Ferme Christine
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Would you like to read a little about the area before visiting Ferme Christine?
Here are some suggestions.

Christine is situated in the heart of the country of Labyrinth by Kate Mosse, the UK bestselling book featured in the Richard and Judy Book Club 2006.  The novel is partly set in Carcassonne and the surrounding countryside including Montsegur. 
Kate Mosse's website contains much information about the region.

Relax and

Relax and read by the pool
What can we do?
The yellow cross is a well researched and gripping history of the extinguishing of the last Cathar heretics by the Catholic church.   Our local town of Pamiers plays a large part in this story as it was the seat of Bishop Jaques Fournier (the future Pope Benedict XII). 
The yellow cross: the story of the last Cathars 1290-1392, by Rene Weiss.  London, Penguin Books, 2001.


Saturday by Ian McEwan has a reference to Pamiers market.
Recommended reading

Hot sun cool shadow : savouring the food, history and mystery of the Languedoc by Angela Murrills.  A delightful look at at the Languedoc region including parts of the Ariege and Albi with local food as a major theme.

The winter ghosts by Kate Mosse.  Kate Mosse comes to the Ariege department with a ghost story linking Tarascon (40 mins away) and the Vicdessos valley with the early 20th century and the cathars. 
The winter ghosts, by Kate Mosse. London, Orion books, 2010.

My friend Elinor stayed in August 2009 and was inspired to write this poem.


Sunflowers are captives of the soil.
Factoried in fields,
they turn their open faces to the sun
forever following its path across the sky, counting its steps.
Tethered to the earth, they strain
at ropes invisible.

Sunflowers themselves are suns
kept from the sky
where they would float and bob
burgeoning until
they fill its blue with overlapping
a canopy of yellow
drying to autumn brown
raining seeds upon the ground
to nourish the dead
on their journey home.

Sunflowers are worshippers
their gaze unwavering:
on nightwatch
they do not close their darkened eyes
but see the stars played out
behind the curtain of the Milky Way
and planets steadfast as themselves untwinkling stare:
now Mars, now Venus, now
Jupiter's blood-smeared gold
and moons that swim
in retinue
treading deepest water,
holding invisible hands.

And yet at dawn, the light
that seeps into the eastern sky
will draw their faces -
turning on their returning god
that same look that they gave him
when he set.

Elinor Brooks

                near Christine

Sunflowers near Christine


Sunflower in a vase