Fete
they take them very seriously
plenty of effort is put in to set them up
there are fetes for everything
music, food, flowers, nuts, bears
you name it
and my village is no exception
so I took it as an excuse to escape the
four day 'feria' in La Bastide
a 35 minute drive from my house is
the home of Jimmy & Gill who very kindly
let me stay for three nights of quiet and calm
this lake is in the grounds 
and those grounds are full of wild flowers
wild orchids 
orange blossom
and in the adjoining land
a field of linseed
with their tiny delicate blue
if you need a getaway
I'd thoroughly recommend staying here
it's a little piece of heaven 
in the hills

Sunday, 10 December 2017

>> Xativa to Torvizcon

a 487 kilometer drive
the Mediterranean Sea to our left
pit stops and paw stretches
a changing landscape
winding mountain roads
 to La Alpujarra 
a natural region of Andalusia 
on the South slopes of the Sierra Nevada
little villages nestled in the landscapes
and our base for the next month or so

Monday, 4 December 2017

*** Mirepoix to Xativa

three women
three dogs
two cars {with a LOT of luggage}
and 651 km of road to travel
as part one of our escape to Andalucia

first stop Xativa
well known for it's linens and paper
and the birth place of Pope Alexander XI
the 14th Century basilica 
a renaissance stunner
tucked away in the tiny cobbled streets
but easy to spot all over the town
we stayed in a stunning little b&b 
a former silkweavers house 
Casa Aldomar was perfect for our short stay
close to buildings to swoon over with their
green blues ochres and details
it was Hispanic Day when we arrived
a national holiday
celebrating being Spanish
the town resounded with firecrackers 
all day and night
on the second day 
we took a very leisurely 
 and sometimes treacherous climb to
Castello de Xativa 
spread out across the hill
visible from kilometres away
it has been claimed by the Moors, French, Bourbons
Hapsburgs and Aragonese
worth trekking up with three dogs
for the views alone
and then a deserved local artisan beer
after a little wander around the local market
we packed up and set off
for the next part of our journey ......

Thursday, 5 October 2017

▢▢□□▣ fenetres

 I've lost count of the amount of times
people ask me
"how's the decorating going?"
I feel like saying "hows yours?"
who renovates their house within a year?
at the top of my little house
is a superb space
potential studio  
two openings on one side 
and three on the other
as you can see there are no windows 
in those apertures
and all my winter heat goes out those gaps
but I want to preserve the ancient wood frames
hopefully by next month
these beauties will replace the plastic 
corrugated iron and gaps
and my house will be cosier 

Monday, 25 September 2017

** avelana

the French are big on community
and events
much effort goes into setting them up
and everyone visits
this weekend was the Fete De Noisettes
a hazelnut festival in Lavelanet 
no real squirrels
delicious cakes
praline covered nuts
and anything you can imagine that is
nut related
we didn't see the nut spitting competition
maybe that's not a bad thing!
there was plenty of music
and enthusiasic dancing
and a parade
and traditional costumes
a little game of boule for the gents
plenty of games and a funfair for the children
une bonner facon de celebrer
les noix