Sous le soleil du matin un grand bonheur se balance dans l'espace" Camus - Noces à Tipasa

"Demain, je surprendrai l'aube rouge sur les tamaris mouillés de rosée saline, sur les faux bambous qui retiennent à la pointe de chaque lance bleue, une perle." Colette . La Naissance du JourDé

"Déjà mon reflet d'arbre planté devant moi
L'image de ma vie entre ciel et terre;
le tronc qui va profond, les rameaux coupés courts,
le double geste des branches dures qui veut être
un désir d'embrasser le ciel;
0 mes bras trop courts envieux des oiseaux."

Mas-Felipe Delavouet, Pouèmo I

mardi 28 mai 2013

La Séparation

A Livry, ce mardi saint 24e mars 1671.

  Il y a trois heures que je suis ici, ma pauvre bonne. Je suis partie (...) dans le dessein de me retirer ici du monde et du bruit jusqu'à jeudi au soir. (...) Mais, ma pauvre bonne, ce que je ferai beaucoup mieux que tout cela, c'est de penser à vous. Je n'ai pas encore cessé depuis que je suis arrivée, et ne pouvant tenir tous mes sentiments, je me suis mise à vous écrire au bout de cette petite allée sombre que vous aimez, assise sur ce siège de mousse où je vous ai vue quelquefois couchée. Mais, mon Dieu, où ne vous ai-je point vue ici? et de quelle façon toutes ces pensées me traversent-elles le coeur? Il n'y a point d'endroit, point de lieu, ni dans la maison, ni dans le jardin, où je ne vous ai vue; il n'y en a point qui ne me fasse souvenir de quelque chose de quelque manière que ce soit; et de quelque façon que ce soit aussi, cela me perce le coeur. Je vous vois, vous m'êtes présente; je pense et repense à tout; ma tête et mon esprit se creusent : mais j'ai beau tourner, j'ai beau chercher; cette chère enfant que j'aime avec tant de passion est à deux cent lieues de moi : je ne l'ai plus. Sur cela je pleure sans pouvoir m'en empêcher; je n'en puis plus(...)"

                                                                        Madame de Sévigné (à Madame de Grignan, sa fille)

   Peut-on pleurer un animal très aimé comme l'on pleure sur l'absence de sa fille?

 Le chemin de croix de l'amour maternel qu'accomplit Marie de Sévigné à Livry, où les lieux familiers chargés de souvenirs deviennent autant de "stations" crucifiantes, je le fais moi aussi pour Cannelle ma petite chatte, ma "fille", ma beauté, mon feu follet, morte contre moi le 23 mai.
Harcelée, tourmentée par une mémoire fidèle mais qui ne restitue aucune bienheureuse illusion, Madame de Sévigné ne peut plus que ressasser sa souffrance jusqu'au vertige. "je pense et repense à tout".  La mémoire involontaire, surgit dans les lieux du bonheur passé, mais elle en marque la fin, l'impossibilité de se consoler et le crève-coeur de se heurter partout aux signes de la dépossession.

adieu, mon coeur.

mardi 21 mai 2013


view on Beachy Head from Eastbourne Seafront.

The day that we spent at Eastbourne seems now very far away.

 We experienced the bus from Heathfield to Eastbourne 's Seashore, through the nice little towns and villages of the Sussex countryside. It takes only an hour and Bus is cheaper than railroad in England and safer than car...

  Eastbourne's town center has nothing special to see : several theaters, churches, but not very elegant.  It is not so smart and upperclass as Brighton is.
The beautiful side is incontestably the Sea shore, with the victorian buildings of the seafront : Grand Hôtel ....
The Grand Hôtel


The victorian Pier with the camera oscura

and the magnificent Victorian Pier, white and blue, where we had our afternoon tea with the traditional lemon cake and other sweets....

But before that, we had lunch at Ramsden's, the famous and first fish and Chips restaurant. In 19th  century the first one was in Yorkshire, and it was such a success that Ramsden
started other restaurant all over England.
It is said, in the publicity, that Ramsden's fish and chips is the best, but we did'nt agree, it was quite good but not as good as  at "The Cat inn" in on friday.

The view on Beachy Head and the Channel is gorgeous.
The sun was there too. Sheila has said to us "even if it's raining in Heathfield, the weather will surely be better at Eastbourne, because it's the sunniest place in all England"
And she was right.
Sun, blue sky, happy seagulls, bright flowers everywhere,
a man and a woman walking on the beach with a dog springing around them : chabadabada....
The light was superb, everything perfect.

Harry Ramsden's 

The Camera Oscura


 After lunch,
as we had plenty of time until the return to
Heathfield, we took the touristbus with its open upper deck to go to Beachy Head. One can hop on and off during the tour, to visit the different places : the lighthouse, East Dean, Beachy Head, the sheep farms....
  A strong cold wind was blowing, so we decided not to do the walk to the lighthouse, but to left the bus one hour at East Dean to visit the village, which is old and pleasant with a lovely medieval church, a lot of pastures all around and a green place in it center.

East Dean:   Sherlock Holmes House (to the right )!!!

East Dean: The church and churchyard, so poetic

the light house on Beachy Head

It began to rain on Beachy Head when we catch the bus

Eastbourne, view through the dirty windowpane of the bus. 
to return at Eastbourne.  It was grey and misty, but when we approached Eastbourne we could see  that Sheila was still right : Eastbourne was shining in the evening sun, "the sunniest place in all England"

Beachy Head from the Pier
This was another

             brilliant day in Sussex.

vendredi 17 mai 2013

"JUST SO STORIES" Bateman's House in Burwash

Tuesday , may 7th

drawing by Kipling
Bateman's wiew from the orchard

We had planned to visit Hastings and Battle on tuesday, but the weather forecast were poor, so we opted for a shelter place, that we already visited some years ago with Eric and so much enjoyed. 
The first time was sooner in the spring, and it rained so we didn't see much of the garden. This time was ideal. 
Clematis on the wall

Bateman's House, Rudyard Kipling's beautiful estate in Burwash is only half an hour away from Little London. It's a Jacobean house, built in 17th century from local materials : sandstone, tiles from Sussex weald and wood pannels from Sussex oak.  The house with its orchard, gardens and Mill, nowadays owned by the National Trust, was Kipling's most beloved home and he described it as "a real house in which to settle down for keeps".
There he lived with his family, received friends - writers, artists, politics - and also wrote most of his wonderful stories.  When you visit the house, you can always feel Kipling's family spirit and imagine his three beloved children, listening to the witty and poetic stories that their father invented for them.

"The cat that walked by himself"
"the Elephant's child"

"How the Alphabet was made"

I particularly loved her daughter little parlor room, Kipling's study, and the wonderful library. And the gardens : the beautiful rose garden with the pond which Kipling designed itself and built after winning the Nobel Prize for literature.  And the wild garden with the Mill. You can buy  flour ground at the Mill. 

Bateman's house, the gardens, orchard, Mill and the lovely old church of Burwash.

jeudi 16 mai 2013

HALCYON DAYS IN SUSSEX, 2 : I got three pennies in Rye

Monday may 6th was bank  holiday in England. So, the traffic was very dense direction Hastings. When we drove in Rye direction it became quieter.
Rye perches neatly on a hill that overlooks the panorama of the Romney Marshes. In the past (long ago) the town was surrounded by the sea which rolled back. From the churchtower the view on the surrounding landscape of the Marshes is breathtaking.

Rye view  on Ypres tower 

view from St Mary's church tower.

 old map of Susssex county


Rye's medieval past is bound with France. In 1247 Rye was restored to the English crown. 
It's thought that the name Rye originates from the Norman-french "La Rie" = the bank.
The numerous french raiding parties after the restoration - in 1339, 1377, 1449 nearly destroyed the
medieval Rye, and was the reason for building the town wall defenses, the Ypres tower and the Landgate. 

The famous american writer Henry James lived 18 years in Lamb house in Rye. John Fletcher was born there, an lived in a house near ST Mary's Church. 

Parking in Rye is amazingly cheap in such a touristic town : only 1.50 L /a day. 
The numerous cobbled and timber Houses, the antiques shops, the nice tea-rooms and restaurants around the Town Hall and St Mary's church contribute to the charm of the historical center.  

We had tea with eccle cake (a Yorkshire recipe ) by Simon the Pieman the oldest tearoom in Rye
pork pie, eccle cake, apple pie, lemon cake....

The town Hall 

Monday was bank holidays, it means that the 1st of May was replaced by the 6 th. On this occasion an old tradition  in Rye is that, the Mayor of Rye distributes pennies to the inhabitants. Childrens and adults enjoyed this ceremony, one "town crier" with a clock was announcing the  next distribution, there were more and more people waiting on the place. It was very funny to see the children running and collecting the shiny pennies. It brings luck all the year. So, I also got three pennies that are now in my treasury box. 

After that, we visited Saint Mary's church which has sometimes been called the   Cathedral of East Sussex because of its magnificence and proportions. 

The driftwood Crucifix

When the building of the present church was started, early in 12 th century, the town itself and much of the surrounding area was still held by the Abbey of Fécamp in Normandy. Fécamp was the first Norman monastery to own land in England.  

To commemorate the long history of Rye a quilted tapestry was sewed in 2000 by the inhabitants. 

Rye intra muros with the camber river all around

timber house on church square

The Mayor of Rye 


in the entry of Georges Restaurant

We had lunch at Georges Restaurant, very smart, but had to wait a long time before having our 
exquisite meal  : scallops (coquilles saint-Jacques), cod with the traditional chips.

timber houses around Saint Mary's Church

in the churchyard

Saint Mary's Church

Quarter Boys cottage refers to the four Cherubs or "jacks" which stood above the clock dial.  They were so called because they strike the quarters but not the hours. 

This first day was a success with everything we did and the most beautiful and sunny day (20°) with a bright blue sky and birds singing.