Saturday, 31 January 2009

John Martyn

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Got up and made tea with one bag of Twinning's Assam. Left the Mrs asleep. She works hard. I sat and drank in the gloom of the dawn through a grey sky over Lac Léman with just a couple of spots to light me while plugging the headphones into my Creative Zen mp3 player.

Went into Artists, selected John Martyn and listened to him growl through Excuse Me Mister.

Yesterday, 30th Jan., I read John Martyn had died. 60 years old. Only three and a bit more than me. Burned out like Cassady in much the same way as Kerouac. At least, I thought, he has left us a legacy. His music, his words, will live on. As an artist he has left us something.

What would I leave?

Nothing apart from my jeans and they were passed to me and so aren't really mine in any case.

I thought I'd load up some more tracks and would love to put one here for anyone passing by to listen to...

And, as I sat listening in the early morning as the household slept - I looked at the clutter on the coffee table. There surrounding the large blue moorish bowl from Granada in Spain filled with clemenvillas and large juicy oranges, was the detritus of the previous day...

Amongst them;

A book called "Derek Jarman's Garden", Elizabeth David's French Country Cooking. A book called "Japanese Gardens - KYOTO" and a Danish Magazine called "Living Architecture".

All human culture represented there. All things made, or written, by people no longer here but legacies left.

Gardens, buildings; to live in, work in, play and pray in. Food - the ingredients and how to prepare, cook and then enjoy them. An artist's life channelled, in Jarman's case, into a wild space.

To those; add the music of John Marty

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Recession?? Depression more likely setting in...

Some days ago, I was watching late night news on BBC TV and Robert Peston ( was being interviewed about a comment PM Gordon Brown was alleged to have said to 'The Banks'. It seems the PM was demanding that The Banks come clean. Mr Peston then said,

"If the PM doesn't know - what the hell chance do the rest of us have?"

Nice one, Mr Peston. I, like a lot of Britons trying to get a grip on the unfolding horror before us, need you to make it that little bit clearer, and I believe most, if not all, of what you tell us.

I must say I am surprised even now that the British do not take to assassination as other nations so readily do...

I am pissed off that Brown continually blames the USA and the Banks for a problem he could so easily have avoided had only he, while Chancellor and PM, and Blair before him, had the backbone to make hard decisions in the wake of Thatcher's liberalisation of the rules governing the markets...

I am tho' glad to be here where the problems facing generations of Britons will not be half so bad.

Reason? France has laws governing how much of one's total income can be used to calculate debt, whereas in UK, if you tell a bank you are able to pay, that seems to be good enough for them.

You can legislate against most things but not against ordinary people being just dumbfucks....

there i said it.......

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Les six filles sur le bateau...
ensemble six en siege six...
appliquer les maquillage,
parler à portable - les six,
ensemble; à part...
tous les jours les six frontaliers-
une unite des individuelles...

aller ouchy dixdécembredeuxmillehuit...

Sunday, 11 January 2009

The Waste Land...

What I love about London is that it cleans up its act once in a while... the photo above was taken on the South Bank in October 2008. The photo below was taken at the same location several years earlier, in January 2000.
It seems to me the paving stones have not just been cleaned up and replaced around Eliot's poem but the paving stone with the poem itself has been changed. Re-cut but not as well. Shame but not earth shattering. At least verses can find their way under people's feet and not just on the Underground.

Yet another reason to Love London...

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Lesson in Objectivity #1

On a cold day in January a short car drive up through the cloud and mist can transform the senses, and lift the morale in an almost indescribable way... because down there in the murky depths of winter there are people who live all year in caravans, that search around the local tips for our jettisoned detritus...
...and at the end of their working day they return to their small homes on wheels left on the sidelines of the industrial estates. The huge barbecues standing as a barrier between their hovel homes and the vegetation turned by sprayed water into an ice wall.

I've seen the man that lives in one of these caravans but I have not seen his dark wife for quite some time, or his sons that search with him in the summer months. There are no cars about except for the small Fiesta he uses to commute to the déchetterie. The other caravans stand silent. The larger cars are gone.

Perhaps they winter further south. Perhaps they scavenge like migrators from other flocks.

I have no idea. I am just guessing.

Adventure in Inner Space...

Friday 09.01.09

Having made the solitary ascent in the télécabine because I had not the strength nor the time to walk up; I made the short windy descent to Restaurant d'Altitude "Le Mousseron" all in the pretence of searching for my lover's spex.

There, I feasted upon Croûte Savoyarde et sa Salade Verte, which incidently, came in all colours of the rainbow; the only verte being the leaves of mache or lamb's lettuce, roquette and laitue. The other colours being radicchio, endive, feuilles de chêne and mixed in amongst them, halved, cherry tomatoes of a hue that can only suggest tastes yet to come.

The croûte fromage though, left a little to be desired...more fromage for a start, melted and without the accompanying tomato sauce and tinned slices of champignons de Paris... €13,00 and €4 for the cold red wine in a tiny pichet.

But never mind. They are trying to be different; to attract a different client. The international ski group of 'other' Europeans. It just makes me feel as if I am becoming français. I know how things should be.

The cold outside manifests in the clear sunlight as tiny crystals of ice shining in the sun against the far mountain on the other side of the abundant valley.

But as I wade through the champ that is my salad I listen to the lone family group, the other four inside the restaurant - a family of Germans. Vater, mutter und zwei kinder. The older of the two, an adolescent, has ugly braces upon his upper teeth which directs my gaze from the huge red lump that is his nose.

He turns towards me and smiles and as his family tuck into the plates of food before them, he squeezes at a huge but almost empty tube of mayonnaise and squeals in uncontrollable laughter as the creamy contents cover his french fries with all the finesse and sound of a squelchy fart.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

It is Soooo cold here... but beauty remains nonethelesss

Despite the cold of lying under a thicket blanket of cloud, despite the ability to get out from under it and drive up the mountain side and into the sunshine, there remains a beauty around me.

Middle of winter has a beauty all its own...