Local criminals

If you want some light reading the local newspaper’s criminal court proceedings take some beating. This week they reported on some guy who used a false identity card and stolen cheque book to buy 15,000€ worth of bits and bobs. In his defence he said he was in need of a few small items. It’s all in the perception I suppose. As a defence it didn’t do him any good, he got two years.

You wouldn’t believe it if I wrote it.


A robber sporting a monster revolver, false moustache and wig was caught after robbing several shops in our local regional centre of Blois by police. They had been watching a suspect closely for some time because of his expertise in this type of crime and on checking his bank account found he made the elementary mistake of paying his takings directly into his bank account after each heist. He should have known better because he was the ex-crime reporter on the regional rag, the Nouvelle Republique. Now I would never dare write that into a book.


For art lovers everywhere.

For art lovers everywhere.

I have been up in Paris for a bit and had the great pleasure to have some very old friends from the teenage years to stay. He is an ‘artist’ in the sense that he paints and has taught art after art college. So he has accreditation as it were, unlike us folk who do it coz it is one of the things we like to do but would never dare to call ourselves artists. Make sense? I doubt it.

Well he has been a bit under the weather, poor dear, and now is back on track and needs to put a bit of weight on (ah the iniquity of it) and also nourish the brain. So we did the cultural bit!

The musée d’Orsay had a bash on showing what the male form looks like to artists who evidently love the male body and some who looked as though they didn’t. I had missed the equivalent expo on the female form, so much the pity if it took the same format. I don’t know about you lads out there, but I find only mild pleasure in inspecting my body in the mirror. In the mist of the shower perhaps I catch the magic of adonis through the plate glass and steam as I bellow a couple of verses of “Ol’ Man River”, but I rush past the detail when drying off.

Well there were no such inhibitions evident at that showing, I warned his wife to beware of overheating, however her reaction was that it was aimed at a different gender. I admit to a mildly uncomfortable reaction myself, which is surprising seeing I went to a boys boarding school. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IXsInKvv2TY

Still good fun was had by all and we went on to get a good dose of Braque at the Grand Palais. Now I know it is a hackneyed phrase but I know what I like. Now this guy started out with life in his guts and went for it, then, for me he got stuck and got no further than when he was hanging around with Picasso and became an intellectual’s ideal of an artist. There now I will probably get hate mail.

Still a good expo and we enjoyed it, even if I got bored after two thirds. I’m a Neanderthal. Besides his colours got more and more DULL!

It was good for my old mate, he started eating and filled out noticeably even in the short time they were with us.

So back in the country for ten days, some planning permission jobs to catch up on and back to Paris for a week, where my new coat is waiting for me to go and have its final fitting. It better be good because it will have to last me the rest of my lifetime.

Traffic jams

We drove up to Paris yesterday afternoon and arrived  as it was getting dark, dusk is arriving noticeably earlier every day now, and we were confronted by a blinding curtain of red lights. Traffic jams in any city are a nightmare and Paris is no exception, and has it’s own characteristics dictated by the beautiful river that snakes through it’s which has to be traversed often by many bridges and circular ring road, the peripherique, which is an invention from hell to be avoided during rush hour at all costs. Many people I know do not like to drive in Paris, however I, despite being a Brit raised with the sane attitude to which side of the road is correct, I just adore to drive in Paris. Tunnel visioned anarchy must be part of my genetic composition, together with an adolecent attitude to getting there first. So last evening I was over the moon at finding a way out of a unmoving morass of vehicles choking the route to the 11em arrondissement where we live in Paris. It even involved my favourite manoeuvre, doing a U-Turn in the middle of unmoving frustrated motorists, particularly satisfying in Paris, such short tempers they have. Similarly making sudden turns across oncomming racing masses and rushing up tiny allies and then! Then arriving where I thought my tortuous route would take me, despite the protestations that I knew nothing, from my sweet French wife! No greater joy has an Englishman driving in Paris than to arrive ahead of the rest and where you thought you would.


Backwater babyI wonder what the future holds for this carefree young Indian boy swimming in the backwaters seemingly a million miles away from the dynamic economic revolution that is sweeping his country. I will never know and perhaps will be long gone when maybe he heads some multinational corporation bringing technological wonders to the world. I envy the vitality of the changing world order, not for what it is achieving, but because I can never be a part of it, being a fading ember in the cooling furnace that was an empire. There will be mistakes and injustices but I hope someone will have learned from the errors of the past. A hope in vain I fear if I am a model.