Paul Éluard/ Capitale de la douleur

Paul Eluard/ Capitale de la douleur

Entre Autres
A l’ombre des arbres

Comme au temps des miracles,
Au milieu des hommes

Comme la plus belle femme
Sans regrets, sans honte,

J’ai quitté le monde.
-Qu’avez-vois vu?
-Une femme jeune, grande et belle

  En robe noire très décolletée
(Gallimard, 1926, 1966)

Paul Éluard born Eugène Émile Paul Grindel (14 December 1895 – 18 November 1952), was a French poet and one of the founders of the surrealist movement.

‘Capitale de la douleur’ arguably is one of the central collections of poems in Eluard’s oeuvre ànd a landmark for Surrealist poetry and French literature.


The narrow way

The narrow way
Should we follow the narrow way, from here?

This little chapel, devoted to the Virgin Mary (who else?) gives us no clue.

Road signs faded,not trusted anymore, unfamiliar. Gps too high in the sky. No old fashioned roadmap in the pocket.

We could ask a local to look into the issue. A stranger…if locals happen to be away from home…shopping…taking a walk…down to the river…going nowhere…


George Orwell/ Coming up for Air

George Orwell/ Coming up for Air


The idea really came to me the day I got my new false teeth.

I remember the morning well. At about a quarter to eight I’d nipped out of bed and got into the bathroom just in time to shut the kids out. It was a beastly January morning, with a dirty yellowish-grey sky. Down below, out of the little square of bathroom window, I could see the ten yards by five of grass, with a privet hedge round it and a bare patch in the middle, that we call the back garden. There’s the same back garden, same privets, and same grass, behind every house in Ellesmere Road. Only difference – where there are no kids there’s no bare patch in the middle.

(Victor Gollancz 1939, Penguin Books, 1962, this edition 1975)
Eric Arthur Blair ( George Orwell) was born in 1903 in India, where his father worked for the Civil Service. The family moved to England in 1907 and in 1917 Orwell entered Eton, where he contributed regularly to the various college magazines. He left in 1921 and joined the Indian Imperial Police in Burma the following year, in which he served until 1928. At the end of 1936 Orwell went to Spain to fight for the Republicans and was wounded.

Orwell suffered from tuberculosis, and was in and out of hospital from 1947 until his death in 1950. He was forty-six.


Espaliered fruit trees

It was ( and still is) customary in Belgium to plant all kinds of fruit trees close to a south facing wall, especially Mediteranean varieties. These carefully pruned and espaliered trees have considerable ornamental value and it is a good idea to protect the blossoms and the fruit itself from the cold wind and rain, giving them the extra warmth of the stone wall to ripen in summer and autumn ànd additional frost protection from within the house in winter.
Photo: fairly new pear trees, a few years old, in a neighboring village, yesterday.