Celia's blog

Musings on life in Lodeve, Languedoc

Lodève watercolours

Posted by celiahukins on 06/04/2015


I haven’t been active on this blog for a while but I have been busy doing other things. My English friend Janet is hosting an exhibition in Lodève, opening on 16 April at L’Art en Poche. If you can’t make it then, you can see some of her paintings here

Since January I have been recording the walks of the walking group here. The site is now becoming a useful reference; you can check for example for type of walk or points of interest.

Maybe I’ll post some more soon…


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Celebrating the Liberation of France

Posted by celiahukins on 21/06/2014

On TV we watched the ceremonies for the 70th anniversary of the D Day landings. In Southern France we celebrated the Liberation and the role of the maquisards – the armed resistance fighters. There was a march, which I understand is an annual event, from Gignac to Lodève and up to Cornus in the Aveyron, which was a centre for the resistance. You could go in the bus if you didn’t want to walk. As usual meals were provided as part of the celebrations.
In Lodève there was an interesting display of authentic vehicles. The motorbike man had some problems getting his machine started again after waiting in the queue as they decided who was going where, but he managed it in the end.

Other reconditioned vehicles gained an enthusiastic response from the spectators.
fire engine
As usual the majorettes were there
pom pom girls

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Sunny August in Lodève

Posted by celiahukins on 09/09/2013

Yes it’s hot in August, so early morning and evening are the best times to do things. The rest of the time you are allowed to have a long siesta and catch up with your reading in the shade.
Early morning (8 am start) was the best time for a walk around Lac du Salagou.
Music in the cool of the evening – the Tuesday Nocturnes continued.

In the cool of Olmet church Bruno al Monte played the guitar.

Bruno al Monte
Bruno al Monte
The stalls on the streets around Lodève had apricots and peaches; the apricots went well with the Pelardon goats cheese from Pégairolles which I bought at the Tuesday afternoon market.
Apricots and goats cheese
I couldn’t resist these sardines at the fish stall, which we ate fried quickly dusted in flour, served with lemon.
And now we have trouble trying to keep up with the vegetables from our garden.
garden veg

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MIchel Butor in Lodeve

Posted by celiahukins on 01/09/2013

Michel Butor
Who is Michel Butor? When I heard he was going to be the chief guest at the poetry festival I thought his name sounded familiar. Then I remembered. In the 1980s I had read a book of his set in Manchester, which was where I then lived. He called the place Beston and had written the book when he was a lecturer at Manchester University in the 1950s.

L'emploi du temps
As well as his novels and poetry, he has written about philosophy, art, literature, and the theory of music among other things. His work is much too complicated for me to discuss here, so I refer you to this report from March this year.
I enjoyed an evening presentation in the Jardins de la Megisserie
Butor at the Megisserie
In his morning sessions in the peaceful garden behind Horizons Intérieurs he told us about his life now.
Waiting for Micgel
I’m not sure what the cats and rabbits thought about it.
Still waiting
Still waiting

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Voix de la Mediterranée

Posted by celiahukins on 01/09/2013

Voix performers
As the weather begins to get cooler I look back at the Voix de la Mediterranée. For a week in July Lodève is a different place and it’s a magic time.
You can have poetry with your morning coffee…

Garcon un café
poetry and music with your aperitif…
O Marches du Palais
and in the shade for an afternoon siesta…
then with your feet in the water (but beware the insects!)
Les pieds dans l'eau
In the evening there are stalls in the Place du Marché where you can get moules frites, sausages and other delights, listen to different bands and watch dancers.
The principal guest was Michel Butor, originally a nouveau roman author but now a man of many accomplishments, so much so that I had to give him a separate post
Here’s to next year!

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14 July celebrations

Posted by celiahukins on 03/08/2013

Suddenly Lodève comes alive in July. Everyone turned out for the 14 July parade; we watched it from a café with a couple of beers.
As usual there were bands and dancers from various places, including this year Macedonia, Bulgaria and Croatia. We particularly enjoyed the band from Martinique who were great fun and had an excellent sense of rhythm.
Then we joined in the repas communale on the Esplanade, with aligot, sausage, and acceptable red wine for 3 euros a litre.

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Looking for vultures

Posted by celiahukins on 26/07/2013

we did


On a day before it got hot (seems like it has been hot forever) we drove up to the plateau to look for vultures. My friends had been there before and seen a dozen or so; unfortunately this time we only saw two (probably the same one twice). Our walk took us past a field of sheep, with a shepherd watching them. We were not far from Roquefort, home of the famous cheese, so that is probably where their milk would go.

More sheep
We parked at La Jasse du Larzac, on what was the main road to the south before the viaduct was built. Although Millau itself is still flourishing after the bridge has bypassed it, the restaurant at La Jasse has now closed, probably due to lack of custom although it is claimed there are “problèmes techniques”.
We had a good view down towards Millau town and the viaduct, which always looks different every time I see it because the light is never the same.

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Posted by celiahukins on 24/07/2013


As the weather gets hotter the mojito makes a very refreshing drink.

This is my recipe:
Place the limes, mint and sugar in a highball glass and “muddle” them with the end of a rolling pin. Add ice and pour over the rum (not too much if you have things to do afterwards). Add soda water to taste and serve in a highball glass with a sprig of mint.
Of course there is more on Wikipedia

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Tour de France in Pézenas 2013

Posted by celiahukins on 12/07/2013

For various reason we’ve missed the Tour in other years when it has passed through our area. However this time it passed through Pézenas on its way from Montpellier to Albi so it was an opportunity too good to miss. I’d seen it once before a long time ago when I was staying with a French family, so I knew there wouldn’t be much of a chance to see the cyclists as they zoomed past.
Of course one of the best things about the Tour is the caravane which comes round with the various sponsors handing out goodies – Vittel, Haribo, Belin. There is a happy family atmosphere.
This is what I got – I didn’t get much as I was neither an old lady (they sit down) or a young one, and didn’t have any children with me. The young lad next to me who looked slightly shall we say mentally challenged did very well – good for him!
After the caravane there was just time for lunch before the cyclists arrived. I joined the crowd outside the Tourist Office.

And then suddenly the excitement increased. Here they come …
Here they are
And then they’re gone and that’s it. Sorry if you expected any better photos – I’m not a professional photographer!
You can see more at letour.fr

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Spring colours

Posted by celiahukins on 23/04/2013

I thought I posted this in April, but apparently I didn’t – sorry!
You’ve got to hand it to Mother Nature (aka the Gardener). She does go for some good colours. Even if it’s a dull chilly day there is something to cheer you up.
The bank

As ever the weather is changeable. Hot sunny days alternate with cooler ones when the wind blows. For several weeks the market has been in danger of being rained off, and it is good to come back to the warmth of the house and light a fire.

But the colours are still there
small plant
and the vegetables are dong well…
veg patch

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