– Last weekend, possibly the final weekend of glorious sunshine for another year, we went to Strasbourg, the final birthday celebration, a city that is fully French, was once German for almost 50 years and is now filled with pretzels, flammenkueche, and all around adorability… And good cocktails! What? I’m Irish!!! Seriously, I wanted to […]
Recently, I offered a post on the street where I live. As I went through some older photos, later, I found two that I had made off old postcards, on the same street more than a century ago. I thought perhaps some of you would enjoy seeing them.
If I am correct, my home should be just past that group of people seen exiting, or perhaps entering, a house mid-way on the left. While the foot bridge has a set of steps in each direction, the other side is not visible from this view. It is the second set of steps that appear further back that exist today as you can see if you check out the post of 5 August 2018. Inbetween the sets of stairs, you can see the old pump which still exists, and works, though rarely used.
If you look closely at the road, you can see some tracks for the old train that used to come through the village. A neighbor has just informed me that a small steam train ran from Portel des Corbières to Tuchan until the 1930’s. At different points it would connect and one could get into Narbonne which had a large number of trains that could take you to many destinations.
Some of the houses have interesting patterns on their walls which have long been covered up by renderings. Those patterns would be consistent with the era As you can see it is winter time as the trees are bare and the people at the top of the staircase appear to be bundled up against the cold weather.
From this second photo you can see there was an épicerie (grocery) just next to where the café was located at that point in time. No doubt you could stop in and pick up a fresh baugette with ham and or cheese and a thick spread of butter and wash it down with a glass of wine or beer. That is not where it was when I moved here over a decade ago nor where it is now located at the other end of the village. You get a look at the foot bridge that is no longer there, What you don’t see is that there was attached an outdoor toilet, how appropriate across from where everyone is eating and drinking. The café in this photo had been altered by its owners years later and for many years served as the village pharmacy. At some time after WWI, a number of balconies where added including the old pharmacy as you can compare if you look at the post referred to earlier. https://foundinfrance.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/on-the-street-where-i-live-a-challenge/
I can see, to the left, how high the wall along the river used to be. It has been lowered some years ago. As you can see, the wall is higher than most of the people near it. I am barely five feet tall myself and the wall now, in some areas, is little higher than my waist. Before you ask, nothing around here is level so we shall move on. It appears to be Spring or possibly early Summer as the trees are quite filled out with leaves and some of the citizens are in shirt sleeves. As you can see, everyone is glad of the opportunity to socialize with their neighbors on a beautiful day as the sunlight filters through the trees. I find it fascinating that in these photos could be former owners of my own home.
Perhaps I can find more such photos and if so, I shall share them here on the blog.
Our friends at Fandango have thrown down the gauntlet. The challenge, On The Street Where I Live. You can visit them at: https://fivedotoh.com/2018/08/01/on-the-street-where-i-live/ Thank you Fandango.
“Home is where you feel loved, appreciated and safe.” – Tracy Taylor
While France may not be the land of my birth, it is the home of my heart.
Boulangerie (Bakery) not yet open for the evening rush
Most of the opposite side of our street is the wall dividing between village and the river.
The old pharmacy is for sale and has much to offer. It would be ideal for a business with residence above.
The old café is for sale as the new owners moved it down the road so they had more room and plenty of outside space. Upstairs is a working hotel.
Stop and smell the roses, or whatever else is in bloom and perhaps a sprig of rosemary.
The bank is to the left but we shall stay on my street.
Chambre d’hotes and large houses (similar to a bed and breakfast)
Bibliothèque (Library) During the summer months it also doubles as the Tourist Office.
Foyer (for indoor events including cinema)
Small market with gas pumps
The new café
Alas, it is a long road that I live on. What you see here, barely scratches the surface and at best, I shall hope it tempts you to visit the small villages in France. We have much to offer.
In part two of the “hidden” art expo here in Albas, we begin with sculpture and photos in a charming little courtyard.
Christian Jacques: Sculpture and Pierre Jammes: Photography
Alas, there is no website for either artist. However, You can find Pierre Jammes on FaceBook and I have an email address for each if you like. firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
If you would like additional information about this annual exposition or any of the artists, please visit the site of Eurocultures: https://eurocultures.fr/festival-dart/ They may be able to assist in questions regarding the artists or perhaps you would be interested in showing your own works here.
This tiny courtyard with his charming fence is on permanent display. If you go back four or five years ago in these posts, you may find this same village feature. Creativity is everywhere in this lovely little village and imaginations run wild, as they should.
LIFE IN A SUITCASE is the theme of returning artist Anne Sarda. As one who writes, I love how she gives me inspiration with her instillations. Her website is user-friendly, and so much is available to spark your creativity. http://annesarda.com/
As in the previous post, I once again apologize for the uneven subjects. As in my own home, there are few level surfaces and many rooms are not ‘squared’. Additionally, I would never presume to adjust any of the works nor even touch them. I’ve seen a few of the artists setting up and this location and others. They do their best with the surfaces as they are. Despite that, I find their works very worthwhile.
Léo de Faucher’s work is well worth the trip, wherever it is. Unfortunately there is no available contact information and I highly recommend you direct any questions regarding the art/artist, to Eurocultures (link above).
I shall leave you with a few more photos of this lovely little village whose secret places are opened up to us this one weekend a year. Additionally I invite you to join us in the future.
Alas, as there are a number of photos and more artists to go, I shall be back with part III and possibly part IV… Today is Fête Nationale here in France so I am off until next time,
Bonne Fête Nationale et Bisous,
The beautiful village of Les Baux-de-Provence is a sparkling jewel yet small. One must visit and explore, inhale and touch with inquisitive hand, eyes and an open mind. With such exploration, her riches are exposed.
During my friend’s visit, Rita, we headed to Provence for a few days. Besides strolling about Saint Remy we each had a #1 must see and Carrières de Lumières was hers. My #1 will be revealed on a future post but this exhibit quickly had me under its spell.
Step into the cave and be transported deep into the 16th century. Let yourself go and be awakened to the visions of BOSCH, BRUEGHEL and ARCIMBOLDO. This is total immersion from the ceiling of the cave down to the very ground you walk on. Walk about freely, stop and look closely or sit yourself down on one of the stone benches available on the caves outer walls.
There isn’t a cultural event, landmark, museum or other National Treasure, where I have not encountered groups of school children on a field trip. They are accompanied by a their teachers, are well mannered, respectful and it is such a delight to witness their awakening and appreciation.
Perhaps this photo can give you a small idea of just how vast the cave is. Unfortunately, you are seeing only one small area. The projections seem to dance across the ceiling, walls and even the floor of the cave. 100 projectors syncronised precisely with the sound system provide a seemless experience. I had little idea of what I would encounter but trusted that Rita knew we would both love it. As ususal, she was right and I was stunned. The show itself is not long in duration. Yet after wandering around through several showings, I found myself mesmerized and frozen on one of the benches. If I have the good fortune to return to a future show, I hope I shall be better prepared camera wise. What you will see here is from my little smartphone camera as my trusty old point and shoot had run out of batteries. Furthermore, I am unaccustomed to trying to capture stills of a moving target in near absolute darkness. I do hope it gives you of an idea of what a magnificent exhibit it is and perhaps schedule some time to view one of the coming shows. Alas, this particular show ended on 7 January, 2018. The next show began in March and the featured artist, PICASSO.
If you should plan to visit Provence, this is one of the many delights that await you.
“Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be hinderances limiting our vision.” Salvador Dali
KAMIL VOJNAR: LIFE IS A JOURNEY
As my dear friend Rita and I strolled the winding streets of Saint-Remy-de-Provence in the late October sunshine trying not to miss anything we were rewarded with the small Provence gallery/atelier of Kamil Vojnar.
The artist was born during the Cold War, 1962, in Moravia, Czechoslovakia. He studied at the School of Graphic Arts in Prague after completion of his military service (tank commander) and later The Philadelphia Art Institute and The Art Student’s League of New York.
Alas, if I had more skill in the art of photography and perhaps a more than an old point and shoot camera, I could have done justice to his work. Regardless, my purpose here is to introduce as many as possible to Vojnar’s remarkable vision. To see it up close and personal is to really comprehend its magic. His images reach out to the viewer, enfold them and infuse their message. This was one of those times that I wished I could run everyone out of the atelier, lock the door and be alone with the work that mesmerized me and leaving me to write their secrets behind shuttered doors.
It is my hope that you will search out where you can view some of his works nearest you. They are most certainly worth both time and travel to do so. To see the artist and learn more about him and his work, I recommend the following link replete with video. https://vimeo.com/90886154 please give it a glance.
“My soul is not asleep. It is awake, wide awake. It neither sleeps nor dreams, but watches, its eyes wide open, far off things, and listens at the shores of the great silence.” – Antonio Machado
“Travelers, there is no path. Paths are made by walking.” – Antonio Machado
While visiting Collioure, a strikingly beautiful beach village, several years ago with a friend, we ventured into the cemetery. On that first visit, I became quite curious as there were a large crowd of people surrounding one of the graves. The group stayed for quite some time and it seemed that it was a pilgrimage. After they moved on, I was able to take a look and unfortunately nothing more having my camera out of commission at the time. When my friend returned to France this time and suggested a visit to Collioure, I checked out my camera and prepared for capturing these photos.
While this group of four is a much smaller gathering than what I witnessed the last time I was here, there seems to be a steady stream of those coming to honor the great poet. It would have been lovely to have a closer shot but I did not want to intrude.
As you can see, to the right of the headstone is a mailbox for those who want to leave a message. Those tiny white stones which appear to be scattered are actually placed as remembrances from those who come to pay their respects. Most have messages on them. Some simply have a date or initials. If you look back at the first photo in this post you can see some of those stones more clearly.
THE WIND, ONE BRILLIANT DAY
“The wind, one brilliant day, called to my soul with the odor of jasmine.
‘In return for the odor of my jasmine I’d like the odor of all your roses.’
‘I have no roses; all the flowers in my garden are dead.’
‘Well then, I’ll take the withered petals and the yellow leaves and the waters of the fountain.’
the wind left. And I wept. And I said to myself: ‘What have you done with the garden that was entrusted to you?’
– Antonio Machado
Born in Seville, the young Antonio moved with his family to Madrid in 1883 where he and his brother, Manuel, joined the Free Educational Institution. This was where Antonio discovered his passion for literature. At the age of seventeen, he lost his father and took on a series of jobs including acting. At the dawning of the new century, he joined his brother in Paris. Manuel already had gained employment as a translator. In Paris, Antonio encountered Jean Moréas and Paul Fort and other contemporary figures in the literary world including Oscar Wilde. Such connections supported his decision that he too would be a poet.Antonio’s first poems were published in a literary journal, Electra, in 1901 and followed two years later by his first collection in 1903, Soledades. A second edition was published in 1907.
Antonio was offered a teaching position, French, in Soria and there he met Leonor Izquierdo Cuevas. He married Miss Cuevas in 1909 when he was 34 years old and the young lady was fifteen. Three years later they returned to Paris. Unfortunately, Leonor developed tuberculosis and returned to Spain where she died on 1 August, 1912. Antonio was devastated by his loss and shortly after the publication of Campos de Castilla, he left Soria for good. His next home was in Baeza, in Andalusia. He published a new edition of Campos de Castilla in 1916 in which he included poems on the death of his wife.
Machado taught French in Segovia from 1919 to 1931 and this allowed him to live closer to his brother who was in Madrid. The closeness allowed them to collaborate writing a number of successful plays. Antonio also enjoyed a romance with Pilar Valderrama, a married woman who he later writes of in later poems using the name, Guiomar.
While still in Segovia, he declares the Republic using the Republican flag which he raises on the town’s hall to the accompaniment of the French National Anthem, La Marseillaise. His philosophical leanings and moral declarations become increasingly clear in a series he published on the eve of the Spanish Civil War using the pseudonyms, Able Martin and Juan de Mairena. Machado was in Madrid when the war broke out and he was separated from his brother, a separation that would last for the rest of their lives.
His writing continued but made clear his sympathies were with the Republican Party. Machado, brothers José, Joaquim and their mother, were evacuated to Valencia then later to Barcelona.When the Second Spanish Republic fell, they were forced to escape into France where they found themselves in Collioure. He died on 22 February, 1939. He was buried there in Collioure. His mother died shortly after and is also buried nearby.
If this is your introduction to Antonio Machado, I do hope you will explore his work and enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed sharing it with you.