Trompe l’oeil and Ostensions

I doubt you’ll have any idea about the title of this fortnight’s blog. Trompe l’oeil translates as “mistake of the eye” and it normally describes a two dimensional image appearing to be 3 dimensional, often on an outside wall or on a painted ceiling. We saw a few in Rome but now I am referring to a few I saw in Bellac on a photoclub field trip last Saturday. We met up with our sister club with whom we have a friendly photo competition each month but seldom meet face to face. We are few, their core members number scarcely more than our 6. I got them all to send some of their photos in to put on the web site (see here) but here are a couple of mine.

secret garden

Not a trompe l’oeil but a nice side track

cheval blanc-flat- in Bellac

We dined well at our second choice of restaurant, the first (le cheval blanc with its own trompe l’oeil). The weather wasn’t great though not raining. (unlike today which is a scorcher and Delia having gardened all day is looking very pink).

The Sunday after our Saturday field trip we went to see the Ostensions procession in Rochechouart. The entire town’s streets are covered in red and white bunting and paper flowers. The procession is an opportunity to dress up in costumes of various periods and celebrate the many many many Catholic saints. The Ostensions themselves happen all over Limousin for a couple of months each seven years. They celebrate the miraculous saving of the Limousin population from a scourge around the year 960ad. As far as I can determine the scourge was ergot infestation of their main cereal crop at the time…rye. So this would be associated with hallucinations (a la Jean d’Arc) and unlike Joan of Arc, death. I understand the miracle was eating something else, who’d have thought?

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I have to say after 45 minutes of assorted fancy dress (including couple of friends of ours) we decided to go home.

I had a call for someone to fix their computer. Not sure the impression of working from the kitchen gives but I guess I’ll know if I get repeat business. If I am to get more French clients though, my French needs to step up a notch. I established that they had an internet speed problem (in fact Chrome just needed reinstalling) and that sometimes it just stopped working and she didn’t know why. I fixed the former but the latter is a bit too vague, there might have been a bit more info but understanding perhaps 75% could mean I missed something. Though Delia says if I start talking computer she probably understands less than half what I say so it probably balances out.



Euromillions and Dexter

This past fortnight has been spent enjoying the company of my oldest son Philip, daughter in law Becca and especially my 15 month old grandson Dexter. The leadup to their arrival was spent dashing around calling in the offered loans of travel cot, car seat and high chair. We picked up a cot sheet at a fête nearby in Oradour sur Vayres. This was one of the first events when we really felt local, meeting up with so many friends and acquaintances. Siena was first to notice our previous puppy trainer but then we bumped into friends from our conversation group, the photo club and our current dog trainer.

Friday arrived and I was off to the airport to pick up the Bell family. I had messed up their b&b booking the previous night (booking on the day of the flight rather than prior), and somehow hadn’t booked the hold luggage but otherwise they survived my planning. In my defense I think Ryanair have a special forgetting mode, since I am sure I selected and paid for hold luggage, but I think I probably need a personal assistant (but since I am no 61 as of last Monday I can perhaps claim senior moments?).

We all spent a happy week visiting child focussed places we might not have otherwise seen: Saturday morning was spent at Thiviers giving our guests a good taste of a local marché. Sunday was sunny but with a cold wind. Our picnic at the mostly deserted Espace Hermeline in nearby Bussiere Galante was a bit frigid. Afterwards we walkA deserted Limoges and a nice bared around the lake and found the other side to be warm in the balmy sunshine and sheltered from the wind.Becca wanted to sample (some) patisseries










Dexter amongst the daisies



Monday was my birthday and we enjoyed  a tasty menu du jour at l’Auberge des Tilleuls.Interspersed with these was a lot of time at home where Siena showed herself to be very fond of Dexter behaving mostly fairly calmly (albeit with a bit too much licking). She put up with having her bed usurped but balked a bit at being used as a train line for Dexter favourite toy train. She did particullarly take a fancy to his toy car and would often steal it away to the garden. Dexter also made good use of the dog flap and the two of them also liked to play either side of the flap pushing it back and forth.  She’s now looking somewhat bereft wondering where her lively exhausting friend has gone.

The annual Foire de Limoges was our Tuesday destination, a bit like a Royal Show but a lot smaller. Some interesting stands and a petting zoo which Dexter loved. Wednesday was a zoo proper where we (all, except Delia, at home slaving over a hot keyboard) spent a lovely but exhausting sunny day. The aquarium in central Limoges and some wandering around a quiet and mostly closed Limoges on Ascension day Thursday.

It had been a good and busy week, and I was sorry to see them off at the airport on Friday morning. It’s the most time I have spent with Phil for many years, since he was a teenager I guess, it was good to spend time with the great father and man he has become.  And to get to know Becca and see the wonderful and patient woman and mother that she is. Not forgetting of course the crazy, fun and happy little man that is Dexter.

As for euromillions? It was a €65M rollover this Friday evening and I was excited to get an email with a subject “ ☺ Vous avez gagné sur !”. I’m open to suggestions as to how to spend the 14.90€ I won.






Here’s some of Becca’s iphone shots.

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