Over 50 years ago, Queen Elizabeth II came to Provence.  Here’s a look-back on what she saw  during her 25 hours in the region. Continue Reading »

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.

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.

A couple of ideas here for the coming weekend. Continue Reading »

… by the opening of its very own immersive digital art centre, modelled on the success of the Carrieres des Lumieres at Les Baux de Provence. Continue Reading »

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.

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’. Continue Reading »

…Starting tomorrow, Sunday 4th September, Continue Reading »

It’s easy to take the Eiffel Tower for granted – it’s been part of the Parisian landscape for over 100 years now.  What is there new to say about it?  We all know how the competition to mark the 1889 Paris World Fair ended, so no tension there. Continue Reading »

Being in England right now, I can only dream about French tomatoes.  Continue Reading »