Thursday, June 28, 2007

There’s a little coffee house on the Ile de St. Louis. If I am ever in Paris, I make a pilgrimage. The shop is made tinier by the clutter of hats, puppets and incongruously woven baskets. Lots of woven baskets. The walls are covered in masks and homemade art. Any other space is taken by chocolate moulds and books on astronomy. There is only enough room for a half dozen little round tables but, for each table, there is a big buttocked old lady in the kitchen. They chatter and cackle unseen, which are two of my favourite sounds. They are in back mixing and banging pots and pans. Occasionally one appears to serve coffee or cakes or hot chocolate. Hot chocolate served on a tin tray from a pot into a Japanese tea cup beside a small decanter and shot glass of water. It’s a hot chocolate that confirms that there is right and good in the world. It is as thick and pure joy. Dark chocolate sweetened with honey, Amen. A steady stream of visitors present relatives to the proprietor. She receives them like a queen.

As a nomad, there is no one place that is home to me. Instead there are locations or certain situations with certain people that give that same homey comfort that the more stationary pine for when away. Charlotte de L’isle is one of those places.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I have the social complexity of a puppy. I have my default weary, guarded, friend-or-foe phase and my tail wagging eager-to-please phase. It takes little more than the exchange of first names before I am in your lap. The problem is some people are not quite ready for that enthusiasm, and this openness sometimes catches people unprepared. People who have known me can put some of my outbursts into context (i.e. I am full of shit) and know how to handle them (i.e. with a grain of salt). I am missing that gland in your brain that tells you not to tell new acquaintances that the only reason you want to be rich is so that you can hunt man for sport, the only game worth hunting I say. This has included my professional contacts. We meet, we have dinner, we have a few drinks and I’ll tell you the aristocrats joke. Or recruit your assistance on my plan to bring down Western Civilisation by assassinating celebrities. I think it's too late to learn circumspection. Oh well.

Friday, June 22, 2007

I took refuge from a thunderstorm in Notre Dame. If that wasn’t good enough, I watched a guy having trouble lighting his devotional candle and thought that was God’s way of saying he was sick of his shit and if he wanted a new car, he should bloody well get it himself.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Watch him transform when he begins singing. Quite amazing and beautiful. It was nice to watch something impervious to cynicism.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

There were once righteous men amongst us.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Recently I started reading two books both of which I could not finish. The first is one of the Flashman series. The other is a new biography about Mao. I stopped reading them because both are rubbish. One is a romance novel for men who usually prefer watch F1 racing and documentaries about war. It's about a ne'er do well coward who bullies, womanizes and connives his way to glory. That one is fiction. The other is non-fiction and it's about a ne'er do well coward who bullies, womanizes and connives his way to glory. Except in the non-fiction one tens of millions of chinese die. Funny that.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

I know the feeling