Showing posts from August, 2018

Silent noon, from the House of Life, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Ian Bostridge, Julius Drake and a woodland somewhere

On a different and possibly discordant note there's a Peruvian pan-pipe group that plays in the city centre and I'm sure that yesterday I heard them playing Jerusalem.


the attentive reader - is there another kind? - will notice that I make very little comment on our glorious nation's political "life"

Stürm und Drang

there was no damage but we all gathered on our balconies to watch things blow by.

It's 9pm and the storm has hit

we have brought in the balcony furniture and closed the shutters, there's lots of dirt and general stuff flying round.

Orange storm alert

We're on orange alert for a storm today that will end the 36°C temperatures and plunge us to an autumnal 26°. They forecast high winds and hail for 3pm, so the parks in Bordeaux were closed, as well as one of the libraries. Since then the storm has been delayed progressively. Now it's scheduled for 9pm, but I'm starting to think it's one of these damp squibs we sometimes get that don't go off at all. Meantime we turned the balcony table upside down and stacked the chairs on the lee of the windward wall where they're least likely to be plucked up by the wind and dashed to the ground so far below.

While we were away there has been little addition to the height of the tower

  but it's good to be back and to see our big skies again!

We have just returned from holidays

We started in Bath, including a visit to Wells, then spent a little time in Cardiff, with a day at the Eisteddfod, then on to our Mission's conference near Leicester, then a weekend in Edinburgh. Travel all worked out fine, by aeroplane, by train, by coach and by car, we saw some family and some friends, and also got to explore two cities for the first time: Wells and Edinburgh. Here come some photographs, all via Instagram:

Wow! And I just decided to preach through Titus in September.

Read here .

Life in the gloom

Shutters are down. Windows are closed. Lights are on. We're hiding from the heat.

The sectional tower

This is the 9th floor going on. After this concrete sectional base there will be a glass area, then the rest of the tower in wood. It's fascinating to see them build this.

Cigales (cicadas)

In 2004 we visited Aix-en-Provence in August. It was hot. Very hot. One thing I remember was the constant chirping of the cicadas. It seemed to me that they sang all day and all night. In 2005 we moved to Bordeaux. A couple years ago we visited some town about 50 miles south of Bordeaux in the summer and heard cicadas. We never used to hear them in Bordeaux. It wasn't hot enough. Then last summer we heard them for the first time in a nearby tree from time to time. This year we hear them in the trees just across the building site from our flat. It's surely not a good sign, but I like to hear them nonetheless.

Jacob van Eyck: Courant, of Harte diefje waerom zoo stil


Capucins et Canicules

Today we are on orange alert for canicule. A heatwave (vague de chaleur) is as vague as its name implies. It just means it's hot. A canicule, however, is much more serious, implying that the temperature at night doesn't fall below around 20°C. The problem is that if the nights are cool your body can get some refreshment while you sleep. Also the walls of your home can radiate heat to the outside air, allowing the building itself to cool down. If the nights are too hot then the heat just continues to build up and the daytime heat has a greater effect on your health. It is estimated that in 2003 during the extreme canicule it is estimated that between 14000 and 20000 people died of the effects in France alone. Obviously it is important to drink lots of water. Also shopping centres and our local library are air-conditioned, so you can always nip out to get cooled off! On a happier note, after 13 years living in Bordeaux at last we visited the Marché des Capucins, Bordeaux

I found this helpful on the subject of burnout

Gospel Coalition Podcast here

Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances

Listening to this takes me straight back to Cardiff in the 1980s when there were series of chamber music concerts in the Reardon Smith lecture theatre attached to the National Museum. Once I bought a ticket for a flute and piano recital. I was very excited because the programme included the Prokofiev Sonata and I was going to see and hear it live. On the evening I managed to park right by the theatre and I sat in the car waiting for the doors to open. They didn't. Eventually I went and found a notice sellotaped to the door saying the concert had been cancelled and the tickets would be refunded where bought. After the refund I asked why the concert had been cancelled. "Not enough tickets sold." "Really? Do you know how many were sold, then?" "Just yours." In the Reardon Smith I heard Brandenburg No. 5 live. The (famous) harpsichordist got lost in the middle of the cadenza but carried on playing, making it up until he got back on track. We wer