Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Andy Goldsworthy... land artist

For those of you who have never seen the work of British native, Andy Goldsworthy you are in for an insightful glimpse of an artist's mind.
  His documentary, Rivers and Tides is on in 9 parts and you can get a very good idea of what he does so masterfully and why he is one of the most prominent non-American practitioners of Land Art.

Long appreciated by the French, Goldsworthy is continuing his efforts in the area of Haut Provence, in fact in our own back yard at Digne-les-Bains, which has fast become a city noted for  patronage of artists. 

My friend Bruce Bethany spotted this article from the Financial Times which gives you a good idea of the installations and what the project will entail.

Apparently, Goldsworthy is extending his work of the "Sentinelles"  the giant pine cones started ten years ago and linking them to an elliptical 90 mile hiking trail which one can enjoy over stages.   Along the way he is restoring  abandoned buildings and ruined chapels as way stations of art he calls "Refuges".   With these new additions to the project, there is now more Andy Goldsworthy art in the Alpes Maritimes region of France than anywhere else in the world.

The most romantic way to go from Nice to Dignes Les Bains is by le train des Pignes , a small one track train that runs from Place de Liberation  in Nice through several mountain towns and terminating at Digne .  The only problem with this method is that by the time the train stops at all the villages along the way you have little time to enjoy Digne before the last train takes you back.   

And I can say as an aside, that just sitting in the Notre Dame du Bourg Cathedral(secondary cathedral of Digne) is worth a trip.  You will need to set aside some time to sit and meditate in this favorite of mine. 

 I have already convinced Jeanne that she needs a trip up to see what Digne has in store for art lover's.   After a visit to the town , we will plan our hikes into Goldsworthy's world.   And this time I will take my hiking boots.  

Monday, September 10, 2012

La Cavaleta

Last night was a fete on the beach with a few friends to enjoy the end of summer and to see the sunset.

  The good thing about a beach picnic is that kids are welcome and have lots of room to play;  you can stay for as long or as little as you like; and you can bring just a few items to make it a successful evening.   Everyone brings a little food and a little tipple and a blanket to sit on and you're off and running.  

You can tell I was having fun when I didn't take out my camera even though I had schlepped it along.  ... so this sunset shot is one I took in Biarritz some years back.   Never waste a good sunset, I say.  

A great idea if you don't have a car and don't feel like walking, is to take a bicycle rickshaw. 
 In this case Monsieur and I found a charming young man asleep in his eco-cab and he took us back three kilometers to the bottom of our street for only 12 euros total ....1,50 euros le km/pers.+ 3 euros de prize en charge.  (What I understand this to mean is that there is a 3 euro charge for his insurance).

  At the end of the ride he said that he knew we were Americans because he can't understand British English when it is spoken!  Ha ... good thing we weren't telling any secrets.    

He calls his service La Cavaleta: 06 20 41 03 38 and he will come pick you up if you call ahead..... which we may do before he fades away with the warm weather.   Come to think of it, I think la Cavaleta is a summer thing... like picnics on the beach.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Apostrophe's Hell

  My friend Annie, newly arrived in Nice,  is learning French for the first time.  We were talking about it today.   Most people think that the "new" language is the hard one. 
 French is tricky for English speakers because of the "masculine and feminine" version of  every noun, adjective etc.  But English is no "picnic". 
  Here is a photo of a guy who never understood the apostrophe...along with a few other things in life.....

My thank's to my cousin , Iris , who sent this bit along.  

                                                                                           Photo by Sarah Anne Edwards
So many people to hate, so little time.
If there's an apostrophe hell this has to be it. If you see this guy with his banner,  ask him, "Why do you ♥ the apostrophe so much? Repent and believe in grammar."
 But there are times when an apostrophe has its place.  Today's English expression "crow's feet"  answers the question: Whose what?  
The feet of the crow, that's who's feet.  The "what" is the feet, of course. 
Rest assured there's no hell, grammar or otherwise. (You don't need to pay for the overuse of apostrophes in another life). Overall, the universe's apostrophe store stays in balance. It seems our linguistic world was intelligently designed .......for every gratuitous apostrophe there's an instance where it's omitted.
 Here then is the term of the day that Iris sent me..... for those learning English.  

crow's feet

(KROHZ feet) 

noun: Wrinkles in the skin around the outer corners of the eyes.

From their supposed resemblance to a crow's feet. Earliest documented use: around 1374.

"He stares at himself in the mirror, the curls now grey, the crow's feet deepening like grooves worked into wood."
C.B. Forrest; The Devil's Dust; Dundurn; 2012.

Ah, good taste, what a dreadful thing! Taste is the enemy of creativeness. -Pablo Picasso, painter and sculptor (1881-1973)