I flew to London and bussed up to Oxford to hang out and work with a lovely bunch of writers. I stayed at Merton College. Visited in London with two lovely people. Saw an English football match. (“Arsenal, Arsenal, Arsenal, Arsenal!”) Had a nice visit with these lovely folks. Then to 26 Rue de la Reynie, Paris. (1st Arrondissement.) Great big heartfelt thanks go to John and Linda Simmons, Jamie Jauncey, Stuart Delves, Philip Pullman, Jeff and Jeannie Schraeder, Meg Bortin and the Dark Angels of Oxford 2013. Paris is so relentlessly beautiful it takes your breath away. But first, Oxford. **iPad users: go vertical for best results.
:: oxford ::
“Have you at any time been detained in a mental home or similar institution? If so, give particulars.’
‘I was at Scone College, Oxford, for two years,’ said Paul.”
― Evelyn Waugh, Decline and Fall
T.S. Eliot and J.R.R. Tolkien read at Merton College. and for a time, these characters below.
~have a look and have a listen | there’s more to the story here >>~
Philip Pullman was charming and friendly. kindly answered questions that he certainly has been asked a thousand times over. after dinner he read from his book Fairy Tales, From the Brothers Grimm. brilliant.
:: london ::
My fiftieth year had come and gone,
I sat, a solitary man,
In a crowded London shop
And open book and empty cup
On the marble table-top.
William Butler Yeats
from oxford to london with my friend john simmons. who took me to see my first english football match. arsenal vs. norwich. an amazing experience (including the journey to the stadium) no one should miss. imagine my surprise to learn that john and his wife linda live in a charming and beautiful rowhouse (at no. 26!). felt like i’d gone home again.
the shard. it’s cool.
:: paris, in april ::
“Paris, I believe, is a man in his twenties in love with an older woman.” – John Berger
took the Eurostar to Paris. spent the first four days locked in my 2nd floor apartment on the Rue de la Reynie. working. this was the view.
on quick dashes up Boulevard Sebastopol for air, food and sanity, I found this storefront with a bunch of hunky mannequins.
another window, with little generic pictures of one thing or another. nice little relief from writing about technology.
adjacent to the Centre Pompidou, there’s a lovely little square with a church. it’s where some of the local toughs hang out. there are many cafe’s. loved this giant mural. don’t know the story.
first full day of freedom took me here. no wonder Eugene Atget spent his days walking the streets of Paris taking pictures.
my friend Meg Bortin is a food blogger at the Everyday French Chef. on my last night in Paris, she kindly made me dinner. (seen in the photo). i brought a nice Bordeaux which turned out to be delicious. we had dinner on her deck, five stories above the bustling streets of Paris. the day was gorgeous and as the sun set, we swapped stories, drank, ate. then later she read from her book.
when i arrived at boulevard beaumarchaise, meg had just learned that her piece, Looking for Our Prehistoric Mother, would be published in the International Herald Tribune the next day. you should read the piece. so we toasted not rejection, but beautiful acceptance. here’s the intro.
:: flying home ::