Saturday, 19 August 2017

* summer in the 'stide

many villages have fetes and markets
in the Summertime
July & August sees many events 
Thursdays bring the night market
tables and chairs are set up under La Halle
food stalls begin to be set up
along the river
in the late afternoon
people arrive from 6pm 
with picnic bags carrying plastic plates
glasses, serviettes, cutlery
bread, wine
to enjoy with the food they buy
it's a big community thing
other evenings bring dodgy euro disco djs 
who never seem to play a whole song
and talk over most of the medleys
a variety of acts appear under La Halle
Magyd Cherfi ~ La Trempe
the story of an artist
Teatro Golondrino
string puppets without word
a truly charming show
called The Bucket of Death
had the children and adults laughing
we have a Village Vacances in La Bastide
which is for the employees of EDF
some of these events are arranged by them
they are random, sometimes strange
but strange good!

Thursday, 20 July 2017

+ this house, this home

one of the amazing ladies I have met 
is Jacqueline
she is funny, interesting, generous
and an Anglican Priest

she had never visited my village
and so she came to bless my house

we held something of significance to us
I chose this stone which had belonged to my sister
Liberty held her Grandmothers wristwatch
and Jacqueline her little wooden cross
we began at the front door
 Jacqueline blessed 
"from roof to roof, from wall to wall,
from end to end, from its foundation 
and in its covering"

then moving through the house
she read the warming liturgy for every rooms use
bedroom, lounge, guest room, bathroom ....
each one ending with the words
"to save, shield and surround this house,
this home, this day, this night and every night"

the rhythm of this recital was comforting 
and soon familiar

"may all be welcomed here,
friend or stranger, from near or far
may each be blessed and honoured as they enter
may all who come to this door, come in peace
and guard it, we pray, from any who come in hostility
may every grudge or malice be left at the door
and may those who brought them be so touched
by grace here, that they forget to collect them 
when they leave"

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

atomic 47

some friends invited me 
to a silver clay workshop at
a sweet atelier in a lovely cobbled side street
not only can you go to workshops here
she also sells really cool stuff
the owner, Merilees, made us very welcome
showing us examples of silver items
created from the clay
she talked about form and texture
revealing a selection of stamps, cutters 
textured templates and objet
first we experimented with some white clay
we played for an hour
pressing items into the clay
deciding shape and size
I took some indian wood blocks 
and made moulds which were dried
ready to be used with the silver clay
we quickly and carefully rolled out
the small piece of silver clay
to the thickness of 3 or 4 playing cards
and created our shapes
putting a tiny pilot hole in each
which were then dried in a halogen cooker
after which we refined the edges
and made tiny holes in each piece
then we used a small torch to heat each item
to a soft orange glow
for two timed minutes
dropped into water to cool
these little white triangles 
were buffed with a wire brush
and a polishing cloth
and magically they turn to silver!

Merilees has a box of findings 
to rummage through
jump rings, earring hooks
leather cord for pendants
and all the tools you need to attach them
after playing around for a while
I settled on long hooks 
with a more 3d look
with two little triangles left over 
to add to my silver charm bracelet

thank you Merilees for your expertise, calm 
and for sharing your space with us
for a cool afternoon

Monday, 29 May 2017

** no dollies

how are you getting on?
there all by yourself?

ah but I'm not alone
I've met some incredible women
straight talking
slightly crazy
and oh so very giving
with their time
ideas and support

new friends are always 
a welcomed gift

Thursday, 20 April 2017

++ visites

Spring brings guests
family & friends
all curious to see the the region where I live
I take them to a market
there's one most days
the newest lunch hotspot
three courses of heavenly food
a rummage in a brocante or vide grenier
a breather by Lac du Montbel
or local artisan beer on old lady bench
this is brewed 10 minutes up the road from my house

people ask me ~  
how's the house coming along?
there is no rush
and there's lots of distractions!
all good 


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

++ up in the roof

 rolled up my sleeves 
braved the scary cobwebs
{read that as avoided}
coughed at the dust
uncovered traces of owners past
sadly no rum within
a lost picture
graffiti from 1911
this space needs work
there's light coming in

Sunday, 26 February 2017

@@ grinding halt

 the go-slow is starting to get to me

things you take for granted in your old life ~ 
having the phone numbers of a good
handy man
your go-to little black book of the recommended
the renovations have ground to halt
which was fine for a while
but I'm bored of it now
there will be light at the end of that tunnel
need direction to find the people to get going

Friday, 27 January 2017

>> back to the bailiwick

€9.99 flights to England
too cheap to pass
over the Thames and back to Essex
brisk morning walks with my best friend
and her dogs
catching up with family and friends
lots of tea and cake
a tiny bit of culture
plenty of gin
and foggy mornings

I was thoroughly spoilt and loved every moment
even the initial sensory overload of being able
to understand every conversation
the insane amounts of traffic
and the flatness of dear old Essex

see you in Spring

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

** let light in

there are new year posts
some are achievable
many are forgotten
so I choose a word
I write it down and stick it up 
to remind me each day
to use what I already have
renovate each corner of my life