The Wild Beasts

Fishing Boats in the harbour at Collioure. The little French fishing village became a centre of artistic activity when a penniless Henri Matisse arrived after deciding to give his artistic career a push. He arrived in Collioure in 1905 and was immediately transfixed by the astonishing character and charm of the historic village, with theContinue reading “The Wild Beasts”

The Tour Barberousse

Or Redbeard’s Tower in English, stands above the coastal village of Gruissan in the Aude départment of France. The tower is all that remains of a castle built at the end of the 10th century to observe the approaches to the harbour at Narbonne and to guard against seaborne invasions of the city by theContinue reading “The Tour Barberousse”

Minerve and the Cathars

A decorative wrought iron cross next to the Marie’s (mayor’s) office in Minerve, a village in the Hérault department of southern France; in which a group of refugees sought shelter in the village after the massacre of kinfolk at nearby Béziers in 1210. Followers of Catharism – a Gnostic movement between the 12th and 14thContinue reading “Minerve and the Cathars”

Mirror Mirror…

A collection of mirrors on a French flea market stall, offer a glimpse of the sky, trees and a young woman adjusting her lipstick… It all seems innocent enough, but mirrors can evoke strong feelings – powerful tools for changing our perspective and seeing parts of ourselves that are usually hidden as we look outContinue reading “Mirror Mirror…”

Big Brother is Watching…

A little way from Avignon’s Palais des Papes featured in my post of two weeks ago, are some Trompe L’oeil wall paintings of historic French people gazing out of what would-have-been blank windows. Realistic figures keeping a friendly “eye” on the passing young lad. While a 21st century street camera is also watching street activity…