Saturday, August 27, 2011

Three Weeks in the South of France - Moissac

I have so many photos, it's hard to know where to begin. So, for today, before I forget the artist's name, I will post these images of some very fun, Henry-Moore influenced (I think) benches that were in a public courtyard outside of the ancient Moissac church, and a few other Moissac moments. We visited Moissac early in the third week of our journey.

The artist is alive and presumably well in Toulouse, France. His name is Jean-Louis Toutain. I visited his website and found many fun sculptures and paintings. I applaud Moissac for having the forethought to so nicely blend the old and the new, the staid and the lively. Almost every person who entered the courtyard rested on the benches for a moment - it was hard to get a photo when they weren't in use.

Here is my friend Beth on one of the benches.
Here is a view of the two benches in the empty courtyard. Stores were closed for holiday and because it was midi (noon-ish). Cafes were open, and a few nice art and gift shops opened after lunch. I bought Steve a well-made tee shirt in one shop, and oohed and aahed over artist's pottery in another. Moissac is an 'art-town', and had we known the shops would be mostly closed for holiday we'd have tried this town on another day. Good stuff!

The Abbeye St-Pierre de Moissac here is full of marvelous statuary, trompe l'oeil wall paintings (looked like wallpaper) and fabulous carvings. The riverside boasts a lovely and welcoming park where we ate our lunch beside the many-arched bridge over the River Tarn there. I may use a photo of one of the statues for my Christmas card this year. (Click on the Abbey link above to see the photos I WISH I'd taken!)

The Abbey, built in the mid 600's.

The 'wallpaper' is Trompe l'Oeil. The crucifix is from the 12th century, and is either Roman or Spanish.

The stained glass looks so contemporary, yet is original to the structure.

Cobblestones were rough on the feet! These weren't as bad as many we encountered in other towns. Note the pigeon feather. Pigeons abound in the south of France, and there are lovely 'pigeonniers' from early centuries dotting the landscape. (More on those in another post.)
These terraced brick steps were easy-walking - and lovely.

The Cloisters of the Abbeye St-Pierre in Moissac.

A symbol of the town is this beautiful arched bridge over the River Tarn.

A canal with boat in Moissac.

This white with navy blue trim house along the canal in Moissac caught my eye.
Laundry Day for someone in Moissac.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Butterflies and New Baby Bean

Butterflies are a sign of renewal. This butterfly (next two photos) in my backyard was a symbol of the new life in my family. Isn't he a handsome guy!

When Jace was born, my brother told me he was jealous. He didn't think he'd ever be a grandfather. What a difference a year makes! His son Justin and Justin's fiancee just became parents of a sweet baby boy, William Dean Reese. Justin's fiancee already has 5 children (with her late husband) so Roger is now the proud grandfather of not just one sweet baby boy namesake, but five other great kids.

Here are Great Aunt Angie, Great-grandma holding Bean and Grandma.

William Dean's older brothers and sisters lovingly call him "Bean" for the first image they saw of him - his ultrasound photo, in which they saw the image of a lima bean. Here Bean's smallest big sister Elizabeth taking a close look.

Here are two of 'my' great girls - Celeste and Sandy.

Here are Sandy and Natalie, another of 'my' great girls.