June 26, 2005


I'm planning to put some tricky questions to God in my next interview which, oddly enough, will be number thirteen. Love is an odd number. Odd as in strange. Number as in "I've got your number". What do we know about love? Only that it's a feeling. Of fullness or of lack, like hunger - too much, too little, none at all, or sufficient. It's also an activity. For some, even a career: distributing love where it's needed, doing things for love, giving up things for love. It can also be an obsession, an addiction: got to be "in love", if I'm not in love, not beloved, I don't exist. Then there's greeting card duty-love: got to send/receive that Valentine, birthday card, anniversary card, Mother's day/Father's day card - why didn't you send me one? You don't love me. I'm not remembered, I am forgotten, I am a nobody. Then there's self-love: I love myself, I'm wonderful, I'm the cat's pyjamas - no, I'm actually the cat itself, purring with self-sufficiency, nonchalantly strokeable. Then there's the other side of the coin, love-hatred: bah! Humbug! It's all sentimental fairy tales, "They fuck you up your mum and dad" etc. And there's nature-love. And love of aesthetic beauty. And mystical love. But none of it is ever black or white, never simple. Love has so many strings attached it might as well be a spider web. Sticky, fragile and strong like a spider web. Designed to catch us.

Hoping you will ponder and comment while I am in Paris (for a week from Monday).

( photograph of spider web borrowed from here. I added LOVE and colours in Photoshop).


June 22, 2005


Some showers, like the one in my sister's small apartment in Paris, are made by humans for robots. Move the gleaming single tap a mini millimeter to the right and you are frozen solid on the spot. A hair's breadth to the left and you are boiled alive. Finding the exact spot in the middle, the right temperature (i.e. the difference between life and death) is, for a normally clumsy human hand and brain, a task requiring utmost vigilance and concentration. Especially since any inadvertent - nay, inevitable - bumping into said tap during ablutions will bring about disaster. This, plus being confined inside a glass cubicle with sliding doors that stick, means that I don't think in the shower in Paris. I just wash and get the hell out as fast as possible.

At home however, safe under my limescale-encrusted above-the-bathtub shower with its slow flow and temperature regulated by me myself via two taps, one hot one cold, I stand cosily hidden behind a stars and moon printed shower curtain and think. The water (warm with a touch of hot) rivulets calmly over my body and induces what I like to believe is an alpha state.

I'll copy this to the new blog, make it a mirror, since I won't be leaving until next week.





June 21, 2005


Look here: I have set up a new space in case I suffer too much from blogging withdrawal when I'm away from home, as I will surely have to be very soon on account of further Problems in Paris. Please go over to my new mobile home and sprinkle a few comments just to warm the place up. It appears to be very efficient blogging software, easy to use, no fuss, all the features one could want, and it's free. Amazing. I haven't got the header layout right yet but will tweak it. The clunky system I use to upload my blog over here via Dreamweaver and FTP would be too complicated if I have to post from an internet cafe so I hope this alternative will work out. However, while I'm away and without a scanner, I may have to rely on words alone and I don't like that prospect one bit. Do any of you ever upload artwork and/or photos to your blogs if you're not on your own computer, sitting in an internet cafe? If so, how is it done? I haven't a clue (or a laptop).


June 20, 2005


They are here. It's too hot to write, to draw, to think, to sleep.


June 18, 2005


Couldn't draw or photograph this so you'll have to imagine it. We're sitting in back of the hearse, my sister and I, but it's not a hearse, it's just a black van and the black-suited driver sits up front. We sit on either side of the coffin, trying not to lean on it. The coffin is solid oak with brass handles, lined in taffeta "avec volant froncé champagne" ("with pleated champagne-coloured flounce"). Every detail of her husband's funeral (as well as her own, whenever that will be) was pre-paid by my aunt many years ago when both of them were still hale and hearty. Mortality was often on her mind and she hates the thought of being a burden to anyone. So there we are, accompanying uncle's body to the cemetery and I am cool about this strange ride because, honestly, I don't feel sad at all about his passing. The journey from the hospital to the cemetery takes nearly two hours and is unintentionally comical. The driver is chatty and drives like Steve McQueen in Bullitt. The traffic is immovable but he manages to move, leaping in and out of bus lanes, taking risks, breaking rules and keeping us entertained with his thoughts on life, after-life, death, the government, and morals among the young. He is particularly incensed by girls with bare bellies and low-slung jeans revealing the top of their knickers (panties to you Yanks). "On voit leur culottes...ah non, ça ne se fait pas!" We pass several examples and he points them out in case we miss them. He assures us that he is not narrow-minded, "Mais je ne suis pas un 'ippie". Eventually we reach the cemetery where other members of our mother's family are buried. The undertakers' crew are waiting along with two distant cousins we've never met (we liked them)and a couple of neighbours we are not pleased to see (con-artists who have taken advantage of aunt & uncle for years, causing legal problems that we now have to deal with). The funeral doesn't take long; no religious ceremony was wanted so none is held. We just say a few words for uncle and touch his coffin before it is lowered into the family grave. Then we start the wild ride back with Monsieur Bullitt.

Uncle's widow, nôtre petite tante, should have been there, would have been there, but on the night of the same day her husband died, she fell while trying to climb over the barriers of her hospital bed and broke her pelvis. The hospital did not tell us, we only knew of it four days later after she'd been moved to another place, much further away, to be operated. She is now convalescing but is not in good shape. Here's where I start raging against the system of so-called care for the old so instead I'll stop and look at some pretty Paris pictures.

A bride in front of Notre Dame

Bride and groom in front of Notre Dame. A photographer (not me) was following them.

Sur les quais de la Seine.

Quintessentially Paris. I'll post the rest on another page.


June 13, 2005


Got back home yesterday. Not in blogging mode yet. Felt too stressed to draw anything but not because of funereality and so forth. More about so forth later. Had only one easygoing day on Saturday and took a few photos for y'all who know or wish you knew Paris. Weather (and mood) was June/Gemini - cruelly cold one minute, too hot for comfort the next, perfect instants in between. This was one of the perfects - a group of buskers near Notre Dame, wonderfully playing in the style of Stephane Grappelli, le jazz hot

jazzy buskers, Paris