“I love the light from the East.” Explained a friend, showing me her East facing window. She is quite right. The dawn light has a pink texture and ambience which softens whites towards cream and deepens yellow towards orange. I wish I were an artist who could express this. You’ll just have to come and see it for yourselves. The pursuit of light by artists has led many a soul to this region and of course to France in general. The impressionists and pointillists captured for ever the light of their moments. And still they come. Yesterday I met some wonderful lady artists who had settled in St.Savinien. Naively I asked if they had sold many paintings. “Oh no – of course not, the French do not buy original art. They love photos and prints but we sell all our stuff in the UK.” This did not really surprise me. I sell “Knockout!” mainly in the USA. It’s about a Scotland Yard femtective and a French horn. Une femme never makes a profit in her own country. Folk want something from somewhere else. There are few Canaletto paintings in Venice. Now I should not have said that word. It is like the word Paris. Either concept fills me with longing to go there at least once more. I have had so much in life and still I want more and more. How I remember the Grand Canal and the conductors on the water-bus calling out the names of the stops in melancholy Italiano ….”Salute – Salute” (Sal ooo tay). The batobus in Paris where they call out “Notre Dame.” Excuse me but I was having a spasm. In “Knockout!” Freddie and Anna travel and kiss under each bridge on the Seine in Paris. It took me days to calm down!
In the UK there is a type of semi-business person who is a property developer. You know the kind of thing – buy an old house, tart it up, sell it on and do it all again. In France there is a type of long term property developer who buys a ruin, ruins it a bit more, extends the ruin to a far bigger area and sells it on as an even bigger project. It may be harsh, but my description of this business model is that of being a properly developer. Some brave innocent buys the ruin and then has to do it properly. The psychology is this….If it’s a ruin then it must be cheap yah? If you are buying out here don’t be seduced by the “potential”. The price may be set to match your dream. The seller is just as likely to be British.
Now, the naked plug! In St Savinien, Charente, 17350, we have a Maire. He is like the town prophet, clerk of works and manager. This guy has ambition and vision. He is passionate about keeping his town alive and that means Tourisme. Today’s picture is of some of the travaux. This is the most beautiful unknown Ville de France. In the UK there are towns like St Ives or Clovelly which attract millions of visitors. We have alleys and tiny higgeldy piggeldy pathways through romanesque clay tiled cottages. Bring your camera and pickle yourself a winter feast of sun filled ecstasy.
Emma thinx: Despair is merely a starting point. Sell the dream not the ruin.