Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The last of Provence

Street scene in Aix-en-Provence

Everyone eats outside.
I loved this doorway ....and the one below.
Aix-en-Provence has lots of interesting bronze statues.
Stone and hollyhocks look great together, especially this colour.
View from up in Moissac over the farmland and villages below
The spice stall at the Aups market - when I asked the spice seller if I could take a photo, he said the price was a kiss! Needless to say, I took him up on it.
The saucisson seller- one of his sausages is sold at Harrod's, he told me. I bought a smoked saucisson but drew the line at donkey meat.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Random images from the past few days

I really can't get enough of blue shutters. Usually they are not arched like these beautiful ones in Régusse.
Fromage de chèvre - goat's cheese - which came on a kebab stick and was delicious!
This day, there was Armandine (clockwise from left front), Ann-Sophie, Guilwen and Manoé (just here for lunch), Elodie's mother's friend and Sophie, her mother working on the studio, as well as Elodie (not in photo) and me.
Putting the first layer of earth plaster onto the straw bales at Elodie's studio. This is difficult as the straw is dry and it's hard to make it stick.
Not pretty like Japanese drain coves, but a pleasing design nevertheless.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Number of the Beast

Actually, this blog post is about the colours of Provence, but as it's post number 666, I just had to use that title. These are wildflowers outside the studio where I'm working.I went walking in the forest below the old town - this was taken coming back. It was very hot but it rained later.
Blue shutters look wonderful against the earthy colour of the houses.
White rocks in dappled shade in the forest.
The red clay of Moissac, the town where the studio is located. Here I have been applying the first layer of earth plaster onto the straw bales.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

En Provence (part 2)

The buildings in the old town are all stone, which is a lovely backdop for plants.
The street my hosts live in - it is a lot steeper than this photo implies. Many of the residents have to park below the old town and walk up to their houses. You can see that no cars are allowed along this street.
One of the old arches of the medieval part of the town.
My host Elodie is a sculptor, and I'm here to help her plaster her strawbale studio in a nearby town. This is her friend Ann-Sophie, who was also helping today. Below is the view of the other side of this room, where Ann-Sophie's son is working on a sculpture.

In a small town in Provence (part 1)

C'est jolie, n'est-ce pas?
A windmill from the 13th century
The houses all have shutters on the windows and doors, to keep the stone houses warm in winter and cool in summer.
In the old town where I'm staying, there are no front or back yards. This paved area is part of the square.
Opposite my window are these lovely blue shutters.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

In the land of Armagnac

Thi photo is actually the last I took at Brettes - a barley field at dawn. I've just snuck it in here as I really liked it.
I am now staying here, in another 200 year old farmhouse, near to the village of Çampagne d'Armagnac. Armagnac is a type of brandy used as an aperitif. Very nice.

There is self-contained holiday accommodation as well, all part of the same building.

The buildings have lovely old tiled roofs. This one comes complete with a cat.

When the sun comes out, you may see lizards.

These are Jersey cows, which are milked to make cheese, butter and yoghurt. Note the horns.

The 2 calves and a couple of the Pyreneean sheep.

My hosts are Dutch, hence the clogs.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

In the French countryside...

A barley field with poppies..
..the old church at Brettes...

..the river Charente at Verteuil...

..poppies are everywhere.

The Chateau at Verteuil with the old mill in front.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Paris - part 3

The lovely wool I bought in Exeter (laceweight merino and silk) is being transformed into a Clapotis, an extremely popular French scarf/shawl pattern featuring rows of dropped stitches - you can see these on the right of the work. As it's worked by increasing on one side and decreasing on the other, the stitches are dropped progressively. Photographed at my hotel room window. The apartments are reached through big double doors like these-often these open into a vestibule that runs right through the building, with a courtyard at the back and stairs and/or lifts leading off the sides.
A lovely cafe near Notre Dame.

The view up the road from my hotel window - I was on the 4th floor. No lifts.

This is a display of goats' cheeses I found in a nearby fromagerie.

Paris - part 2

Boats along the Seine.
I loved the Eiffel Tower - but not enough to want to go up it.
Notre Dame was very popular, but I didn't see the Hunchback.

I walked up to the Arc de Triomphe.

I liked the trompe l'oeil painted on this blank wall at the end of a little parking street.