The Two Personae of Albi Cathedral

The Two Personae of Albi Cathedral

Cathedral or fortress? Albi Cathedral - or as it is also known, the Cathedrale Saint Cecile, or the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia - is both of these. The largest brick building in the world, the smooth pinkish exterior is monolithic, forbidding, rising sheer in an impregnable mass from the streets of Albi. But step [...]

Plaisance, from the road to Coupiac

Plaisance, from the road to Coupiac

My son's in-laws, the Thompsons, give 'Plaisance' as their address in France, but actually they live a few kilometres outside the village, on a narrow road that hugs the hillside above a lovely valley. The village itself sits astride a three-way junction, which might create the impression that it is quite large, but in reality [...]

Where sheep do graze, Aveyron

Where sheep do graze, Aveyron

Aveyron is Rocquefort country, the country where Lacaune sheep crowd together, grazing, on the steepest of green-clad hillsides. We saw these in the valley far below, from the road out of Plaisance, as we made our way to the plateau above en route to Albi. As you will see, I have processed one of these [...]

Ambialet – two views, in colour

Ambialet – two views, in colour

I made a choice, in my previous post, to present 'Bathers, Ambialet' in black-and-white: the colour version was attractive - all greens and browns and ripples of light - but at one level, just a pretty picture, whereas the monochrome image, I felt, was more ambiguous, more resonant, and graphically stronger. These pictures of Ambialet, [...]

Bathers, Ambialet

Bathers, Ambialet

We walked across the bridge, at Ambialet, another of those beautiful little villages in Aveyron, France, to have lunch with the Thompson's. The weather was hot, the sunlight was blinding, and in the river Tarn, below, these women were bathing. Click on the image to enlarge