Celia's blog

Musings on life in Lodeve, Languedoc

Archive for the ‘Lodeve’ Category

Around and about

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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Spring time in Lodeve

Posted by celiahukins on 04/04/2013

Lodeve view
So long without the blog – had you forgotten about me? Since we moved here full time in January our days have been filled with visits to various Lodève establishments, including the Mairie to try to register with the French Sécurite Sociale, and to the insurance company to top up our health insurance. We tried to get our English car taxed in France but in the end found it was easier to take it back to the UK and leave it there. We’ve had to provide a translation of our English birth certificates (you can at least do it on line, but need to have a certified translator at 40 euros a go). When will we get our carte vitale? Who knows?

Yesterday morning we got one step nearer to la vie francaise by registering with a local doctor. We have an appointment next week. The duty was made more pleasant by the fact that it was a bright sunny morning and everywhere trees were coming into bud.
There has been heavy rain over the last few months; the rivers are full.

A coffee in the sun is always a good idea.

Café Azarin

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Olive picking

Posted by celiahukins on 15/12/2012


November is olive picking time. We had already picked some green olives from one of the trees in our garden in October, and now we have jars of black olives as well, soaking in brine to debitter them. We only have a few olive trees, some of which do not produce many olives, and as we were interested to find out how it worked for people with lots of olive trees, we were pleased when our French neighbours introduced us to Sylvie and Bruno who have an olive farm at Mont Redon. We spent the weekend olive picking. It goes like this – you arrive about 9 am, have a coffee in the welcoming kitchen, meet up with your fellow pickers, and then set off – maybe 12 of you – to pick olives. At first the wind is cold and you need to be warmly wrapped up (though it’s hard to pick olives with gloves on) but gradually it gets warmer, and maybe the wind drops a little.

Olive pickers
We pick the olives 2 or 3 people to a bush. There is much conversation and joking, different family members who haven’t seen each other for a while catch up on the news. And even the former maire comes along – that’s him on the left of the photo.
The time passes surprisingly quickly, and as the morning wears on there are speculations about what will be for lunch, an important part of the activities. By 1 o’clock we are ready to return to the kitchen for a welcome warming pastis or two.

A good  day's work
On the first day we have soup followed by grilled sausage with risotto, the second day soup and an excellent boeuf bourgignonne . The olives will go to the huilerie cooperative to be made into olive oil. We tasted some made from a previous picking; the harvest hasn’t been large this year because of the cold in February.
lunch time

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Summer in Lodève – les Nocturnes

Posted by celiahukins on 07/12/2012

Paye ton Schtreimel
Apologies for the lack of blog – I’ve been travelling – hope to post about that soon. Anyway it’s good to look back to the summer as we sit by the fire.

On Tuesday evenings we enjoyed the Nocturnes de Lodève, with open air performances by various musicians. It was pleasant to sit in the Square Georges Auric, just outside the art gallery, and listen to music as it got dark. Usually there was a welcome freshness in the air, a relief after the heat of the day.

Here are Paye ton Schtreimel, a group of students from Lille University who entertained us with their take on Yiddish songs.

Earlier on Tuesday evenings there was the Marché du Terroir, where locals sell their home grown fruit and veg and the lady from Pégairolles sells her excellent goats cheese.

marché du terroir

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Voix de la Méditerannée

Posted by celiahukins on 25/09/2012

Sunday potes
No sooner had one lot of festivities ended than another began. (Alas the blog couldn’t keep up). I’ve never been in Lodève for the Voix de la Mediterraneée before. The town becomes a different place; streets are taken over by bookstalls.
Book stalls

You can catch artists and performers at various spots around the town. I particularly enjoyed “Garcon un café” where poetry readings were held at different cafés.

Bar des Halles

In the evenings the Place du Marché came alive, with stalls selling moules frites, organic wine, food from other nationalities – something for everyone. There were free performances from acrobats and tightrope walkers.

Later on our way back home we stopped by the banks of the Soulondre to enjoy the evening air and listen to yet more musicians. Sorry I’ve no more photos but take a look at the Voix website to see the variety of entertainments on offer.

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