Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sprinkled in fairy dust...

Sunday 29 November 2015

Sunny 15 degrees

Slept til nine thirty which is totally exceptional.  Daylight and sun were streaming through the shutters and hunting horns were sounding in the distance.  Dogs were baying. Men were shouting.  The wild boar hunting season is in full throttle.  Isn't there enough killing in the world?  Can people find nothing better to do on a glorious day other than dressing up in dayglo and chasing animals through the woods?  I sincerely hope they shoot one another.

I have rarely seen the creatures during our 12 year in France.  They are shy and reclusive. But once, as dusk was falling, I drove around a bend in a road.  The forest was dark and deep on either side of the narrow band of tarmac.  Suddenly, there was a movement on the right and a family of boar trotted across the road.  Father in front; massive muzzle and shoulders.  Mum followed and behind her, three piglets, their coats bearing the multicoloured stripes of the very young boar.  

"Wildboar in Anamalai hills" by PJeganathan - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons -

Wild boar are the ancestors of all domestic pigs and the males can weigh up to 175 kilogrammes.  They have very sharp tusks and are not to be messed with...

I get a call from the US client and he wants to run through the next steps with me so down town and he hands over the set of keys and says what he needs sorting out and I wish him all the best for the return and go and have a hot chocolate to warm up.  The bar is relatively quiet, the cold weather having kept people indoors.  Back home and get dog and walk him around the lake.  Very quiet.  Being a rebel, I walk him in the opposite direction to normal.  Dog is not a rebel and keeps on trying to turn back and go the other way, like an annoying GPS.

Buy some padded envelopes and am delighted to fnd some gold flakes to combine with the feathers in bangles.  On the way out of town, I notice a craft exhibition and go in.  It was three euros and I was feeling this was three euros too much when I came upon a most stunning exhibition of textile jewellery.  The lady is showing a group of interested and envious women how to embroider using her Comely embroidery machine.  Dating from the early part of the 20th century, it is controlled by a handle under the table.  Basically, she embroiders the support for the piece on organza, sews on a rich selection of the most fab stones and crystals and beads, and then backs with firm black tissue.

There was a magazine showing the dresses she had embroidered for Diana, Princess of Wales.  I went over and examined the various pieces.  They were exquisite.  The combination of colours and forms and moods of the pieces was exhilarating.  Some of them you would have needed to go to a State dinner in order to have an occasion smart enough to wear them.  Others would have been good for a night as a flamenco dancer. They were unashamedly and exuberantly extravagant.  They laughed in the face of subtle.  They were like wearable maraschino cherries.  

I felt my mouth watering.  When else would I get to own something made by someone from the house of a grand couturier de Paris - never mind someone who had worked with Diana Spencer.  I found a relatively simple piece - a cross with a large malachite beads, edged in turquoise and blue seed beads and a large murano glass bead.  The outer of the cross was edged in 19th century nacre (mother of pearl).  The lady placed it on a padded black cushion and popped it into an ornate white box.  She gave me some of my money back again, saying she had been touched at how her work had moved me.

I came out and went to Aldi and bought cereal but, just for half an hour, I had seen into another world and had been sprinkled in its fairy dust.  I walked on air for the rest of the day.