Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fiesta in my village

Oh dear, I heard the loud music, the laughter and the cheers coming from afar. I saw them passing under my balcony as I was still toiling on my nightmarish translation. I wanted to shout please wait for me, take me with you in your carriage. Me too I want to have flowers in my hair and enjoy the fiesta... Oh well they left without me and anyway the sad truth was that fiesta or not, duty came first. I wanted so much to see the horses’ exhibition but couldn't. (what is more beautiful than an Andalusian horse? Arabian horse I suppose). There’s a bullfight this evening at 6pm but Monchéri and I are not really aficionados. Although the world of toreros and the underlying mythology of bullfighting arouses my curiosity, I still haven’t taken the step to actually attend a corrida in vivo and frankly I don't know if I ever will. I'm far from sharing Hemingway's passion for this fight between death and life, although I take great pleasure in watching the first paso (phase) of a corrida when the torero performs a dance-like series of steps teasing the bull but then I just can't take all that follows, the cutting of the ears and the killing. I think we'll go to Granada instead....

he looks so dreamy...
you'd never think he's going to a fiesta

isn't he cute ? as ever I can't help admiring how
Andalusian people keep to their tradition

Hope you're having a wonderful week end
and thank you for all your kind and encouraging words!
Yes, I delivered my translation on friday night
and now it's so nice to relax....

photos by your devoted blogging hostess

Monday, August 25, 2008

Keep cool....

I'm being squeezed like a lemon and running a bit behind deadline
on my translation job
but I want you to keep fresh.....

......and beautiful.....
Have a wonderful sunny monday !

photos by your devoted blogging hostess
in the alleys of the Alhambra

Friday, August 22, 2008

Lost in translation....

Oh dear...I meant to write a post today about "toros and corridas" as the village is going to celebrate its saint next week and a little corrida will be one of the highlights of the festivities. Alas, as the title of this post says, I am desperately, undoubtedly, inevitably lost in translation. The more I translate, the more the file stretches out. And time is running. My unrealistic deadline is next week. Hope I will make it ! I've just declined 2 invitations for a birthday party this week end. Oh well...when one has to work, no chance to play ! In the mean time I leave you with these pictures of the Alhambra gardens taken last summer. Wish I would be there now ! sigh

Have a wonderful week end !

photos by your devoted blogging hostess

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Madagascar on my mind

This morning, I called my mom in Madagascar to wish her a happy birthday. There was no echo on the line, just some silent lapses at times. She did sound very far and although I've seen lots of photos of the house my parents are building there, it is difficult for me to imagine their daily life. They are in the process of having furniture made by local artisans. I am so curious to see the results.
I found this photo on Internet which made me smile. It brought back memories of endless bus or taxi-brousse journeys between Antananarivo the capital city and Tamatavo on the coast.
As usual, my parents asked me so when are you coming over ? soon I said....hopefully soon.....

photo credit : Frédéric Fournelle on
with big thanks

Monday, August 18, 2008

Glimpses of a semi play/work sunday at home....

The good thing of being free lance is that you can work any time. The bad thing is that at times you might have to work on sundays too....Actually I didn't mind too much staying at home yesterday as long as I could take off from the computer and the translation job once in a while. Monchéri is now getting lazy at bringing churros (Spanish doughnuts) on sunday mornings so breakfast was sadly basic, Earl Grey tea and toast with red berries jam.

Next to the little breakfast table on the balcony, there's a round wicker stool with a small pile of old French Elle magazines and a favorite book on Greta Garbo, a gift from a friend many years ago in Paris. I hate rushing in the morning, especially on Sundays even if I have to work and I like to go through Garbo's black and white photos over and over again. She had so much class; I find it hard not to be mesmerized by her. She looked stunning whatever she was wearing. Recently a friend sent me a copy of Ninotchka by Lubistch and I must say it would have been great to see Garbo laughing more often in her movies.

I love this the bathing suit...
Greta Garbo and Nils Asther in
The Single Standard by John S. Robertson (1929)

I'd love to walk in the countryside in such a dress
just for the fun of it
with Robert Taylor in Camille or Le Roman
de Marguerite Gautier by G. Cukor (1937)

I wouldn't mind wearing this dress
only to hang around at home
in the Mysterious Lady by Fred Niblo (1928)

After marveling at Garbo's costumes mainly designed
by super Hollywood costume maker Adrian
I decided not to dress and keep my flimsy pink
nightie from H&M just to be in the mood
for fluidity although in a synthetic fabric

yes, I've sewn the little pearls when I bought it
to make it more interesting
its color also matches the pink bougainvillea
which blooms gracefully on the balcony

Monchéri likes to hang around in his favorite torn t-shirt
and black hat which he has to put down, now and then
as it's too hot

Always a darling, he didn't complain too much to spend sunday at home when we could be lying down on the beach or having a drink in Granada.

He was just a little bit grumpy but graciously switched to the working mood and settled to the cards making job. He was all the more enthusiastic when I told him these ones had to been sent to the lovely Gillian from Indigo Blue to sell at her spa.

So Gillian, here is a wink to you ! You can see the work in progress. We just have to fix the little glasses, sandals on the bags, then the bags on the windows and the dresses too. Et voilà !

we had tea at 7pm....
I made a génoise which was completely raté/desastrosa
well.....uncooked inside

nice to hear the neighbor passing by in the street
wish the mopeds would turn into horses.....

in the evening we watched El Abuelo (The Grandfather)
by Spanish director José Luis Garci
(love it! I must make a post about it)

this is the not so comfortable movie sofa
but it's ok for late siestas though

photos by your devoted blogging hostess and Monchéri

oh and the book is Garbo by Patrick Brion (éditions du Chêne, 1985)

Friday, August 15, 2008

About being unreasonable....

Today is a holiday but not for me alas; my translation business partner sent me what he calls a "fat baby", meaning a good over 100 pages translation due, well...soon. Naturally I welcome the money which is badly needed to carry on the design work, pay the bills and at the same time, I can't help sighing because it means I will have no time for collage making for about 2 weeks but it can wait. Everything at a time, like Monchéri says. Why stupidly rush especially in this heat ?
Yesterday, I watched him baking the cakes for the restaurant (see this earlier post) listening to Charlie Parker. As I couldn't concentrate properly on my translation work, I decided to join him in the baking activity and made a lemon meringue pie, one of our favorite treats. By the time, the pie was quietly setting in the fridge, I resumed my work or rather tried to as my brain was slightly less cooperative. Translating requires a special state of mind and naturally a deep concentration. In that, my neurones failed me and were yearning for some other kind of stuff. I soon found myself leafing through a beautiful book about Frida Kahlo lent to me by Gym, Frida's Fiestas, recipes and reminiscences of life with Frida Khalo, written by the daughter of painter Diego Rivera, Frida's love. The book compiles recipes Frida used to prepare for her cherished husband, photographs of her and Diego and some of her still life paintings and self-portraits. It also shows stunning photos of the Blue House in Coyoacàn in Mexico where the couple lived.

how beautiful is that dish ?

chiles in walnut sauce sprinkled with
pomegranate seeds

self portrait with Monkey and Parrot, 1942

I promise you more photos and recipes from that book as I know a lot of you out there are fans of Frida Kahlo (well...not really supposed to because of copyrights...) Reading this book actually made me realize how special she was, the beautiful energy she had and which obviously showed in her colorful lifestyle.

After closing the book, I did resume my translation for a few hours and felt the temptation to hire some DVD to ! I picked up 2 Spanish movies El Lobo (Wolf) directed by Miguel Courtois (actually he's French) and El Abuelo (The Grandfather) by José Luis Garci. El Lobo is based on a true story of an ETA (the Basque terrorist organization) infiltrator who during the last phase of general Franco regime in Spain, managed to bring down a quarter of the organization. I must admit my weakness for this kind of political thriller and also for leading Spanish actor Edouardo Noriega (very handsome).

José Luis Garci is one of my favorite Spanish directors. I wish he had the international notoriety he truly deserves. His movies (You're the one, Ninette), filled with cinematographic references reveal his unlimited passion for the 7th art. I will be so happy if you discovered his movies.

Are you watching any movies
in particular this week end ?

Have fun !

photos by your devoted blogging hostess

book reference :
Frida's Fiestas
Recipes and Reminiscences of Life with Frida Kahlo
by Guadalupe Rivera and Marie-Pierre Colle
published by Clarkson Potter, 1994

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Nigüelas or the enchanted village

6 o'clock in the afternoon is not an appropriate time to wander through the streets of an Andalusian village. It is still very hot. People are just getting up from their siesta and the very few which pass by me wonder why I take pictures of windows and shutters. surely another nutter of the tourist they seem to mumble. I stopped at the entrance of this little street as I heard some music playing. Until yesterday, Nigüelas held a classical music festival along with master classes. It was a joy to discover the young brilliant Korean violonist Hyojung Park and I love the idea of summer music festivals in little villages.

the open door was clearly an invitation to enter

I peeped inside only to catch a glance at
a peaceful and refreshing patio....

....and how lovely....

.....I could not help myself
I stole a photo of her
she just looked surprised and smiled
and resumed her practising....

the main plaza is deserted except for
some kids playing
the church will open its doors in 3 hour time
for the concert
.....the vine makes me think september will be here soon
and nearly everyone in the campo will be busy
making its own mosto, a traditional sweet wine...

...but for now the summer days are still long and sleepy...

....and tomorrow around the same time
life will resume peacefully in the enchanted village...

photos by your devoted blogging hostess

Siesta time for miss Tilly

Miss Tilly also enjoyed the exhibition party
then made it clear she was not
to be disturbed during her siesta
under no circumstances

Monday, August 11, 2008

A "3 old bags exhibition" in the Lecrin valley - south of Granada

Last friday, my friend Gym had an exhibition party
at her barn of some of the art work done
through the year, during the art classes at the barn.
Derisively called "3 old bags", the exhibition
showed Gym's paintings, watercolors and sketches
Caroline's paintings and sketches and
Marianne's clay sculptures

Our friend Emily, the live model painted by Gym

the "Recumbent model" by Caroline in powder
China ink and presented in a cardboard box
was much appreciated

Emily's back by Gym

little clay sculptures by Marianne

Gym has such an awesome collection of chairs...

......not very comfortable but when drunk...

....doesn't matter and yes let's be silly...

Monchéri who doesn't speak Spanish
and is always a little bit reluctant
to attend 95% English parties
(as English people here are rarely fluent in Spanish)
will never miss one of Gym's parties though
as he thinks she's the greatest woman in the world
(hem...apart from me, of course)

that night, he was quite pleased to meet some
lovely Spanish people to talk to who recently
moved from Madrid to the quiet Lecrin valley

I love the way he stretches his arms
against Gym's painting
I totally missed the point
the reclining bodies form the shape of a heart
but you can't really see it
and I was too drunk to see it properly either

I'm curious
does this painting make you feel uneasy
or think of death like some of my friends?

my favorite corner in Gym's barn is
this incredibly immaculate bed....

and...if you're tempted
the art classes are held every friday afternoon...

photos by your devoted blogging hostess
and Tim
Blog Widget by LinkWithin