Saturday, March 27, 2010

A tiny medal the builders found on a nail in one of the henshed joists. I guess hens do need watching over!

Alice Kettle's current exhibition at the Crafts Study Gallery here.

Friday, March 26, 2010


We're not the only ones building round here. Can you see the tiny strand of International Blue String? Even the birds use it! There's Dilly dog hair in there too. Warb found this on the ground - someone must have had to start over.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

henshed i.p.

Great progress is being made on the henshed. It should be finished next week and then the builders will be back to working on the barn.

Great progress is not being made weaving wise... I started a new tapestry last week - with a section filled with circles like in Spoon #6 and I just can't do it. Can't make my brain make the leap to thinking in negative and can't seem to follow the marks on the warp in anything like a satisfactory fashion.

So... going to walk the dog...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

found (2)

We live in a hamlet of three houses. Daniel's cousins lived in one and a cart maker and his wife Berthe lived in the other. They're both empty now. French people don't have the same attitude to property as English people (or Irish for that matter). It's not seen as an asset to be exploited but as heritage to be kept - even if you let it fall down in the meantime. After I photographed my found objects the other day I decided to take a tour round the hamlet photographing all the interesting stuff with no intrinsic value which one day, when someone gets round to it, will all end up at the dump.

Rabbit hutches. I mentioned the waste not mentality the other day - well it runs to food too. People still keep rabbits and poultry for the pot and we all know that the French eat cuts of meat (is offal a 'cut') that are best not dwelt on for too long..(I'm vegetarian btw!)

The precursor to International Blue String!

A bird house chez Berthe

Tractor seat

A door off an old stove (coincidently Scott is one of my mother's names)

A box of stuff

More odds and ends in a cut down can

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


The barn and henshed have been cleared and are now completely empty and ready for the builder. Another step away from this house's agricultural past. Small farms like this are disappearing in France just like everywhere else.

I found tools with hand made handles, an old tractor seat, photogenic rusty metal, many, many walnut shells - the remains of many a mouse's (or worse) supper, home made ladders, old bottles, chains, harnesses, a yoke, a flatiron, two crémaillères (for hanging over the fire and holding a pot or kettle).

These aren't things which were used in the dim and distant past but by Daniel, the man who sold us the house and who was born and lived all his life here. It is extraordinary to think how things have changed in such a short time. In Daniel's youth the cattle and sheep were walked out to pasture then watched over until it was time to come home. There were no enclosures. His sister Simone told us that when she left home her parents invested in fencing so that someone no longer needed to watch over the stock every moment.

Everything that could be homemade and mended was. There was a wooden wheelbarrow here when we first arrived. It weighed a ton even when empty. We have several beautiful ladders and know people who even now wouldn't dream of buying a shop bought handle for a fork or shovel but select a branch and make it fit. There is a strong 'waste not' ethos here which has nothing to do with parsimony but just common sense.