Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Sid n Sod - 001A

Yo dudes!
Wassup? Hope Covid isn't getting you down. To help you through your confinement, I'm starting today a new comic book about two cool dudes who start a punk rock band. I plan to draw half a page every two days and post it here. Here is the first half page. Once the book is ready, I hope to get a publisher to print it. If there are any publishers still around by then, that is :-) Now that I have plenty of time on my hand, I can afford to do an extended piece with lots of artwork and color. That is my way of making the best of this difficult period.
Feel free to send in your suggestions to improve the book.
Enjoy and keep that grin up!

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Trip to Britanny 11 - Carnac !!

Next morning, we headed about 100 km south... to Carnac!!! This, for me, was the highlight of the trip, although Blandine claimed to be bored to tears. I think she was putting on a bored act just to annoy me. 'Oh come on chérie, they are just stones!' she kept moaning. But what stones! 
Carnac is the site of the biggest collection of Menhirs, Dolmens and Tumulus in France. Fields and fields of them, arranged in a a number of axes. Ever since I started reading Asterix comics as a small child, I have been fascinated by them. Here, at last, was the real thing. In fact, the site of the mythical Gaulish village in the Asterix comics is not far from here. About 100 km north, the village of Erquy. At least, that was the village that supposedly inspired Goscinny and Underzo. However, the menhirs and dolmens that surround the village are to be found here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Trip to Brittany 10 - Lovely old village churches

After our hike along the coast, we went back to Dournenez for the night. But along the way, the route was chock-a-block with quaint old villages sleeping in the dusk, each with its ancient church. One of those villages, in fact, is on the list of 'the most beautiful villages of France' (Les plus beaux villages de France). Here, all jumbled up, are pictures I took of the churches in Locronan (the beau village), Pont Croix, Quimper and Audierene... Since it was getting dark, I couldn't spend more time at these villages, unfortunately, and we had more exciting things planned for the next day (wait for the next post!)

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Trip to Brittany 8 - Hiking on the Nose of France

Continuing from the previous post, here are pictures from the hike itself, on the Pointe du Raz, the west-most tip of France.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Trip to the coast of Brittany 7 - Ladder to heaven on the nose of France

We got on to our final destination : the Pointe du Raz, or the Nose of France. This is the west-most tip of France. If you see it on the map, it looks like a nose sticking into the Atlantic. We planned to hike there from a spot a little further down the coast called Port de Bestrée. But before we could start our hike, we were enraptured by a shimmering light show in the heavens put up for our benefit by that bearded dude who lives up there. As I have mentioned in previous posts, it was cloudy and cold and blustery all though our tip, but just at his moment the noonday sun broke through a small hole in the clouds and created this stairway of light. There was no one else in eyesight, so it seemed to have been done just for our benefit...
Here are some more pics of the light show. It kept changing as the hole in the cloud changed shapes with the wind. Let me know if you would like to have hi-res versions of these photos to use as screen savers. I'll be happy to post them.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Trip to coast of Brittany 6 - Phare du Millier

OK, our first 'real' view of the famed Briattany coastline. Shortly after the village of Poullan-sur-Mer but before the village of Beuzec-Cap-Sizun is a little lane that heads towards the coast, to a popular hiking destination and beauty spot called Phare du Millier or Millier Lighthouse. A cliff covered in heather, the sea bashing and foaming against ancient rocks, seagulls, a stiff cold breeze, a quaint old lighthouse. This spot has it all!
I went camera mad. Here are the photos I too while doing a small hike around the place.

 Here is the lighthouse itself. Yep, that cottage-thing on the cliff is actually a lighthouse.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Trip to the coast of Brittany 5 - Chapelle de Saint-Conogan and Kouign-amann

Still in the village of Poullan-sur-Mer, we came across this charming 16th century chapel of Saint-Conogan

Monday, February 10, 2020

Trip to the coast of Brittany 4 - Saint Cadoan Par Elle-même

Sorry, no cartoon this weekend folks. I was too busy putting together a proposal for a publisher to draw. Instead, I'll post some more pics from our trip to the coast of Brittany. Featherbottom will be back next week, promise!

After spending the night in the coastal village of Dournenez, we set off next morning for hiking along the coast from a well-known hiking point called Pointe du Raz. But barely had we gotten out of Dournenez that we were arrested by the sight of this magnificent 16th Century church of Saint Cadoan Par Elle-Même (Saint Cadoan by herself), in the neighboring village of Poullan-sur-Mer.

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Trip to the Coast of Brittany 3 - Douarnenez

The second day we finally got to our destination, and had our first look at the cold, windy coastline of Brittany. We set base in the small town of Douarnenez, mostly because it was the first place we found a B&B that was open during the Christmas holidays, wasn't too expensive, accepted dogs, and wasn't located in a big ugly city. Having said that, it wasn't such a bad choice. After we dumped our stuff in the hotel, went for a long walk on the quays of the town and along the coast. As you can see in these photos, Douarnenez is not without its charms. It is more of an overgrown fishing village than a town, and has sleepy, peaceful ambiance and great scenery.

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Little Eva - 001

Featherbottom takes a break this week, to make way for "Little Eva". Nope, this is not the start of new strip. This is a special one-off strip for my little buddy Eva, whose 13th birthday it was a couple of days ago. Say "Happy Birthday" to Eva, folks!

The 13th birthday is around about the time when that dread term "BOARD EXAMS" enters the life of a little Indian child. Kind, loving parents transmogrify into obsessive-compulsive hyper-ventilating ogres. A happy, carefree child crumples into a bleary-eyed learning automation, a tiny cog in the educational grinding machine. The board exams, by the way, are the rough equivalent of SAT in US, BAC in France and Abitur in Germany, but far more malevolent. I have retained SAT for the English version, because many of the better-off parents have ambitions of sending their kids to the US for higher education, so these poor fishes have to prepare for the board exams and SAT.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Trip to the coast of Brittany 2 - Domaine de Mestré, Fontevraud-l'Abbaye

It was getting late by the time we hit the beaux villages of Montsoreau and Candes-Saint-Martin (see previous post). Following Blandine's usual policy, we started looking around for a B&B after hitting the place. This is the way we have hit upon the most amazing gems. Or not. This time we got lucky. But for a few moments, we panicked. Virtually every B&B in the villages were closed for the Christmas holidays. Then we hit on a lovely place, just outside the villages, technically in a third village adjoining the above two. So lovely, in fact, that it deserves a post all on its own.

This was Domaine de Mestré, in the village of Fontevraud-l'Abbaye. This was originally the main farm of the Abbey of Fontevraud. In 1791, the ancestors of Marie Amélie, the present proprietor, took it over and started running it as a farm cum inn for the pilgrims on the route of Compostela. So this place has been a running hotel for over three centuries, always with the same family! The buildings too date from that time. In 2013, it was renovated and made into a three-star hotel. 

Here are some pics of the buildings and farms...

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Trip to the coast of Brittany -1 (Montsoreau and Candes-Saint-Martin)

This Christmas break, Blandine and I had taken a trip to the Brittany coast, despite it being winter, as Blandine wanted a blast of cold sea air after being ill for ages. Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting photos of this trip. Since it was a long way from Lyon, we made an overnight stop midway, at the joint villages of Montsoreau and Candes-Saint-Martin (the villages are so close together on the bank of the river Loire, that they are one village, for all practical purposes). Both of these villages are in the official list of "the most beautiful villages of France", and if you follow my blog, you will know that I have the ambition of visiting all the villages on this list. These villages are not strictly in Brittany, they are in the department of Maine-et-Loire, at the border of Brittany. With ancient white stone buildings sleeping on the edge of the Loire, these two villages are as pretty as a pair of pictures. Here are the pics I took, with my brand new Huawei P30 Pro, allegedly the best camera phone on the market at the moment. I was impressed with the result. We got there late evening, when it was starting to get dark, and most of these photos were taken with the night mode enabled. None of the previous camera phones I have had could ever have managed these photos...