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Lastours the watercolour

March 13, 2014 1 comment

 

 

 

 

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This is the view from the Belvedere high up above the village looking over the hillside where all the castles are . The previous sketch was from the café by the stream in the centre of the village where I waited for the boys. It was so hot the masking fluid which I had off loaded from the bag to lighten it exploded in the car…at first I cursed as I thought it had leaked under pressure but actually it had blown a pea sized lump of glass from the shoulder of the bottle. Awful mess which stank but then dried into peelable rubber and neatly cleaned out the little crevices in the dashboard of dust and general grot……latex can be useful.

The weather in France was extreme, there were days of intense heat, sudden swirling winds like desert dust devils and then on the way home a ferocious thunder storm which we drove through for at least 40 kilometres. The other cars were sheltering under the motorway bridges and last weekend I found out why; that day friends of relatives had two windscreens and their roof tiles smashed by tennis ball sized hail stones only 10-20 km away from the motorway we were on. Perhaps the sheltering cars were listening to their traffic news and following advice.

After driving through the terrible storm for some time I learnt a new word “Orages”, it was on the motorway signs but I had to look it up in the dictionary, duh! you don’t need to tell drivers they are in a thunderstorm when its hammering the car roof with ice and the lightening strikes every 10 seconds all around.

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Lastours

September 3, 2013 4 comments

210a

This is from the sketch book I took to France which is now full.

We went to the Midi which is very lovely. It is a long way south but quite harsh in some ways, it lacks the softness of many other places so close to the Mediterranean; no wonder really, the temperature in the village we stayed in went down to -15c last winter and just like the UK they say “it was ridiculous! we did not cope, the pipes burst and so did the water mains”. This explains why they don’t bother trying to grow lemon trees in their gardens even in the walled gardens of the villages, Figs and olives yes but lemons no and no straggly five foot high Pelargoniums either.
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