Showing posts from April, 2011

Samuel Beckett....Born Easter 1906

And the poor old lousy earth, my earth and my father's and my mother's and my father's father's and my mother's mother's and my father's mother's and my mother's father's and my father's mother's father's and my mother's father's mother's and my father's mother's mother's and my mother's father's father's and my father's father's mother's and my mother's mother's father's and my father's father's father's and my mother's mother's mother's and other people's fathers' and mothers' and fathers' fathers' and mothers' mothers' and fathers' mothers' and mothers' fathers' and fathers' mothers' fathers' and mothers' fathers' mothers' and fathers' mothers' mothers' and mothers' fathers' fathers' and fathers' fathers' fathers' and mothers' mothers' mo…

Promenade des Anglais, Nice

It sweeps along the majestic curve (I’m no enemy of the well worn cliché) of the Baie desAnges, past modern and Belle Époque palaces, past casinos and hotels, of which the most famous the Negresco, and past super-plush apartment blocks for those wealthy Russian emigrés, the new nouveaux riches of the Côte d’Azur.

Each year it plays host to a carnival and flower procession in which jolly protagonists throw mimosas, gerberas and lilies at one another in a meticulously rehearsed gesture of joy and bonhomie.

It is the natural habitat of joggers, skateboarders, roller bladers, buskers and other urban predators, as well as bucket loads of tourists and retired gentlemen strollers.

On its route from the airport to the maritime port it passes the Parc Phoenix, allegedly Europe's largest botanical garden with a giant greenhouse enclosing seven tropical climates, and with an aviary, an aquarium, a lake, a terrarium, an orchid garden, fountains, and two and a half thousand species of plants. And…

Dinosaurs, Dali & the art of being smug

“So it wasn't a f***ing meteor, after all!"
Thus spoke a smug, inebriate slob of an acquaintance apropos of the news that the giant meteorite that had apparently wiped out the dinosaurs may have occurred 300,000 years after they'd disappeared.

"Let's face it", continued Mr Slobby, "they'll never know what happened, so why don't they just admit it".
"I know what happened", said I, as smugly as I could, hoping to prove that it was a commodity in which no one had a monopoly.
"Oh yeah?" said he challengingly, "so what happened, then?"

“Well”, continued I, “together with other mammals and mammal-like lizards and reptiles, such as tritylodonts and sphenodonts, not to mention primordial crusacea, heterokonts, autotrophs and protozoa, they were transmuted into a liquefied, organic substance which we call oil…

Vive la mort at the Salon of Death

Watching the TV news the other night, that pot pourri of unconnected events from around the world, edited into manageable, sanitised bites, and engineered to fit the attention span of a gerbil with learning difficulties, there was an item about an exhibition in Paris with the amusing title The Salon of Death.

Visitors to the salon can climb into a state-of-the-art biodegradable coffin, or if incineration is your exit of choice, examine the luxury urns on display. There is a publisher's stand with the wittily titled Reflections on the Guillotine by Albert Camus, who apparently once said that the only meaningful relationship was that between the murderer and his victim, and a photographer to snap you holding a skull for that indispensable addition to the family photo album.

Following that well known mechanism of association as described by Sigmund Freud (death is the perfect subject for name dropping) I was reminded of Arthur Miller's comment when asked why he wasn't attending…