Saturday, 31 August 2019

I am with the demonstrators in heart, mind and soul.


Demonstrations are taking place across the UK against Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament in the run-up to Brexit.   (MY thanks to internet media for photos)

I say:
he is a boxing fighter / a fighting boxer ... see the action of his fists...

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Neighbours were correct to call the Police some time ago....
there could have been someone else in the house causing his girlfriend to scream....
and if it was him then SHAME on him.
He uses BULLY TACTICS, deception, arrogance, narcissism and much more to line his pockets and those of others.... to line his self esteem.
BUT I am no the only one to think he shows disdain and contempt for my country, as in Great Britain and its British / European Citizens and its Peoples (within ethnic groups)

There is only one way down from a pedestal for any narcissist or any one who thinks he is above justice.

Today, there is a protest demonstration and as I can't be there, this is my DEMONSTRATION.   I speak out on this platform.

I am a simple person, having been naive most of my life, perhaps still am, yearn for PEACE in SOCIETY and RESPECT between individuals.

Whether Brexit is right or wrong it is not democratic and never has been, in my opinion.

I AM with those who fight for DEMOCRACY.
I AM with those who fight for JUSTICE and PEACE between NATIONS, who are also against the rise of far right and continued capitalism, 
I am not in support of those who create political and economic activistic, aggressive, social media abuse whilst stirring against religion, faith, etc on social and otherwise media.  

There is no one right way for relationships to be healthy, yet, plenty of wrong ways to make unhealthy relationships. And Society starts with two people to understand each other, to communicate and respect each other and this then grows into a Nation where there has to be negotiation and compromise or chaos, unrest, unhappiness and death.

I am imperfect.
Aware of that truth, I will continue a struggle for decency, respect, tolerance, where opinions can be voiced but not where everyone thinks they are entitled to laud over another.

In my opinion, the 2016 voting results for BREXIT or REMAIN of  51% and 49%, were flawed.
Flawed because it was:
unrecorded as to what percentage of voters did not vote
unrecorded as to what percentage of voters voted but spoiled their ballot paper possibly because the wording could be unclear to some and they did not understand the question or implications
UK citizens were told lies
UK citizens, like me, did not understand the HISTORY of how we arrived at that point in 2016.

I voted REMAIN in EUROPE. 
I voted for Freedom of European Movement. 
I voted for European exchange. 
I voted for kindred spirits with our immediate neighbours.
I voted for PEACE between all nations.
I stand by my vote.

I live in France.
My story is simple, yet emotionally charged from being betrayed,  abandoned,  rejected by parental emotional neglect and by a soul mate who began to change his character.
I am ageing but not yet ready to go back to uncertainty in UK despite my other challenges.
I have had some of the best experiences of my life despite hardship and trauma,
I miss many things.  BUT for the moment  HERE is PEACE.

I love my country and United Kingdom, and whilst none of life anywhere is perfect,we do not need global war, civil war, disputes, aggression that jeopardise peace or that cause physical or mental harm  to others, or where there is simple and basic unkindness between peoples.

We start at being kind to others, to respect and trust others.  It started when we were born.
When people hurt us, or break our trust and friendship, break relationships then it causes angst, anger and volatility, then on a much larger scale it leads to where the nation is now.
I am sad for that.
HENCE,  I am with all those who wish to REMAIN WITHIN EUROPE ....

I am sure there could be compromise, negotiation and Europe could benefit from UK just as UK has indeed benefited from Europe despite what the sceptics say.

I pray for Peace in UK and the world.

I pray for Democracy to be respected
I pray that the modern political rules are regarded closely and re - created so that GOVERNANCE of Great Britain is better understood by all.

A protester hold up an EU flag in front of a Brexit now banner

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Learning how to book a short city break solo.

This year, I did not wish to spend yet another birthday in this house alone. Until 2010, my adult birthday day had always been extra special, spent with others, enjoying gifts and cards. It is my gift to my Self, as in Reality,  I am not one to like to be spoiled in that way on other days. 

A year ago I wondered where to travel nearby, for MY BIRTHDAY ALONE, without breaking the bank and body.  Last year with a physical walking problem, I hauled myself out of the house too late in the day to drive for almost two hours in my ageing vehicle to Chenonceaux Chateau, where I mainly sat to eat a beautiful 'late in France' lunch.  I wandered in the chateau as I have seen it many times. This time in awe that I could cross the gallery over the bridge to the island. It was too much for me to walk in the gardens where I sat frequently until closing time.

The physical problems have continued unresolved for a year and more.  

So... a TEST was necessary, that would exercise the groin pain. This year I WOULD go to Paris to do city walks.   Last year, I was too late in becoming brave enough to book the adventure, by which time prices had soared.  After repeated research I booked 4 nights Airbnb in Paris.

In ways unknown I have been energised even though my body feels weary! 

My mantra became: "I am a river flowing...."  or  "I am a leaf floating on a river - drifting at different speeds, hoping not to get stuck or destroyed before I reach my destination". Of course, like me, the leaf is already in a state of decomposition. I am tempted to publish my poem about that concept from 11/2011, but dare not deviate.

1. Gain confidence with each step of achievement. 
2. Control rising panic.
3. Ask friends for advice on what to do and how to do it.
4. Find accommodation. Cancel accommodation. Book better accommodation. My friend says I deserve it. Yes I do!  It was a really good Airbnb for bed, location and privacy.
5a.  Book train ticket - I'd already checked out how to do it and which TGV to catch.
5b. Check station and what to do.
5c. Check what to do for car parking for five days and cost. I didnt wish to poark for free several streets away.
6. Research what to do in Paris.  Last year I'd bought a smaller than A3 sized book which unfolds for each arrondissement describing monuments, restaurants, markets, shops etc.  At Montparnasse my first step was to the newsagents in the station.  I found a good book map for walking - pages split into arrondissements with GRID numbered squares.  It took three days to understood how the logic of how the pages inter related!  Eureka!  The large plastified map was not so useful as it did not easily fold; it was referenced a few times.  Good for planning the next trip!
7. Start a TRAVEL journal... glue / write all details of where to stay and other information. Use it to write in.... (I hardly had any time to write!) The TRAVEL Journal can contain the next trip info.
8. Packing nightmare.  What is the least I can travel with being not a minimalist when I go anywhere|! What to wear?  Weather?  Feet issues mean shoes need to be changed during the day. The sandals, not feet, need deodorant in this heat.  Talcum powder decanted into a small plastic supplement container was used every day to refresh the feet.
9. Start to gather what I need... REJECT more than half over the next few days. Rejected more the night before.  In the morning, screamed at the packing that I hate my clothes and lectured myself for behaving like a child. Told myself this will not do as I have packed at least 5 times and decided I don't like my bags.  Told myself I can do it and will do it. 
10. A few days before I travelled I ordered a new crossbody handbag, a BAGGALINI, which arrived in two days!  It was an excellent travel bag and I even began to like the many pockets - GOOD for memory!    Money here .. passport there... I know I should split valuables but it was better to have one place and have my hand tight on it at all times.
11. In a panic not to be late but already later than my intention, I drove anxiously to the train station, where, despite knowing what to do I tried to enter two bank cards in the machine to obtain a ticket to open the barrier, pressed button for HELP.  A French voice told me all I had to do was press the green button. I pay on exit!   I knew that... Silly me! Fortunately, I was 20 minutes in time to sit and study people travelling. What bags did they carry? What shoes and clothing did they wear?  Where were they going?  Some of course were working!  People very clean and tidy, chic and sophisticated,  even with huge travel bags!
12. Discover train seat numbering - sit - relax - I can do it - Here we go!!!!!!!!!!
Two hours to Paris.
BREATHER: Thank goodness the school contingent were well behaved, because on the homeward journey they were loud and naughty, smashing empty plastic bottles in the folding hinged tables.

Monday, 15 July 2019

Mess to clear and clean

On my return, I had three hours to clear a mad packing frenzy mess,  created by me and only me, where I did a big reject at the last minute packing moment.  As well as that mess,, I had to prep the courtyard for dining,  as well as clean my house.  It was clean when I left it!  Oh, where did all those weeds come from in one week?
I was ready by some miracle having secreted some things waiting to be tidied.

Three were bringing lunch.  I was to provide cheeses and dessert.  Then I had an idea for a surprise afternoon extra, but did not have time to get to the village shop.
I had to move the car, then agreed to look at a vide-grenier about 20 metres from my house. The centenarian, now in a home with his wife as a couple, had a vast barn full of 100 year old and more planks of old wood, and many interesting items gathering dust from another life.

Lunch was spinach and salmon quiche, couscous and salade.  Morbier was the cheese course and cafe gourmand the dessert.
We started with Cremant de Loire bubbly and moved to Pinot Grigio sparkling.
We set off for the village fete.  I lost the girls several times, then her husband didn't seem to be with them, but at the Chevrolets, they all disappeared.
I kept meeting people I knew.....long story for another time maybe.....
Eventually, waylaid at the deceased artist's house, I realised they might have gone home, me not knowing the time. Ah, there they are. Just arrived.
Fortunately, whilst in the process of searching for them, I sourced ingredients from the village shop (a tub of icecream 6e +) and from the bakery, meringues ( not their own 2e+) .  On reflection maybe it was a reasonable price. I am really out of touch with prices which seem to be soaring.
The packet of supermarket frozen berries were thawing. 
The surprise for me guests was Mint tea from my garden with ETON MESS, which went down a dream.  I used my beautiful HABITAT glass bowls.
Too soon after long fun tales of their GR70 trail they were on their way home for the evening.
We talked a little about my city walk but there isn't much for me to tell seasoned Parisian visitors, although I am sure there are sufficient enough tales in history for a century of conversation.  It was my learning experience of wandering and meeting whatever occurred before me.
Joy in giving and receiving.
It is so lovely to have vibrant friends.
It was a really happy day for me.
And now a lot of MESS for the dishwasher!

Sunday, 7 July 2019

only in France...unexpectedly something delightful happens

Intense heat of the canicule continues.
The doorbell ... bell at the gate ... tinkles at 5pm. 
Fortunately, I was dressed in better clothes.  Unusually in white - feeling cool and relaxed after an anxious day. Never liking the clothes I have and uncertain of image, I had been trying on summer clothes not worn even last summer.
"Les choses pour les valises".  How little could I take?
My usual style is to throw all options into the bag and vehicle.
 But this time I must choose only what I can carry.
It has been a long while since I experienced BIG CITY life in a Summer.
I intend to walk to test the GROIN PAIN.

To stem the still small voice of quiet I've been playing music .... started with George, Neil and now more blues. I need a better sound system!  I transgress.
Wow... it is the tall elegant man who with his beautiful tall lady started my venture into hospitality. He is alone today with his lovely dog.
They've bought a French dream of  a 'pas habitable property' not far from here.

One of his first questions was 'how was business?'  He perceived a demise in the village - He spoke of  fools who close a village shop for two weeks in June - such fools to close restaurants.

I feel hugely lifted in my spirits at the kindness of beautiful people.
They had sometimes passed, but often, too late in the evening! 
So now it happened.   I am grateful that people remember me.
This couple were my first accidental bnb  couple.
( I remember being in a Spanish village with my son and we arrived at about 9 in the evening to a heaving village. No room at the inn. The kindness of the hotelier who disappeared for some while and found us accommodation!  We followed to an upper level. the noise was horrendous. I had to sleeo with my sons' stinky feet. He was oblivious to the partying in the village. I was grateful for a bed!)

I was so nervous at bringing people into my house. Since then I have met wonderful genuine, kind people, great friends in passing, as well as a few who do not get me and it, about my style of serving hospitality to people.
I would never have had this opportunity in UK.
Times have changed . I always said I would have got lodgers if I hadnt come to France... Then Airbnb was almost about to hit the SCENE but I never knew that!

Now I am more relaxed but ever cautious. 

His dog was a bouncy hairy Schnauzer, who actually obeyed my voice.
A playful puppy, regal and elegant,  like his owners.
I can understand my mother liking them... (as long as they don't get thick set in the haunches! )

Maybe I should get that Saluki or Borzoi if it could be such a good friend and company BUT dogs are smelly!
I would love another cat but no not yet.
Adventures must be available for me to go to travelling a little! 

An affront

I'd had only one beer and 7 hours earlier a glass of wine with food.
I witnessed a man grabbing at the blouse of a woman and causing a reveal.
My pride and much more for humanity and women was hurt.
It was a small thing in the grand scheme of LIFE.
My prudishness sat and considered, whilst an alcoholic fuelled drama occurred around me.
"Me TOO"
I wanted to call out.
Call out disrespectful behaviour.
What did I feel?
Is this adult behaviour?
Yes and No.
Tame in the real world?
Are these people you wish to acquaint with?
Saddened that the culture of the day has waned away to bawdy, tawdry, loud, raucous, peasantry stuff.
How do you feel?
Don't wish to stay in the social scene.
Do you wish to leave?
Yes... is it silly to leave?
You have a choice. You wanted to leave some time ago, were persuaded by others to stay, so now the truth about the first inclination is revealed. Always follow your gut!
I shall say something confrontational if I do not leave.
(stand ... sit down ... wait seconds... stand.. sidle towards the exit)
Excuse me .. I am going home now.
(everyone stops and turns to say "don't leave")
Someone asks am I afraid?
No.   No.  There is nothing to be afraid of.
(takes steps to leave... turns...returns)
I have a right to leave.
They agreed.
I do.
They were subdued. 
I suppose my soul was shocked. 
I felt inwardly personally betrayed.
When one plays frivolous games that some men and women can play, then there is an awareness,
but when one sees it happening to someone else and sees it is unwanted... it is not fun.
My boundaries for social conduct had been violated.
No one has the right to ask women personal questions in public about their attire.
He was told that earlier on.
He was told that there are certain questions you do not ask women in public.
He agreed.
No mature adult would surely make suggestive sexual vocalisations in public.
He does very often .. 
It isn't funny any more.
People should be ashamed of being lured into the game.
I am
The game is ended.
I have never in my life seen this sort of thing happen, when it was not welcomed.
I wish to be with adults not children in adult bodies.
Yes it has disturbed my soul.
Troubled the soul.

A troubled soul - she and I

If this blog were completely anonymous she would be able to write all that is in her head,
about certain persons who have been in her life, who seem to hang on a hanger in her wardrobe.
A troubled soul.. this description for myself arrived today.

There are:
Those who will never understand this lifestyle in not her own country.
Those who have never lived alone for any structured period of time.
Those who have never lived alone in France for any structured period of time.
Those who have lived alone but NOT in France and NOT in a different country or indeed in this particular touristic village of France.
Those who are not her.
There are those who do not understand her, but, there is no need.
Some tell her what to do and others do not.
Some influence, others do not.
Some have given up advising from the perimeter.

The following has haunted me all my life and affects how I think people understand me:

There are those who never heard her father yelling at her mother ...
who never felt her trauma fear that made her hide until a storm had passed.
who never saw her mother physically violated causing scars on her back which I never saw but heard about, whilst attempting to protect her firstborn with cerebral palsy, her two normal birthed girls and her business livelihood to keep us all afloat. Sometimes we were shut out of the house until debris had to be cleared.  Her poor dear deranged father, mother, and family. It's really hard without a mother who was always there but never one to be talked to or who would talk about mother daughter things.
She feels she is a troubled soul today. BUT IT IS NOT ALWAYS THIS WAY.
Good things DO HAPPEN.
She has tried to integrate...thinks it isn't working because communication in French must go beyond words.  Maybe it is just a slow process, like the man in Suffolk once said,
"You have to live here for 25 years before you are accepted", just as did a temporary neighbour, quite recently say,
"You have to live here for 20 years before your language is fluent".
When one feels one does not belong anywhere ,then one is adrift and needs an anchor.
A home and family was my vision but it's just little old me. The children have their own lives.

Troubled by childhood trauma that won't seem to let go though she has tried kicking it down the lane.
Troubled by that man she loved or thought she loved who caused deep wound PAIN.
A lovely man.
A troubled soul too.
She perceives his most recent typed rant, justified or not as a response to her written word, as there was and is no other form of communication over 19 months and more has been misjudged.
She is not always careful with typed word. Mild dyslexia of setting down thoughts needs to be worked at. She onfuses grammar and content.  She knows she can be misinterpreted.  She knows thoughts should not be set down in print and if they are, should be severely edited at a later date when MIND has had time to settle the anxious brain.  Sometimes, she needs to express: be heard whist trying hard not to judge her neighbour but to judge herself.  She knows she should not reveal herself but she does!

Today she thinks again in disbelief how close they were when they were fulfilled in love.
Looking back, she feels used and abused.
Victim mentality. That is the hardest pain.
The pain of something beautiful destroyed has taken away opportunity.
However the opposite is it has given rise to other opportunities.
Turn it around.
She is not abused.  She is noit a victim.

She has been given a gift of Life to open the door and windows mentioned in the Header of this Blog. Stop letting negativity win.

She poured out her soul. The troubled soul that his yelling at her made her freeze on alert for the monthly storm of her father.  A wound does not heal if it is constantly opened.
When she once told him that it made her afraid of him ... that it was like her father yelling ... he just stared and blinked his wide-open blue-grey eyes, mouth agape almost.  Surprising for him,  as usually a very tight lipped person until the YELL or SHOUT came OUT without warning to last maybe a second or minute, hour, week and sometimes month or months, harboured, without reference, without remorse, without apology, without reason, without excuse and sometimes combined with silence for as long!

The victim of the SHOUT is a startled rabbit ready to run, to hide, to escape, to get away from pain to come.  No wonder adrenal glands feel shot!  They control fear, flight and freeze: she never knew the last until recently. Freeze is what has been a disability all her life when intimidated.  It interrupts the breathing pattern. Messes up the body support system.
Sing, dance, play music, be practically creative and the Frozen state melts.
One should not brush a SHOUT under the carpet for it to gather dust and lie dormant for it will sneak out when least expected.
It needs to be swept up and challenged as to WHY it is happening from that person.
I know.
I was a SHOUT when a condition / illness and my own non understanding of what was happening inside me, could not keep pretending she was OK.

Today ~ I don't wish to go out on my own or be with others, but to be in Nature under a tree would be a nice thing to do. There are trees at the other land.  I should try with a rug and a book, a pillow and a picnic.  Today, and for some time, I am lazy with procrastination in the Summer wall of heat.

Today I am chastised for being me.
Am I but my own obligation?
I called to talk, not to unload,  but to have a sense of normality, increasingly difficult when conversational interchange does not flow.

The heat of days could be an excuse... it is probably cooler to be out in a breeze.
I didn't want to go to a car boot sale, a restaurant or bar or drive an ailing vehicle without climatisation and windows that open to escape from me.
Despite two hours mid afternoon sleep I am really tired. I think the reason is it can arise from insufficient exercise, stimulation. One could say I am  bored but I have enough to do.

Things can change in a moment without notice to change a troubled soul.
I am about to have an adventure and a little nervous.
This thought brings a smile to counter tears today.
We don't cry every minute of every day like we did when completely abandoned in France with a house around my neck,  to renovate and live alone.
There is always a lesson why Life is as it is or isn't.

A troubled soul....signifies to listen to the lesson and turn it around.

I mostly understand myself.
Sometimes she is overwhelming to others and herself...
all that she needs to do is overwhelming,..
she doesn't have stamina, energy or motivation to do all of it
but she keeps the rooms as tidy as she can,
clears up untidiness that she alone can make quite easily.
Tries to keep ORDER.

Something seems to have died...
Something will grow again.
Something will live.

The troubled soul will allow itself to be healed.
Recognition is always the first step in a process.

The troubled soul would like to write a letter to her mother at least but she is not here to read it.

She thinks she has words enough for a boring book, but doesnt know how to do it.
People would not wish to listen, let alone hear or read.
Probably a load of personal trivia as in this blog.
I CARE to have my DREAMS, my reveries.

This next adventure must be a spring board for the settling of the soul....

Thursday, 27 June 2019

French language Frustration

A part time resident welcomes me.
I speak in French.
He says I can speak in English.
Then tells me I need to improve my French!!!!!!!!
I tell him I'm trying EVERYDAY to speak the beautiful language!

He also enquired if I lived here all the time. 
He told me how they normally always come for the whole of  JULY AUGUST and sometimes Easter time but that they came here during the winter on their return from ski-ing....... and there was no one -NO ONE for a whole week.....  He Agreed it is dire in the winter.  I told him I didn't have a choice not owning property elsewhere.

He was kind.
An hour later, it again gets to me and I feel depressed.

These things matter to me:
1. BELONGING... I have to belong somewhere.
2. Need security, safety, comfort of my own home - shared or not shared.
3. Social & Cultural meaningful discussion and contact with others.
4. Support and inter exchange with others.
5. Family
6. Financial Independence.

So if, I need 3 and 4, and fail with language skills,  there is only one thing I ought to do at this age of my life.
I should no longer try to live in a Fort Knox / French "chateau " / "winter prison"  which requires a family and renovation.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Summer Sun Contentment

By a distant village summer river 'plage' we listened to a MADAGASCAN music group.  They were good!  At home, I needed to lie down and wait a while. My bra was soaking wet. I researched how to lower heart rate.  After while I counted 90 per minute when the target for aged 70 = 75 to 128 beats per minute so I'm not doing too bad!

This year is the first evening that I have sat n my back garden since 2016.  In 2017 and 2018. burdened with the WILL,,  I hardly ventured out when HEAT was too much or COLD and RAIN was inclement,  so I became more physically unfit.  Today, I felt that glorious heat of summer, when I can bare legs, arms and therefore my soul.  It feels as if I am on the way to being healed.  I did bare my arms and legs on the Ile de Ré in September 2018 after I had travelled alone to see a Performance of Shakespeare as I began to emerge like a butterfly opening her wings.  
It was with romantic notions and memories, yet with personal pleasure of being on my own and independent of anyone that I went again to that wonderful place of security, safety.   It was with romantic notions and memories,  I revisited an Isle that reminded me much of a place I considered to be my home town – Southwold …. but in actual fact , when I returned there in January and February this year I could not stay for long. It was too closed,  too crowded, too 'noir'. I did not feel free.  I felt stifled, that 'my home' had been robbed from me by the hooray Henry's and squashed in so called needful development.   Whereas France seems more and more to fulfill my need to be alone and independent even though I long for company.


Today I bought two types of exquisite goats cheese from “ISABELLE” in La Roche Posay market. 
I cannot explain the complete story in my head to you or retell it for me, but I pressed the water pump to water garden plants for the second or third time this summer… we had had so much rain in June.  A stained by time and weather plastic chair had made its way to the lilac tree but no one had ever sat there. 
It looked inviting.
I created a makeshift table for the chair. 
I took my cheeses, rice salad and glass of red wine on a tray with my reading book to dine,  to look towards the setting sun … it sets behind the rooftops. 
Yes it was 2016 when I was last here…. and only just before HE without many days of warning LEFT at the end of July when we were supposed to have gone camping after finishing the kitchen.  HE, my former partner who I feel several times had shafted me, forgive me, but I can’t think of other appropriate words, when one felt abandoned and rejected.  Well, anyway, having decided to sell everything and 'give almost everything away', he again escaped to the south of France or maybe this time was straight to Peckham Rye where he fell out with the host on the day I departed to go see my mother for her 90th birthday.   He needed a bolthole … what|????   In normal circumstances before that he could always rely on me but when he left in July, old wounds opened up especially remembering the Bordeaux incident the years before!
A Long costly journey for a bolt hole from UK to France for an immediate bolthole?  Can he not go to his daughter or sister?  I never said YES and I never said NO. I was late departing and a ferry had to be reached in an ailing vehicle. I was on my journey with everyone set up with keys to look after my cat. … our cat!       
CUT…… C.U.T.

I really wish to write about being in the garden this evening.

I sat feeling the most excellent warmth and that wonderful contentment that comes from sitting in absolute heat and European sunshine that was a very rare wonder in England.

I read my book.  Grellier the cat came to look from a distance.
It was almost 23h before I returned indoors.

When I have a need to be close to others, or to express thoughts, desires, abstract feelings which have insufficient words, then music and company, or even being still and alone has great gifts.
The hot African heat drawing itself north through Europe on account of too much water evaporation holds a special moment in one's living hours.
Contentment is a most wonderful gift to treasure.

Monday, 24 June 2019

More Garden in June

The first blooms of ROALD DAHL David Austin Roses 
I planted the bare root in early April.
This splendid architectural 'thing', was originally about 10cm tall from Auchan with about 5 other small 'thing' plants, four of which died.  The other ground cover plant can be seen just behind it. This has been moved at least twice, but seems happiest in the lavender and rose bed, so much so, that this year, after growing more spiky leaves that I keep away from, it bloomed for the first time.  YUCCA Gloriosa. I was intending to move it as it is in the wrong place for my lavender plan!

Grellier in playful mode - neighbour's cat who cheekily slinks indoors to be gently shooed away.
Two 'surviving their struggle' roses, peeping from behind lavender.
At last these are flowering, having moved from several gardens to here - from the garden of my Aunt Ivy - deceased 1994
Uprooted after flowering, before they seed, ORIENTAL poppies which were glorious, but now need to be hung to dry,
once stems can be cut easily in half.
Filled with prunings from Paul's Himalayan Rose- see images in previous posting.The gardener clipped off the shooting branches which were new growth looking for jungle trees to ramble through!
This can be a secret haven BUT that there chair has got to go as it is most uncomfortable and always has been.
I think maybe to buy a stripey deck chair..

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Music Night In France

I decided to drag myself out of my Saturday mind, concerned about family & thinking 'how did it get like this....??' into 'getting warmer by the hour', a beautiful sunshiny day.  I headed toward Le Grand Pressigny but continued to Le Petit Pressigny to see one of four art expositions with 12 artists exhibiting.   I chose an artist I know.  It was a splendid, simple, effective exposition of wonderful photography of light and feathers with interesting ceramic sculpture influenced by marine form.

Back through the beautiful verdant, untainted valley of L'Aigronne to La Fête de la Musique where people I know were performing.   I missed some groups as there were two stages.  
There were lovely healthy salads for 2 e per bowl. BUT Steak and Chips was on offer by one of the stages for which I had been yearning for a while. A delicious apple tart with too much flaky pastry for my liking was so nice washed down with rosé wine and dining al fresco with others was a treat I have not had for a very very long time.

Good Company. Good Food. Good Music.  Good decorations from recycled plastics.
 The jazz orchestra did a number by Stevie Wonder and "Knock on Wood".
Good female singer.   Scottish Jim sung old rock songs and then Celtiqua played Irish Music.

 I had a discussion with Tim about the pronunciation of  words  deriving from CELT... we were in agreement,  BUT, now I  learn that a hard k and soft ce are each deemed to be correct for English phonology.

At the parking place I think one pot has been removed.

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Le Brigade Singing European Songs

After we sang all our songs, the town collége school presented a performance about people's rights. Our group became imprisoned by 58 metres or so of knitting...others were trapped in yarns of wool.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

My Three Piano Accordions

It was the first public performance I've done for about 4 or 5 years.
Standing was easier in heels but a warm evening breeze liked to play 'snatch my ancient music' from pegged music stand and table, so after about an hour I gave in to the wind.  I have recently dug out accordion pieces I played when I was 12 -14 years of age which I haven't played for decades   so those lovely concertos which need the pages to be turned need to be photocopied and mounted onto card. Unfortunately, I have never mastered learning by heart piano  recorder or piano accordion music.

I don't have any photos of yesterday evening when I played for the opening of a photographic exhibition in the village square with the newly appointed bar / restaurant. They are waiting for the kitchen to be finished before serving meals.

I played my newly purchased Italian Piermaria 240 accordion with 80 basses,weigh 9,2 kg which  had not been played by previous owner for 15 years.   I think it must be between 15 and 20 years old
It's one kilo lighter than my Italian Marinucci 120 bass 10, 2 kg which was bought when I was 10, so 60 years ago, and then it was secondhand. I think it must be between 61 and 65 years old. It was Santa who bought me my first accordion when I was 7 years old.  Initially, I was taught after primary school hours by my maths teacher. She was French but within a short soace of time I needed a much bigger instrument as I could not play any more pieces on the little Hohner Mignoni 8 basses.  Then I started to have lessons with Martin Lukins in Uxbridge. I remember playing a black accordion.  I don't know if my parents hired or bought the one I played before I was ten years old.  I remember sitting on the edge of the settee in the front walk-through living room at 10 Saxon Avenue, Hanworth, Middlesex with my chin pointed upwards resting on the accordion and my knees supporting the weight. My father hand-stitched a leather buckled back-strap to keep the accordion straps from slipping off my shoulders. It was in the same place for years and years, after I paid a company in Scotland to tune the Marinucci about 25 years ago.  It had new straps and an integrated back strap.
Then ...last year ... with decluttering I moved it ... and I need it now for the PierMaria.

Friday, 14 June 2019

Garden in June

Lots of self sown oriental red poppies, roses,  an orchid in flower, and the spiky plant from Auchan 9 years ago measuring 10 cm tall is now in flower for the first time.... and crowding the rose behind it. Lavender too is crowding some roses in the border as are some rose bushes crowding some lavender plants.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Pottery Project

It has been many weeks working at sculptural form.

I'd seen a garden sculpture that inspired, when I was asked what I wished to make.  This was discussed and I was shown how to start but my result will be vastly different than the inspirational piece.  Once started, and after a few weeks, I realised that I was enjoying the process of being so absorbed for two hours in trying to master techniques to mould clay, that it didn't matter how slowly the item would reach a finished state.

I am grateful to the professional artist / teacher who rescued and inspired when I talked about the structure having an air of becoming a chateau for a plant.    The humour from the class was that it was a rhubarb forcer, a Civray Nuclear Energy chimney, a Staffordshire pottery chimney, a chimney... but then it transformed.  "What will you do with it?" they asked in French, before it had holes, and then when it had holes, hilariously offering all manner of suggestions.

But with TIME not on my side the teacher drilled out the holes once I had cut out the larger ovals.   He needed the item to go into the kiln for biscuit firing.
It took almost two hours to sand remove knobbles.... and then glaze.  Much waiting, as it was a demanding session for the teacher, but a good opportunity to watch, listen and learn to the stages that others were at with each of their individual creations.  Some were making bowls and plaques, others masks and plates, and one was making figurative, imaginative models.

It started life as coils of clay building upwards and inwards.  Instead of winding roses around the form it became a staircase...the top wasn't what I had tried to create so I cut it off! It has been glazed an awaits a second firing in the kiln... along with a coned roof piece which MIGHT fit or not.

Final Piece to appear here when completed.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

June Cake and Bake Club

VINTAGE or ON TREND was the theme... ...
No one chose the latter  but one witty baker used a recipe which was ON TREND when her grandmother used the recipe! 
The Cake Club now allows savoury bakes and any bake or creation  that is NOT a large cake that can be cut into portions.
The June event started an hour earlier,  so people had lunch rather than afternoon tea.  I am not really in favour of the idea nor keen on savoury bakes but I was voted out!  It is interesting.
My Classic Vintage Coffee and Walnut Cake with an  On Trend Chocolate Buttercream filling and topping
The Organiser's brother made an excellent yummy ginger cake.
The Organiser made a fruit bake with fresh fruits yet the Vintage recipe used frozen fruits.
Her husband made a wonderful tasty Vintage Glacé cherry cake.

Remember tinned Mandarins... make a Bombe with Bourbon biscuits.

Shortbread biscuits

 All three quiches contained bacon / ham so I picked the meat out!
 Well prepared by the lovely hosts at Le Grand Pressigny.