5 Cool Things 5 May, 2013



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

~this is lovely merton street in oxford #oxford, #darkangels~

~the front door of merton college is a story in itself~

T.S. Eliot and J.R.R. Tolkien read at Merton College. and for a time, these characters below.

dark and lovely but angels, all: from far left, john, tim, sue, faye, sarah, charlotte, jan, neil, jamie, john simmons, stuart #oxford #darkangels #headandheart #scribetribe

~sarah, neil, spot a rainbro~ #oxford #darkangels #newpals

~the grounds at oxford~

~my friend, charlotte, from edinburgh~

~at the oxford covered market~ #there’s a story and it’s next


~have a look and have a listen | there’s more to the story here >>~

i had the very great privilege of sitting next to author Philip Pullman, seen at the far end of the table. @66000mph, what are you doing? praying?

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.

~”arsenal! arsenal! arsenal! arsenal! arsenal!” english football: where mild mannered oxford educated writer types go to go bonkers~

storm clouds gather over london and “the shard”

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.

~view from my apartment on rue de la reynie~

paris, france rue st. denis

~ on rue st. denis, around the corner from my apt~

~ange de boulevard sebastopol~ #paris

on quick dashes up Boulevard Sebastopol for air, food and sanity, I found this storefront with a bunch of hunky mannequins.

~self portrait, boulevard de sebastopol~

another window, with little generic pictures of one thing or another. nice little relief from writing about technology.

~a photograph of a photograph~

~near pompidou center~ #paris

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.

~jardin des tuileries, hommage de atget~

~eiffel tower, jardin des tuileries, hommage de atget~

first full day of freedom took me here. no wonder Eugene Atget spent his days walking the streets of Paris taking pictures.

~lovers, jardin des tuileries~

~jardin des tuileries~

~eiffel tower~

~la seine, pres de notre dame~

the seine

~ across the seine and the left bank ~

~la seine, en hommage a eugene atget~

~jardin du luxembourg, #en hommage a eugene atget~

~jardin du luxembourg, hommage to atget~

~at victor hugo’s apartment, self-portrait as victor~

~morning in the marais district~

~at place des volges~

~near place des vosges~

~blue eiffel tower~

~palais royal~

garden in the latin quarter

~ at place des vosges~

carousel near hotel de ville

~me and jeff on paris metro~

~musee d’orsay, courtesy of friend jeff~

~shakespeare and company, the legendary paris bookstore~

bought these books at shakespeare & co. for someone very special

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.

~pintade, photography meg bortin~

asperges hollandaise, photography meg bortin

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.

Looking for our Prehistoric Mother, Meg Bortin

Read Looking for Our Prehistoric Mother >>

:: flying home ::

read this book on the flight home. brilliant. thanks to neil baker for this gift.

  • annette
    May 5, 2013

    amazing photos. what a great trip!

  • annette
    May 5, 2013

    amazing photos. what a great trip!

  • Jeff Schraeder
    May 5, 2013

    It was a pleasure to spend some time with you in Paris!

  • Jeff Schraeder
    May 5, 2013

    It was a pleasure to spend some time with you in Paris!