Hi there, back from France loaded down with photos and memories. Spent last 24 hours sorting out my photos (fun), doing washing (not fun) and filling orders (great). Now feel I am on top of things enough to put fingers to keyboard and give you an update.
I went over to France this time to sculpt horses for a friend, these are the horses in action just the other day. Rural France at it's best.
This is resulting sculpture of one of the above beasties.
This is the beautiful Arni (belonging to Martin) that I sculpted last time I was out there. This time I got his sculpture painted and complete.
Everyone seemed pleased with their models and I was certainly more than happy to be there in France doing them.
Animals were everywhere. Idgy was like the young Gerald Durrel rescuing everything that she could (whether it wanted rescuing or not). At one point she had a baby bird (see above), 2 small lizards(one without tail) and a larger lizard who not only didn't have a tail but only 3 legs. Unfortunately the cats managed to re-stake their claim to the bird and small lizards escaped. however old 3 legs was a great success as a patient and wouldn't even leave when encouraged. He was quite happy with Idgy feeding him crickets and chatting to him.
I went running while I was there and of course felt obliged to photograph the cows. Actually the running was great but I did get myself into trouble when I thought I could take a shortcut home. Ah yes, I remembered riding round a track by the woods when I was there before. So of course thought I would have no problem finding my way to a. the track, and then b. through the woods. Oh dear you just know what happened already don't you. I skipped merrily into the wood and bounded along admiring the trees and flowers and in a world of my own. It was a bit overgrown but I could see the path and carried on. Ended up with my way barred by barbed wire and lots of pigeon houses. Hmmm gone wrong way. Double back and try again. This time I go into the woods a different way, this is my downfall. Within about ten minutes I am lost. I kept trying different tracks and always seemed to come back to the same fallen log. It was beginning to be like Groundhog Day. At one point I actually made it out of the wood but managed to end up in a maize field. Now the corn is over 6 feet tall and you can't see a thing. Panic had set in by this point and I had visions of Johnny Depp (never a bad thing) in 'Secret Window' and bodies being buried under the corn. Lose nerve and go back to woods. Woods seriously overgrown and thorns everywhere. I am in shorts and T-shirt so am now liberally decorated with scratches and cuts. I will admit to panic by this point. I just kept going round and round. Anyway eventually I just kept on one track and when it disappeared into the undergrowth I just ploughed on getting scratched to pieces but hoping it would eventually lead me out. It did, but at another place entirely. Managed to find my way back top Eddie's house and landed there literally covered in blood from head to foot looking like I had been dragged through the proverbial hedge backwards and been beaten up by bandits at the same time. Burst manfully into tears. Spent rest of holiday with unattractive criss-cross pattern over legs rather like some macabre fishnet tights.
Anyway, back to the animals. Neighbours farm, isn't this just perfect, no modern techno-farming here. The calm and quiet countryside moves at a pace far removed from the farms round here.
The sounds are peaceful, cowbells, chickens and the buzzing of thousands of busy insects in the flowers.
And here are Bud and Tia doing what cats do best, just posing in the sun.
And the other kitten, Maria, all tangled up in her new toy.
Yes I did take other photos apart from animals, and of course I will bore you to death with them over the next few days. But it was the horses that got me there, so I had to give them the first mention.
Great big huge THANKS to Martin and Ann for having us to stay again and being such fabulous friends and hosts.