June 24, 2019

Andree Bonnett RIP 25 02 1929 - 24 06 2019

 Andree died this morning. There are a shed-load of photos of her on this blog - chose this one because it seemed to contain her sagacity with her somewhat impatient tolerance of stupidity, mine normally. Will miss her forever, she was mother-in-residence to me and many others in Esperaza.

Most grateful to her nephew Jacques who rang me with the bad news and invited us to say goodbye before the body is taken to be used in a teaching hospital, as she wished. He is hoping to arrange a small event for her friends here at the weekend. Will report when I know.

As he said; it is wonderful that she didn't live to face a lingering illness or the use of a wheelchair but went suddenly - after an afternoon of Scrabble, aged 90, in a place she enjoyed.

This was the book on her bedside table. Very Andree. She did everything well.

June 23, 2019

Easy Sunday

 Here are Peter Dunn and Phil Harris entertaining us after lunch in the mountains... what a paradise. These lazy days must end soon but not yet :) John and Jean leave us today; Phil remains to keep order.

I'm not completely idle. After being sent to get cheese in the market and consulting with our cheese man, here is the apero - basil and herbs, tomato and ditto plus a decent chevre. Bob did the real work, as ever, providing a massive picnic and then producing dinner for the tribe after we got back home. Sat late in the garden, drinking under the stars, generally being pleased with life.
Whilst in the market many friends were complaining about St Gobains. The question asked was: how could ONE restaurant alienate ALL the ex-pat community (who dine out regularly) in ONE night?
 An impossible task, one might think -

June 22, 2019

successful failure...

 The evening was wonderful and I'm betting there wasn't a soul there who didn't have a great time. Stan was brill as ever.
But how can a restaurant - who knew how many people would be there since they'd all booked tables - fail so conspicuously?
Understaffed with an indifferent menu. Tiny portions of dull stuff, arriving late. Sudden and early lack of house wine meaning expensive bottles have to be bought.
I like to think the staff did their best - they did, for sure - but where was the chef? Gone, it seems (the curse of St Gobains strikes again) plus no effective planning for a full house.
Our friends made their feelings plain. Roland actually took plates into the kitchen to give them a hand. Its a shame because everyone there wished the place well...it'll be hard to get them back there though.

DO NOT BOTHER WITH PLAYING THE VIDEO it wasn't the one I wanted to post and I can't find out how to remove it. And now I'm too wrecked to find the real one, of Stan playing .. 

 Still a pleasure to be en masse and listen to Stan :) (Though not in this video, really, don't bother)

Here are Clare, Toby, Pete...

 Philip and Leo...
and tables of mates. LOTS of people there.

fete de la musique

 Solstice day and the day ordained by the French government to have music playing anywhere and at any time... it rained. The night market happened but not a lot. The family trooped off to Ex-Ty-Rex to see Uncle Stef and  thoroughly enjoyed his updating of the traditional blues.

Good food but jolly costly IMHO -

Thanks to John for this  photo and for the one of Leo, below -

I took the one of the weather. We are allegedly heading for a heat wave.

Bring it on :)

St Gobains tonight to see Stan and dine in even more splendour.

June 21, 2019

edited highlights

Richard and Eva are back and had apero with us - as proved by inadequate photo - after which we gorged at La Perception which was a big success. There was rain late in the day and last night, apparently more due today. Fresh air! 
 Are they perhaps related??

TONIGHT the first of the night markets... see y'all there :)

June 19, 2019


I forgot to snap the family, now including Phil and plus Ian, at the excellent Bob-made dinner in the garden last night. I also forgot to photograph the very beautiful Chateau de Ducs de Joyeuse where wonderful Margaret took me for an apero  - 
Instead here are the new painting racks, wahey! -the first egg from a startled chicken and a nice lemon tree.


Lovely day out in the sunshine at Collioure. Went to the Musee d'art moderne there which in the past has delivered some wonderful surprises but at the moment is, erm, slight. It lacks lustre. On the other hand the beautiful building was empty of folk and gave us a nice little rest after our tremendous lunch. It was in one of those fish restros round the back and  though we ate very little we certainly ate enough, so settled on a picnic dinner at home rather than another meal.
And at home we found Phil who'd arrived a day early and been waiting for us all day, poor chap. So that's the three Harris brothers together again ...