Zu and her family gave a wonderful warm welcome, meeting us London arrivals at Perpignan airport and driving us in her go-anywhere people van to our venue. En route from the airport Lisa got a call giving her some totally fabulous news (I’ll leave her to report on that as and when the time is right). So back at the venue there was much to celebrate over a delicious and slightly boozy lunch. A few hours later, when the pull of the seaside could no longer be ignored, we were at the beach. The sea matched our equally bubbly mood. Down the coast, and through the Vaseline-effect sea mist, we could see the Pyrenees. From where we were, and as someone explained, the outline of the mountains flowed up from the sea as though a crocodile was at the water’s edge with its chin in the water. Later still, as the light softly faded behind us, we ate fresh seafood suppers and continued to discuss, amongst many things, our various ideas and expectations for the project. And then, a spark and a bang! Fireworks. Launched off the beach some 50 or 60 metres away from us and exploding above our heads in all the expected but nontheless never-boring colours, fizzes and glittering showers that seemed to be celebrating our collaboration with us.
posted by Sara Laksimi
With only five days until we’re all together, final preparations are under way: Over in Torreilles, Zu is preparing our venue – our base for the two weeks – into a haven of comfort, fun and creativity. A few days ago Zu reported that she’d done some exterior painting work. She also mentioned that a decent dollop of wine had been involved. But fret not folks, I believe the bulk of painting got done before the inclusion of the wine. Meanwhile, in separate parts of London, Lisa and I have already started packing. Items of potential interest (depending on your interests of course) include:
- video and still cameras – Lisa
- handmade paper – me
- factor 15 sun lotion – me
- factor 8 sun lotion – Lisa
- printing ink – Lisa
- sunglasses – Lisa & possibly me
- writing materials – me
- laptops – Lisa & me
- a collection of creative muses (some of which might pop out of a gift-wrapped bottle of gin) – Lisa & me
On a more serious note, I am also keen to further develop my potential lines of questioning and exploration. For example:
- What is it I really want to know from and about the locals?
- What do I hope to experience from being in the environment, a new one to me?
- How do I want to dialogue with the community in Torreilles and the lives of the householders, the farmers, the shopkeepers?
- If I could ask each person I met only one question to elicit crucial information or insight what would that one question be?
Suggestions Please: So here’s a question for you, dear reader: if you met a writer interested in retelling your stories to a wider audience, what question would you expect the writer to ask? Suggestions in the comments below. No prizes for the best ones (bar, perhaps, a glass of French wine), but you’ll definitely get a mention.