Edited to add another link relating to woad.Scroll down.
Yes, folks, I am home again. Been home a few days, in fact, but somewhat busy.
Have I really not written since the New York segment? ?? Apparently. I expect I was having so much fun, racing about the countryside, meeting other bloggers, making new friends, learning, first-hand, about tortoise biology….Others have written about the blogging house party in Norfolk so I’ll skate over that lavatorial episode.
Instead, I’ll jump ahead to my cross-channel quickie.
I flew to Toulouse to spend a few days with Ange in a lovely old farmhouse in the country. My first time in the south! Hard to believe that in all my years living just across the “sleeve” I never got that far south!
What treasures I missed! Still, I did make up for some of that and have certainly whetted the appetite for more!
Ange and her family live just outside the village which, once a month, at midnight, is closed to vehicular traffic for this little parade.
http://www.iter.org/newsline/115/1659 click the top image
Foolishly, I, with TWO cameras, took neither, not realising quite what we’d see as we drove into the village late one night!
The logistics of moving an A 380, albeit in its component parts, are mind-boggling. And not a little hold-your-breath scary! But I’m so pleased to have seen it, being a bit of an aeroplane freak.
And the next day we headed for Carcassonne (passing the Airbus parts in the workshop yard on the way!). I think my earliest knowledge of Carcassonne came from a jigsaw puzzle depicting mounted knights riding up to the castle. Not quite as forbidding today, it’s still an impressive place. The winding, narrow streets are (as you’d expect) a tourist mecca, with, sadly,some of the merchandise marked “frabrique en Chine.” But look carefully and you can still find items produced locally.Or, at least, in the Eurozone. This, I think, is vital, given the fiscal mess so many places are in.
But let’s keep politics out of this!
Sorry.Can’t! Political clout has always played a part in history and the next place I visited was no different.
The Toulouse area owed its prestige and wealth to the humble plant,Isatis tinctoria, from which an all-important dye is derived.We visited http://www.bleu-de-lectoure.com to learn more.
Ange’s son, assisting in a demonstration* Note the greenish colour of the cloth-this will dry blue.
Blue bunnies. Erm…just what is in those carrots!
Blue doors and shutters at every turn…
And just to show that I’m not completely besotted by blue, here’s something black…
Petunias! Aren’t they gorgeous? Madame,the cafe “Rouge Gorge” owner said she had planted red-and-black,to complement the decor, but the frightful early summer of cold rain made the reds revert to a faded white and pink. But these beauties thrived.
Had enough of France? OK…back across the Atlantic for this:
A block-mounted print of one of my friend, Victoria’s, subway paintings. See her site and Etsy shop for more. Some of you already know that I have other work by Victoria and it was lovely to see her again on this trip. We cruised a couple of exhibitions and wandered around East Village haunts and talked a lot! This little gem now hangs above my desk.It puts me in mind of Degas. What do you think? Thanks, Victoria.
Of course, it would not have been New York without my favourite guide...but that’s for another post!