Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Graffiti Project - latest

This time it's the turn of the ubiquitous Fred the Chevalier - here are a few of my favourites mainly from the Marias, but also Montmartre and Les Halles

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Musee Carnavalet, Paris

Also known as the Museum of the History of Paris is in the 4th, on rue de Sevigne, right in the heart of the Marais. Plenty of room recreations, paintings, revolutionary memorabilia, stones from the Bastille, Proust's bedroom and a lovely parterre. My favourite on this visit was the Fouquet Bijouterie designed by Mucha - Art Nouveau at its highest. most sinuous and most gorgeous. Free entry means I will be back time and again as it's literally five minutes from my apartment. Lovely.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Going to the Doctor in Paris

is breathtakingly simple. I even managed to find a doctor within staggering distance of my apartment and get an appointment on the day I phoned. Of course, the huge downside for a foreigner is that you pay for the consultation and then have to pay the real price for the drugs prescribed. There is some mechanism for making a refund claim, which I have yet to discover, but note to self: be ill in Blighty where it's free. God bless the NHS. Claire Rayner's dying words are ringing in my ears this week (something like 'Tell David Cameron if he messes with my beloved NHS, I'll come back and haunt him').

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Twilight Breaking Dawn Part One

So, my excuse is I have teenage daughters, but let's be honest, it's only an excuse.  Whilst I am still in team Edward, I feel a switch to team Jacob coming on now. How did that happen?

All the much longed for things happen in this one, but there was rather too much time spent on the sickly (as it turns out) honeymoon. The best thing about this series is still the landscape of the North West - I love those forests. I want that house in the woods.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Edvard Munch, Pompidiou Centre, Paris

If this was on in London, you would either have to book tickets in advance, or queue round the block to get in. Luckily a sunny Sunday lunchtime when everyone else was eating meant that, after we had listened to some karioke busking (Wonderwall sung by a Dutch guy, I kid you not), we walked straight in. Well almost, but we honestly only had to hang around for half an hour. Pretty good going for a block buster art exhibition.

My knowledge of Munch is greatly enhanced, even if I found his work rather distrubing (Murder on the road, The fight, The murderess, The sick child etc.). My favourite painting was a self-portrait recovering from Spanish flu - face like a combination of a Francis Bacon smudge and The Scream. The latter, of course, is not there. No doubt it's kept under lock and key now, safely in Norway. Get there before 9 January if you want an art challenge. Just the thing for us after the Catacombs that morning.

English Language Bookshops in Paris - 3

Galignani's wears its credentials in stone as the first English language bookshop to be established on the continent. Great location on the rue de Rivoli opposite the Tulieries. Less great are the prices of its new stock, which are a significant mark up on the UK RRP. The poetry selection was disappointing: a large number of classics padded out with popular anthologies made up over half the shelves. Pity.

Aldeburgh Poetry Festival

Apologies this is a repost as the blog received a spam comment that I have only just worked out how to remove.  Anyway, the festival was fantastic. Great to meet up with all my friends and listen to some truly worldclass stuff. Robert Hass and Kay Ryan were the big international names this year.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

English Language Bookshops in Paris - 2

The San Francisco Book Company is small, but perfectly formed. It has a good selection of mainly second hand books  that are not as expensive as I expected (i.e. comparable with the same in the UK). There are several shelves of poetry that you have to bend over to browse, but luckily there is a stool provided for those with bad backs. Jim Carroll is a friendly and informative book seller. Go there (in the 6th - 17, Rue Monsieur Le Prince), buy books.

Graffiti Project - latest

Graffiti and the shop front - is a whole new sub-genre. Here are some examples from Le Marais and Montmartre.

Spoken Word, Paris

Not only are there bookshops - there is an open mic - hurrray for that - run by David Barnes, who also leads the Saturday writers' workshop at Shakespeare and Company. It's every Monday night from 8 ish - remember we are on Paris time now - till late. Check the website for the location as it keeps changing at present.

Last night was a Hallowe'en fest of spooky stuff - The Raven, a retelling of Red Riding Hood - as well as other poems, stories and songs in English and Italian. My favourite performance was Yeats read from under a sheet. Excellent and free.