Thursday, August 31, 2006

Le Poutou de Toulouse Music Group

The dancers of Le Poutou de Toulouse had their group of musicians to strike up a lively jig.

The guy on the right with the bagpige type instrument is made from a whole goatskin. Nice huh!

The sign in the background gives me pleasure to show this was really the fete at Roquemaure - bet the Mayor will be pleased.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Painted Face

In the heart of France I came across Painted Face, or was it Geronimo?

More images from the fete at Roquemaure held a few weeks ago.

I really liked this guy, and he could do some mean tricks on his horse.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Le Poutou de Toulouse

The dance troop from Toulouse that performed at the Roquemaure fete a few weeks ago.

I now have have quiet a few photographs I would like to share with you. I love this shot, a handsome guy and a beautiful woman in traditional dress.

I will get more information about this great group of people.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Just down the road from us there is an Escargot Farm. I keep meaning to go have a look and find out how they 'grow' snails.

Yes I have had snails with a nice covering of garlic butter and that lovely French bread.

This is an image that I have had in my collection for a while and I promise I did not take any away to eat later.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Le Puech Haute

Lisi asked a while ago if we lived in the house behind the group photo titled ‘Friends & Co’ and the answer is no. I did post yesterday the house where we live which is all in the same grounds, so in fact we do live in a very nice situation in the beautiful Tarn country side.

What my wife Ghislaine and I do is manage a Gîte called Le Beffroi and a larger property called Le Puech Haut.

Very nice work and we get to meet lots of very interesting people. It still gives me time to take and enjoy my photography. After living in Paris for over 10 years it is just the change we wanted.

If you want to find out more about the property have a look at Le Puech Haut and it may well whet your appetite to come and stay with us for a week or two.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Le Beffroi

Lisi of Hong Kong DP asked if the house behind the post Friends & Co was where we live. Well not exactly and I will explain in tomorrows post.

This is our house; at least this is where we live in the left hand side. The right hand side is a gîte – a cottage for rent – and this is chez nous in La France Profound in the Tarn Department.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Festival Fun

Time for another portrait of France! Another image that gives me a great deal of pleasure. These ladies in traditional provençal dress were not as severe as they seem.

Traditional festival in the village of Allauch. Provence, France.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Village Water

Another photograph from the village of Giroussens.

I have not seen one of these water spigots for a long time. Turn the handle on the top and you get water, fresh water. How novel!

I could be accused of wasting water because it is fun to keep turning the handle and see the water arrive. I must be a vandal or something, or was it all in the search of art as it made a better photograph??

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Hay Cutter

What's the use of a photograph of an aging rusting hay cutter without a model to show it off!

Wives do come in handy sometimes - ok, just kidding.

This photograph was taken near to where we live. It is an unoccupied farm which in many ways is very sad because it is a beautiful place but slowly things are deteriorating. It needs a caring owner to preserve the old farm implements and do up the farm house.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

River L'Agout

The River L'Agout at Giroussens, Tarn, France.

Monday, August 21, 2006

In the dog house!

Still in the village of Giroussens and just down the road a little way from the cool cat I saw this dog looking all sad as I think he wanted to get out and enjoy himself.

Not really, true to the way of the south of France the shutter were mostly closed to the afternoon heat and Mr. Dog just popped his nose out for a look see.

Mind you I thought it made for a good photo.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


We went out for lunch today to a lovely village called Giroussens which sit above the river Agout which flows into the river Tarn a couple kilometers further on. The village has a lovely panoramic view and the restaurant was a gastronomic pleasure.

As we were eating a cat wandered under the tables saying hello in its own way to the clients and no one seems to be in the least bit bothered by this. I certainly wasn’t as I love cats and it is very French to be so tolerant of animals.

As we left the restaurant this itinerant cat was asleep on a bench with not a care in the world. He loved been stroked and petted but never opened his eyes. As we left he just flopped back into his laid back pose and I took a few snaps.

Now this is what I call one cool cat.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Dawn of Time

An underground riverbed (dry at the moment) beneath the village of Minerve, south of France.

This village is to the north west of Narbonne.

Friday, August 18, 2006


The season is nearly upon us when the antique markets or Brocante begins in earnest, not that it really ends, just slows down a little bit in the summer months.

Weather you will be able to find a bargain or a real antique for that matter is another thing, but here is a photograph of a few choice items who might desperately want to decorate your home with.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Transhumance - The Gentlemen of Provence

This is another portrait in the series of French people that I have taken over a period of time.

This one is again from images taken in the village of Les Milles near Aix en Provence at the beginning of June 2005 during the annual Transhumance - the gathering of the sheep and a blessing before heading off to mountain pastures.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Gare de Toulouse

On Sunday we drove into Toulouse to pick our friend Dominique at Toulouse train station. It was great to see Dominique again but what was surprising was dealing with the amount of people. We are certainly in the middle of the holiday/vacation period but I was not ready for feeling a little bit startled by my reaction to so many people. This is after a year of living in the very beautiful country area of the Tarn.

The photograph is of the train arriving from Paris and we were glad to see Dominique then make our way back to the car and head to the country again.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Château Lastours

Today is a holiday in France so we have invited a few friends around for lunch and yesterday we had to go and buy some wine. The Galliac region of France, like many others, is well known for its wine.

We usually head off to the Château Lastours which is on the road between L’ilse sur Tarn and Gaillac. The entry to the Château is along a tree lined avenue in a beautiful setting next to the river Tarn. It has been in the ‘de Faramond’ family since it was founded in the 18th century. It is now run by two brothers Hubert and Pierric de Faramond.

Yesterday we had the pleasure of meeting Pierric de Faramond who not only gave my wife and her friend Dominique a wine tasting before they chose the wine for today, but also we had a leisurely tour around the grounds.

This is Ghislaine and Dominique with Pierric de Faramond checking out the wine.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Friends & Co.

Last week we had the pleasure of looking after three super families. It is rare to find such lovely people - French, English and would you believe even a Welsh man

Known to us as the family Lewis they arrived during the course of a Saturday afternoon and during the course of a week we came to know a group of super people and 8 children all of whom were charming little devils. The kids created a riot in the garden and had a great time – from the wasp hunters to the girl’s tea room in the Casba they all had a great time.

I took this photograph just before they all went their separate ways and it was a sad parting after getting to know these lovely families who were such pleasant company.

BUT I believe they are going to come back and see us next year……….

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Luca and Lily

Luca and his girlfriend Lily. Lily is a bit younger than Luca but they seem to be getting on well enough, at least I think so.

Another one of the things about this blog from Réal in France is that I post quite regularly images of our brand new grandson, although he is now nearly seven months old. Also the images are not taken by me! I just can’t resist sharing this little gem in our lives.

Photograph by Mum or Dad James.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Légumes & fromages

Légumes & fromages (vegetables and cheese) mixed with a few (renard) foxes found at a local fair.

Just liked the shot......

Friday, August 11, 2006

Cat Nap

In the summer heat it is nice to enjoy a little siesta, or catnap if you will.

Photographed in the back streets of the beautiful village of Cordes-sur-Ciel close to where we live.

As you may know I love cats.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Wild West Show

The Wild West came to Roquemaure on Sunday. Part of the fete was a show of horse man/woman-ship. All the participants were dressed up as Native Americans, or as we used to say when we were younger ‘Red Indians’ but I believe that is politically incorrect now.

It was an enjoyable event and this photograph was taken with my little digital by my wife Ghislaine James.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Traditional festival Provence, France

I would like to continue to post portraits from time to time. Not always taken in this area, but certainly in France.

This portrait is of a girl taken at a village festival in Provence but she came from the Catalan region of France near Perpignan and the frontier with Spain.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Photographer at work

Dancing in the street. It's just about to start by the group 'Le Poutou de Toulouse" and the photographer is at work.

Taken at the fete at Roquemaure on Sunday by my wife Ghislaine James.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Sheep Shearing

This weekend was the fete at Roquemaure with a whole host of events starting with a Dance on the Saturday evening. We didn’t manage to make the dance but we went along on Sunday afternoon to see the Wild West show and sheep shearing exhibition.

There was also traditional dancing of the area by Le Poutou de Toulouse. I will post more photographs of this exciting event which I think is great for such a small village to create enough interest to have visitors come and see.

The first image is one of sheep shearing and that is a hard job. I once worked for a very brief time on a sheep farm in New Zealand and I know how hard this type of work is.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Post Card

About 10 days ago I had my first competition, possibly just a one off - we shall see!

What was the bug I asked and I had three quick replies and then two people responded with their addresses Mark of Sainte Maxime DP and Lisi from Hong Kong DP.

I have waited until today to post their winning Postcards as this is my 100th post on Réal DP. The photograph was taken by my wife Ghislaine as I posted the cards today at the post box that hangs on the wall of the church in Réal just up the road from us. So they are now on their way.

The camera never lies but I believe that in this case it has. It looks as if I a little over weight – it’s not true I tell you. I will have to teach my wife about camera angles.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

A Gentleman of Provence

This image was taken in the village of Les Milles near Aix en Provence at the beginning of June 2005 during the annual Transhumance - the gathering of the sheep and a blessing before heading off to mountain pastures, a time of celebration and joy.

I know it is now August but this photograph gives me a great deal of pleasure

The gentleness of character of this Gentleman of Provence moved me in a way that is difficult to explain. Perhaps I wish to exude the same gentleness.

Friday, August 04, 2006


Dianne will no doubt recognise this photo as well! Taken on the walkway around the Toulouse Lautrec museum garden that borders the River Tarn.

I also enjoy this lovely spot in the grounds of what used to be the Palais de la Berbie.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Albi garden walkway

It has cooled down a lot in France even in the south. In fact there has been a drop in some places as much as 15°C. This evening it is quite fresh and I thought I may have to put a jersey on while out for a little walk.

This photograph is of the covered walkway around the garden next to the Toulouse Lautrec museum in Albi very nice on a hot summer’s day.

I don’t think we have too much to worry about as the temperatures are to be back to normal in the next few days.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Ghislaine Minervois

We had a lovely break in the Aude area of France last year, or was it the year before?

You will know from my photo blog I have lots of photographs I have taken at different times on our vacations in France and this was taken on one such vacation.

This is just north of Narbonne in an area called Minervois on the side of the canal du Midi.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Shop Front

A shop front in the 13th century bastide town of L'Isle sur Tarn, France.

I don't think the shop is as old as that but it has some nice wood carving surrounding the overcrowded windows