Jardin en Ville + Other Things

*before I start, I've been trying to write this post off-and-on all day, but my power keeps cutting out. Oh the joy of rural France*

It just feels like spinning plates. I've got just under 4 weeks to get everything I started on for Artistes à Suivre finished.
So instead of knuckling under I've been oot and aboot; a trip to a photography exhibition in Toulouse, snooping around a circus(!) teaching the man-child how to develop b&w film, lots of cake-eating in cafés, all or some of which I may or may not blog about, depends on just how panicked I get about my looming deadline. All the time wishing to make papercut artworks like these, and to take black and white photographs like this, distracting me from the job in hand.

One evening last week we went to Jardin en Ville in Carcassonne. Part organic restaurant, part art gallery, part 'concept store' (whatever the hell that means) for the private view of paintings, illustrations and ceramics by Claire Hemery. (Even if you don't read French, click on the Jardin en Ville link and go and look at the photo gallery, it's a damn good place) Love.
So I flitted about surreptitiously taking photos here and there

accompanied by a string duo

all Olympus OM10/Fujifilm 200

The evening ending  in a lovely courtyard garden in the old cité, eating pizzas underneath the nightlights and twinkling stars. This is how fantastic the ramparts look at night. Kind of makes crappy internet connections not seem such a heavy price to pay after all.


there is no map

Praktica PM3/Solaris 200

Do you, like me, ever feel that you never get the opportunity to lose yourself? Mostly I'm never alone. Well, except during the day while everyone is at school/work, but that's different. I'm always working, or doing something for the good of the family. When I go out, it's nearly always with at least one other person. Very rarely I get to be all on my ownsey, and then it's to go shopping, or meet someone; always en route, always with a deadline. The closest I usually get to 'me' time (I hate that expression!) is walking the dog, but that's generally done when there is a small window of opportunity between other crap that needs doing and my mind is usually full of that crap that needs doing.
Saturday was really warm, and I had that rare chance. I had to go to look at a venue, en route to a meeting, after which I had to go to Carcassonne to pick up Joe. You know, the usual drill.
When I came out of the meeting Joe had left a message on my voicemail that he would be an hour later than we had planned.
'Not worth going home first' I think to myself 'Haha! Have cameras (3) check. Have sketchbook, check. Have coins in purse, check'
Carcassonne is so familiar, but we always go to the same places. This time I parked the car in a part of the city I've not been and just walked. Like many French towns and cities, it is built on a grid, so it would be impossible to get really lost. It was the best fun, I tell you. Warm evening sun and a wander. I went into an artist's atelier; some very strange shops, one full of Moroccan food, cookware and smells, another full of decorations where you can sit and have tea; an empty church; an Amnesty International book sale; a chocolaterie. All the time looking, snapping, scribbling, soaking it all up and not having to chat to a companion or think about anything, just be in the moment. Peering in open windows, trying doors, listening to music, snatches of conversations.
When I found Joe, we sat and had a cold beer and a people watch. Heaven.