Fiona Alderman’s Blog: Les Voyages de Monsieur Barry

Barry Paton Exhibition
The title of the exhibition for Barry. Seemed apt after all the countries he went to, maybe not Latin America but certainly a great number.
The “vernissage” as it is called in French, with a vin d’honneur was prepared for the 17th July at the Mairie with wine and cheese supplied by some of the locals. I had put up the photos on the previous Saturday with the help of my neighbour, the lady of the Chateau.
I was already nervous, struggling with a lot of emotions. After so many months of preparation and choosing amongst so many great images, it came to the great day and waiting hopefully for people to come. It was great. Nearly 40 people, from neighbours to friends, I felt so proud to have done it.
There was lots of interest in the photos and I even did a little speech with the Mayor. He asked me to go up the stairs of the Hall, looking down on the “populace” below.  I felt I was hanging over the balcony like the film Titanic !! Very strange.
Luckily I had prepared something beforehand. Short but heartfelt. The exhibition was held in the lower hall/entrance of the Mairie and it is a daily busy building, so lots of people will see it for another two weeks.
This I feel has been the dress rehearsal for the big performance which is to have an exhibition at Gare Robert Doisneau next year. I have already had meetings with them and they were very interested in Barry’s work. It will be totally different to the one in Salignac but one that already inspires me to research and develop the theme of “Glasgow “.  Barry took many photos there as a journalist and as a free lance photographer. Of course we both lived and worked there for many years. Subjects are wide ranging from cultural events, political dignitaries and local characters including Robbie Coltrane and  actor David Hayman who were actually neighbours when we lived in the West End of Glasgow. And Mr Billy Connolly who Barry knew in the early days. Wow !
So I continue, and we begin again. Thank you Barry.

Jane -B

Charlotte Gainsboroug and Jane Birkin

Charlotte_Gainsbourg_and_Jane_Birkin_2010.jpg: Olivier Pacteau from Paris, France derivative work: César, CC BY 2.0, via

The beautiful actress, singer Jane Birkin has sadly died this last week. She was also the companion and muse for about twelve years with Serge Gainsbourg . Latterly battling with cancer for a number of years, she leaves her two daughters and six grandchildren devastated. The French loved her with her rather unusual French/English accent, and took her into their hearts for many years. She met Gainsbourg, who had just broken up with Brigitte Bardot, on the set of a film in Paris, where their love affair began. Their daughter Charlotte was born a few years later , and the couple with Kate, the little daughter of John Barry, Jane’s first husband, lived a busy life in Paris.
She had a career as an actress and was memorable with her unique style and beauty illuminating the screen. Notably in La Piscine with Alain Delon playing the young girl who attracts the attention of the Delon character with his wife looking on, played by his then girlfriend Romy Schneider.
Fifty years of cinema and music, she last was seen a year ago in the film made by her daughter Charlotte ” Jane by Charlotte “. A moving portrait of a mother and daughter filmed over a period of time which shows them both on screen talking and laughing together. Sometimes painful for both, reliving moments from Charlotte’s childhood and the death of her father, but also one of love and joy.
For many years she was also singing in concerts with the songs of Gainsbourg. As she said who else could do it justice but me and with so much love. She would sing, and at at the end place the microphone on the floor with a red rose. Retreat to the wings and cry.
Jane Birkin was also noted for having a Hermes bag named after her. Classic and beautiful just like her.
Now buried in Montparnasse cemetery beside Serge and her daughter Kate, who died a few years ago, accidentally falling from a window. Jane is now reunited with them for always.

Missy and her diet

missy and her diet

I recently took Missy to the vet for her yearly vaccinations. She doesn’t mind going and is an excellent little patient. However, when weighing her, she said she was obese !  Oh dear.
Now on a special diet with a new play activity , which cost me a fortune. This consists of a horrible plastic bowl which supposedly encourages her to find the Croquettes with her paw and to develop her sense of play. I am supposed to sit on the floor with her and to praise her. We tried it. Missy looked at me as if to say “What is this ” ?
We did try for a couple of days, but no use, she is not impressed. I am not forcing it and just reducing her portions in her own bowl.
There was another “cat activity ” that the vet tried to sell me too which was even more stupid.
Like a maze, with tunnels, it was of course more expensive. I think Missy would have left home if I had dared that one.
Fifi’s stories from rural France.
July 2023
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This section: Fiona Alderman blogging from The Salignac Foundation France, Pat's Home Page Blog

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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