• That time Cees ran toward the bombs

    Sunday, January 14, 2018 1 Permalink 0

    Oh the stories that man could tell. Harrowing tales of gay bravado and Southern Living past, more than a few pointers on matching accessories to suits, and a long list of sexcapades from an era in which most of the players were long dead. I never doubted that he embellished some of those tales, and was ...

  • Violent Expulsions: My Day with the Martyrs (or, Vomit with a View)

    Thursday, January 4, 2018 0 Permalink 0

    The photos are of the Chateau de Montségur, the "seat and head" of Catharism's last, tragic, inspiring holdout in the fall-winter-and-spring of 1243-4. When the siege ended and the 200 Parfaits and Parfaites within finally surrendered, they were given two weeks to recant and reconvert to Roman Catholicism or be burned alive at the stake. Instead of ...

  • Desolation Consolation

    Sunday, November 12, 2017 0 Permalink 0

    Grande Crue On Monday 03-03-30, a major disaster struck our region, which I have written about before in these pages. A spring flood swelled the Tarn River, but the debris in the water was more than usual, and that debris collected against certain railway bridges which then acted like dams. When those accidental dams finally burst, walls ...

  • The Martyrs of Bordelongue

    Tuesday, August 8, 2017 0 Permalink 0

    They resisted when others collaborated. They paid the ultimate price. Some were murdered there but most were murdered elsewhere and their bodies brought to the internment camp at Bordelongue and buried in two unmarked pits during the war. Their bodies were discovered in 1944 by a farm woman who had seen trucks moving back and forth ...

  • Fête au Village

    Sunday, July 23, 2017 0 Permalink 0

    Adaptation Originally our quaint little village of la Magdelaine sur Tarn was the leper colony for Villemur sur Tarn, the noble and larger town downriver. We may wonder why anyone would locate their contagious sick upriver, but such was the logic of the Middle Ages, and it is not ours to question. Presumably our house was at ...

  • Friends, frolics, fossils

    Friday, May 5, 2017 1 Permalink 0

    We have had a few weeks of visitors and lots of sightseeing, in addition to getting the garden into shape for the season. Today we are just back from Andorra and the cavepainting site at Niaux, which I have wanted to see for years, and now finally have. It did not disappoint. Photos are not allowed inside the ...

  • The last day of January

    Thursday, February 2, 2017 1 Permalink 0

    For a couple of days I have been walking around appreciating the here and now. It is especially easy to appreciate the here and now when it seems under dire threat and you dread what is to come. Here and now seems pretty good compared to what may happen next. Of course in the here and now ...

  • Reconciliation

    Thursday, June 23, 2016 0 Permalink 2

    Les Bonnes Soeurs  Each week for over a year I have parked near a Convent for my French class in Montauban. It's not just Catholic, but Dominican, and it seems to me absolutely appalling for any Dominicans to express themselves in our area, where they were founded, because of the reason they were founded: To root out and exterminate the native ...