Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Picasso Underground

I've written about the Cathedrale d'Image at Les Baux before... a rolling sound and light show in the disused bauxite quarries hollowed out of the centre of the Alpilles hills.
This year's theme is Picasso.  Rather than present his work chronologically, it explores various themes that ran throughout his life - his women, war, bulls and minotaurs, and so on. 
It's impossible to geta a clear impression of what the show is like with a hand held, still camera.  (These are just a stab in the dark - literally.)  Images cross-fade and juxtapose all around you, immersing you in them.  That combined with the rough hewn nature of the quarry walls, makes this an ideal way to explore the work of the master cubist.
It's 45 minutes, offers an extremely cool respite from the fierce Provençal heat and we urge every one of of our visitors to experience this unique and inspiring spectacle. 

Friday, 24 July 2009

Sunrise, Sunflowers

I got up at dawn yesterday to go and photograph the sun's first rays as they hit the sunflowers growing near Tarrascon, about 15km south from our place, between Avignon and Arles.

The low angle of the first sun rays makes the light amazing - causing the sunflowers to glow.

And if any body doubts that sunflowers face the sun, they definitely face East to greet the rising sun as is shown here.

If you'd like to see more of these shots, click on the title of this post to link to our Picasa web album.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Trumpets of Jericho

The Bignone has just flowered down at the second pergola.  It's common name in French is Trompettes de Jericho - Trumpets of Jericho.

Monday, 13 July 2009

(Other) Festival time again

It's festival time again and the principal activities of our village festival are drinking Pastis and avoiding bulls!

Unofficial, all-inclusive bull avoidance takes part in the streets. I'll try to take some pictures tomorrow.

The more organised bull avoiding is in the village arena, where the Provençal version of bull- fighting takes place. The bulls are not killed. In fact it's more dangerous for the 'Razateurs' who try and cut small string rosettes from the bulls' horns. I've put togethr this little slide show to give an impression of 'Les Courses Camarguaises'...

Friday, 10 July 2009

Festival Time Again

The Avignon Festival started this week. I haven't had tome to go into Avignon just yet, so I thought I'd put up some shots I took at last year's festival to give a bit of flavour....

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Bulls' heart steaks "Margherita"

We've been buying Coeur de Boeuf (Bull's heart) tomatoes at the farmers' market in Velleron.  They are aptly named - heart shaped and enormous, and you can cook hem like meat.  They're sweet and flavourful and their flesh is so firm that they can be sliced and grilled on the barbecue.

The other night, we cooked them in just that way and then tossed torn fresh mozzarella and basil leaves over them and finished with some good olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Delicious! 
 The combination of tomato, mozzarella and basil is called 'Margherita' after the classic pizza topping named Margherita after the queen of Italy, because of its red, white and green colouring; the colours of the Italien flag.