Sunday, 28 July 2013


so this is the cloth I've mainly been working on these past two weeks, close to the tent (when we weren't walking, visiting abbeys or drinking café au lait in bars and all the other things you do on holiday)
Mr Fox's body has changed a bit from the original (in fact a lot has changed; his transformation was in part due to the sighting: we thought we spotted a fox on our first evening walk, in a field just a bit too far off for us to be sure and then we said it could also have been a cat and then we got to doubting whether it was actually a fox we'd seen. That same night I dreamt about this fox-creature of course, and then in the dream the lama's we'd seen on our drive to the camp site appeared, not an animal you'ld expect to see in France, but anyway we did and so the body of the lama and Mr Fox's head merged in my mind and became cloth. I now notice that the tale tail holds a demon like figure, interesting.

 I like looking at it in bits, the whole needs a compositional rethink, I think.... I've been trying to catch up with other blogs and class, oh my so much happens in fourteen days away; but from what I've managed to glimpse over at Jude's I see I need to add a something to pull the whole together, to make it work well  

the stitched paths are a reminder of the walks, following clues we invented

there were many stars in the clear night skies, butterflies fluttered along side us

and here this fabulous book I bought at the abbey for just 20 euros; the title loosely translates as 'Time flies, the cloth remains' how could one resist this?

the main reason for buying it was the image of this being, I have to find out more about who/what he represents; he reminds me of Patricia's beings.

feeling slightly out of focus, as we're still settling in to lives here at home...

Saturday, 27 July 2013


back home less than 24 hours and Normandy is beginning to fade; I wanted to add a memory of a particular smell during one of our evening walks: we had walked along this path before, sometimes coming from a different direction and the evening before the photo was taken the grass had been mown and that has a very distinct smell and I love that scent as well, but the smell I want to recall is the smell of the day after the grass has been mown and the sun has been shining all day and there is a heat in the earth and in the mown grasses and when you happen to walk through such a space in the evening as things cool ever so slightly, there is a certain fragrance: of the grasses mown the day before, releasing the sun's heat, there was a sweetness and a warmth, a heaviness in your nose, I hadn't ever noticed this before, not consciously anyway, and I wanted to remember that here, so I can go back in my mind and savour that moment. 
out of the dye pots, the water had completely evaporated from right tub, the one with the button dyes

big button becomes walking sun
faint imprints left by the smaller buttons

leaves and buttons left inklings of traces

we're back and so is he!

Thursday, 25 July 2013


another treasure

down we headed

in our search for the abbey we stumbled upon this 

the abbey
throught the entrance buildings you enter this garden area with the dovecote behind the wall and an outbuidling

inside the restored church

looking fron the refectory towards the ponds, on the right under the blue plastic sheeting you can see a restoration in progress

herbal garden

.....and here the sky as seen lying on the floor of the dovecote, pigeonholes dot the walls

Normandy, continued

live music near campsite bar: les petits fils de Jack (LPFDJ for short) they were a lot of fun, despite the lead singer's lack of English (he managed a few sentences which was more than the others members put together) they did do a number of English cover songs and quite a few of their own in French - I bought a CD; who knows one day they'll be famous and we'll be able to say we saw them in their youth, ha

Coutances cathedral

lying in our tent after our visit to the cathedral I was reminded of the dome, the upward lines and thought about how I might use that in cloth....

almost every evening we go for a walk in the countryside close to the campsite; we don't have a map and see blue and yellow crosses on telephone poles, or maybe a green marcation withethe letters FCM folwed by several numbers, clues to our whereabouts; also the setting sun and a water tower in the distance help; we either keep turning right with slight deviations or left and left again....eventually turning up back 'home' in the tent

clues along the way, such as this mistletoe at the end of a path where we would stop and kiss

what we notice here are the lone trees such as this oak that are allowed to stay in a field or along the edge, even though they might not make for effective farming; different from Holland where we prefer straight and clear, what a shame!
so many flowers along these pathways; this type of countryside is called bocage: small fields edged by rows of trees and hedges, criss crossed by narrow roads, paths really
old waterwell

Cherbourg harbour

Thursday, 18 July 2013


Jardin des Plantes in Avranches, Normandy; in the far background one could see the mont St Michel, however not visible in the photo; there were quite a few exotic trees and plants in htis garden, notably a eucaluptus tree from Tanzania with long pointy leaves, I of course collected a few and have thought about sewing them into a piece, the fragrance reminding me of summer once winter cold has arrived....
wooden man staring back at us through time; he dwells in the Scriptorial, situated in the town of Avranches; a museum dedicated to the written word and all that accompagnies putting letters to paper, making marks, leaving a readable trail over the centuries. In a climatized room there were even several manuscripts from the monastery of Mont St Michel (which we have yet to see)

the boys walking on a beach in Saint Pair sur Mer, a coastal village close to our campsite

and this is how we make coffee these days!

 we love shopping in French supermarkets, they sell everything: from live crabs to every kind of salt you can imagine....clothes, kettles, school stuff, oh yes regular food; there was even a barber shop where D went for a hair cut, whilst I roamed the aisles

 again the beach near Saint Pair sur Mer, further away from the village; as you can see the weather is amazing! finally the best café creme to date, with the luxury of a news paper; I have concluded that reading a quality news paper, such as Le Monde, in French is easier than trying to read a tabloid, which has so much slang and references to persons unknown to a foreigner; I'm now up to speed on Mexican affairs and the anti-gay-marriage sentiments in France, which took me by surprise as I had considered France to take a more liberal approach on all matters sexual.....a lot has changed since I lived here thirty years ago.

 this type of shell is new to me, they seem to be common on this coast, as always I'm collecting them; note the one with families 'living' in them and the one on the bottom right hand side with lots of tiny holes in it, what on earth did that?

these are two beach pieces, started in the What If diaries concerning all things white, I feel they are particulary appropriate to work on whilst here; I love how the shells and colours match

 on our evening walk last evening we found two dead butterflies and this feather, which I think comes from a woodpecker
ending on a basic note: managed a wash this morning and as we forgot a washing line: we used two tent poles stuch between the trees instead

p.s. a sad fact of camping life: despite the 5 stars we have to pay for the wifi, so my blogging time is limited.....alas no time to visit other blogs, or if I do it's gonna cost; hope you are all well and enjoying summer as we are here in sunny Normandy