Sunday, 23 August 2009

Summer travels

Lovely weekend down south, thanks to super-TGV. Stayed overnight in charming Narbonne, in an elegant mansion-turned-hotel, got to sit at 11pm on the canal, listening to a jazz band and gulping down a crisp cool panache. For some reason, there was a truck parked nearby with three live bears, each in their own cage, and they were still eating from cake pans when I saw them. Very odd, and a bit sad of course.
Next morning to Perpignan and Mont-Louis, for a couple of days of hiking in the Pyrenees, beautiful fresh air, views across the mountains to Spain. The fruit - peaches and mirabelles incredibly sweet and juicy, why can't we get them like that in Paris?
Then back to work, classes, ACP, the Paris heatwave, and the end of summer in sight. Sigh. Did discover an excellent rosé wine this summer, note this down: Minuty. Cheers!

Sunday, 9 August 2009

The Rev Jesse Jackson

What a privilege this morning to shake hands with Jesse Jackson. He preached at the American Church in Paris, on his way from Chicago to the Ivory Coast. He made an impassioned call for peace in the world, calling himself a “troublemaker for peace”. He says he is asked sometimes whether, with all his political speeches, he ever preaches much anymore. His answer: “I preach the gospel every day – and I use words if I have to!” Nice.

Photos of the event here

Sunday, 2 August 2009


First weekend in August and it’s cold, damp, gray - which translates to very few people at Tribeca this morning apart from a handful of tourists. Amazing how the lack of sunshine mutes the colour in T-shirts, muddies it all down. No action, and just as it seems time to read my new fitness magazine, Randy sits down a couple of tables away. Randy! Of Randy & Jay’s BBQ restaurant on Place Contrescarpe back 20 years ago. We run into each other every few years, and his non-stop adventures make for good entertainment.

This time he ordered me a Calvados, informed me that France 24 is filming Patricia LaPlante’s weekly dinner tonight, gave me the news that Jim Haynes held on to his famous atelier apt in the 14th, and then we talked about how much someone should get paid if their productivity depends on the work of volunteers (e.g. heads of NGOs, charities, churches, community newspapers). Nice blast from the past, and the Calvados added its bit of warmth. Tchin!