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Electrical Storm, stand by for a new phone number and CdM news

I’m online at the beautiful 13th century Bastide Castelnau de Montmiral for the first time in about 2 years.

The electrical problem at Itzac is a pain in the bum, some times it is not difficult to see into the future, this was obvious to me a crisis was going to happen at an inconvinient time.

Does a crisis ever happen at a convinient time? Murphy’s laws maybe you are familiar with these clearly predict?

That if some thing can go wrong it will.
It will go wrong at a thoroughly inconvenient time.

If you ignore a persistent problem it will bite you in the bum.

Only a question of when.
When was Friday night.

Stand by for a new phone number and postal address on the web site contact us page.

My house at Itzac  suffered 7 electrical cut outs before I gave up and went to bed by candle light.

I like candle light but:

It is not so romantic when one lives alone,

Not enough energy produced to run a computer

takes ages to cook by and on candle power


My landlord, n lady did nothing for 6 months.

Their Mahayana has became embarrassing, me reporting the problems and just getting vague reassurances and excuses in return.

Intermittant fault I was told, ohhnooo, can’t find that until it crashes ~ err excuse me, when I worked for the UKTA I helped sparkies qualify and dealt with dozens of properly qualified sparkies who could find faults like that by testing.

My ‘owners’  even had the cheek to say they want to keep me as a tenant for the money.

I’d been feeling undervalued for some time at Itzac!

I read that as we don’t care about you only the mortgage which you are paying.

The house has been experiencing frequent voltage surges and cut outs on the ‘upper deck’ on which I mostly work and live.

The problem has been gradually getting worse and in my opinion has damaged some of my more sensitive computer equipment.
Yes, of course it has surge protection.


Of course my recommendation even though I have restored and owned some 11 houses during my years,  of what needs doing was of no interest!

I suspect several faults including  a short caused by wear n tear, poor maintenance, animal damage in the roof area or maybe the some what quaint way the palace is wired;

and, the junction box looks at least 25 years old

and modern people use more appliances.

What do you think?


What I did not realise until the problem cost me a computer and I spoke with the experts at SPC, Exeter Street, Plymouth was that I needed heavy duty protection.

They suggested I buy the kit in France so I did, in Albi,  very soon after my return.

About 135 Euro’s worth of voltage regulator plus a new type of junction box.

Within 10 days it detected and protected to my knowledge at least 2 minor surges and 4 or 5 cuts.

But it only protcts the main PC ans one SHD…

Did I need that kit?

What is the risk of continuing to run the rest of my kit at Itzac?


Yesterday was heavy going, I moved two (estate/brake) car loads of art equipment and pitures starting loading the first at 07.00, a very uncivilized hour unless one is going sailing!
Happily my good friend Stephen Best kindly turned out of a warm bed to helped me unload the first shipment.
Now I have enough here at Montmiral to work.
The down side is I am back to running 2 houses.
That translates in Murphy’s Law as;
what ever small thing you need and is critical will 50% of the time be in the other house…
The house I am now borrowing, possibly for the next 3 months, belongs to my friend Francoise Boitel, sister in law of my friend Helene Anslot.

I was able to make a little mitzvah for Francoise earlier this year and now she has very kindly made her vacant house in the centre of Castlenau de Montmiral available to me.

Francoise has modernised and up graded most of the house while retaining a traditional feel  and features throught out.

Her work is of the first quality and visitors are charmed and often quite surprised by the elegant end result.

The work is unfinished and the house up for sale, meantime I have the run of the place and 2 large well light rooms for a temporary studio.

I still need a more stable solution though but where???

As you know, n occupied house always has a better ambiance than an empty one and my responsibilities here include keeping the place presentable and watering the plants; the latter may be a slight challenge!


It is nice to be back at Montmiral where I was immediately made to feel welcome by quite a lot of people including (informally) the mayor!

Montmiral is a living village, yesterday afternoon there was an inauguration of a new public centre, with live traditional singing and musique de l’Occitanne, a wedding at the town hall and a vernissage as a new art centre at Place de l’hopital gave it’s first exhibition, “Le petit joljol No 1.
The exhibition is featuring the Artiste-peintre Jean-Louis Engles (www.atelier-bizart.fr) who explored the relationship of painter and model and the sculpteur / ceramiste Patricia Pons.
I was asked to act as their press photographer which served to keep me out of mischief and sharpen up my press photo people skills.
Doing so made me aware of how many opportunities gallery owners and art schools miss to gain attention and promote themselves in just about everything they do, invitations, brochures and photo opportunities being but a very few passed by.

I may also have noticed this because I am becoming increasingly aware that my own work misses opportunities because I don’t have time to do what needs to be done.
Not because I don’t know what to do (in some areas I do but marketing is not my subject) rather in short I am becoming aware that to make progress as a famous painter I need professional help with marketing and establishing my work as a ‘brand’ in demand.

Why do I think this is the case?
People quite often express surprise I don’t sell more, surprise at the modest prices and people unaware of my prices  asked to value a work usually place the price for the more major pieces in the 15 to 25,000 pounds range.
Of the latter, even allowing for flattery, clearly there is a lot more money to be made from my paintings than I am currently getting.
I’d be very please to see a substantial percentage of any new money go to other people who are part of the crew provided that I sold more often and made more myself.
We know my work is seriously undervalued therefore an excellent investment.
What to do about this opportunity?