Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Homes for Hens

The condition of hens in factory farms is deplorable. Thankfully, there is a local organisation ‘Champs Libres aux Poules’, dedicated to finding homes for them instead of them going to the abbatoir when their ability to lay eggs diminishes. That’s around 18 months old.  Some stats…

  • Last week 170 hens were adopted at Pertuis by 20 adopters
  • 250 were adopted at Cuge-les-Pins
  • Over the past 2 years, 25,000 hens have found new homes, thanks to this group.

The volunteers also give families post-adoption support plus advice on any problems that arise; and they try to publicise the plight of these birds amongst the general public.

‘Champs libres aux poules’ was created by Heidi Carneau in 2020, with the help of the “British Hen Welfare Trust”.  Her first success was finding homes for 400 hens in two days. Since then, the operation has gone from strength to strength.

‘Saved’ hens can be featherless and aren’t guaranteed to lay eggs any more, but have lots of time ahead to recuperate.  The team examine each carefully and look after hens that are too weak or harmed to offer for adoption.

A charge of 4 euros each helps cover the association’s costs.

Next ‘séances d’adoption’ are at Aix on 24 Sept and Istres 25 Sept.

Details:  www.champslibresauxpoules.com

On a personal note, Aixcentric fils has had hens for some years now and it is quite amazing how they become almost like pets.  Certainly when they see a car turn into the drive, they stop their foraging and rush over to see who has arrived.

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If you are planning a trip to Les Baux de Provence to enjoy the immersive art display of the works of Cézanne, why not include a visit to the Yves Brayer museum in the village?

They have an exhibition of the works of Camille Claudel, ( 8 December 1864 – 19 October 1943), a French sculptor known for her figurative works in bronze and marble.  Hers is a sad story of a talented woman unable to flourish in the misogyny of late 19th century society

In 1881, this 18-year-old precocious artist went to Paris to take up an apprenticeship with Auguste Rodin: she became pupil, model and lover to Rodin,  20 years her senior, and this relationship proved overwhelming for the young woman.

In addition, the exclusively male art critics of the time recognised her talent but she was still regarded as “Rodin’s pupil”.  Her struggle for recognition, and her distress arising from her relationship with Rodin, evolved into a psychotic illness which saw her hospitalised for 30 years in an asylum near Avignon where she died.

The Musée Yves Brayer is celebrating her work with an exhibition of 30 sculptures, borrowed from private collections or the Musee Camille Claudel which opened in her home town of Nogent-sur-Seine in 2017.

Finally some recognition.

The Musée Yves Brayer is the home of the permanent collection of Brayer’s paintings.  Well worth a visit. Here’s a 3-minute taste of what you can see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jqUZs1vbKs&t=10s

Museum details: https://www.yvesbrayer.com/en/

More on Camille and Rodin in the excellent ‘Hidden in the Shadow of the Master’ by Ruth Butler. (Yale University Press). Includes lots on Monet and Cézanne’s relationships with women.

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The Anglican church in Marseille (rue de Belloi) will be holding a memorial service for the late Queen Elizabeth II this Saturday 17th September at 14:30.

There will also be a book for written condolences.

All welcome.

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Aix always pulls out all the stops for the heritage weekend, 16-18th September, which is celebrated at towns across Europe. This year, the international theme is ‘Patrimoine Durable’ but Aix has put its own spin on the event and will be celebrating its famous waters, under the heading ‘L’Eau Notre Patrimoine’. (more…)

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…Starting tomorrow, Sunday 4th September, (more…)

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Being in England right now, I can only dream about French tomatoes.  (more…)

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The subject of the next exhibition at the Hotel Caumont which starts in October has been announced.  The clue is in the colour.


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Signac et Saint-Tropez

From Thursday 5 May to Sunday 9 October 2022

In 1892, Parisian artist Paul Signac arrived in Saint Tropez on his boat, Olympia.  He chanced upon the tiny port when he ran into bad weather and needed safe harbour.

It was to become his home for the next 26 years and his presence attracted fellow artists like Matisse, Manguin, Bonnard, Derain and Seurat.  A true artists’ colony developed and he wrote to his mother ‘There is enough material to work on for the rest of my days. Happiness is what I have just discovered’.

May 2022 was the 130th anniversary of the painter’s arrival and the Museum of Saint-Tropez, L’Annonciade’ has honoured his memory with the temporary exhibition ‘Signac et Saint-Tropez.’

The museum talks of his establishing ‘a real artistic breeding ground, a sort of laboratory of the avant-garde, thus conferring on Saint-Tropez an artistic fame first, then literary, cinematographic, festive, and then increasingly touristy with a jet-set varnish which has not, however, totally undermined the authenticity of the peninsula.’

Interestingly, he and his painter friends left such detailed impressions of the port and the architecture of the houses on the quay, that they were accurate guides for the reconstruction after the bombardment of the port in WW2.

The collection of local art-works was assembled in 1922 and found a home in 1955 in L’Annonciade, a 16th century chapel on the quayside. It is a delight to visit.

Alas the town’s popularity has resulted in really heavy traffic during the summer months with the road into the port often being nose-to-tail.  Best to wait til September when things quieten down, or get the boat over from Sainte Maxime, a lovely journey which ensures you arrive just like Paul Signac.

Extra!  Curator Séverine Berger (conservateur en chef du patrimoine) will be giving a guided tour on Monday evenings.

Details: Open 10-19:00 during the summer. Outside the holiday period, hours vary, for instance the museum closes for the whole of November, so it is safer to call first. Tel: 04 94 17 84 10 or try http://www.sainttropeztourisme.com.

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Ten free piano recitals under the banner ‘Sur les Routes de Provence’ will take place during early August.

The departement of Bouches de Rhone, a partner of the International Piano Festival at La Roque d’Antheron, is enabling performers to take their music to different communities in the region: here’s the programme…




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which are run by the Aix Marseille Metropole.

Locally, this includes the Piscine Yves Blanc near the Torse, (pictured), and the Piscine Sainte-Victoire, a 10-minute drive away near Venelles.  This latter has a 50m outside pool with dazzling views of the mountain.  They are literally dazzling as the sun bounces off the surface of the water.  Cool customers sport swimming-sun-goggles, not something I knew existed…not generally needed in our UK pools!

Free until 15 August – Profitez!

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