Sunday, 16 September 2012


Autumn has finally begun to make itself felt, and not a moment too soon – the cloying, oppressive and unrelenting heat had worn me down to a mere splinter, I’d hardly slept in a week and I was sick of it all.  But then it RAINED.  And I danced a jig and breathed in deeply, it is wonderful how refreshing a bit of crispness in the air can be.  Of course everyone else puts their pouts on with their coats.  Still, I feel MUCH better.

The fortnight started with the exhibition.  It was a very small affair, but nonetheless a fun night.  I was pleased with the paintings and all the important people in our little life here in Paris were around to share a few drinks.  A very enjoyable little party.  My English, French and Italian getting all mixed up as I tried to converse in all three, which basically meant I couldn’t make a single sentence in any – but what a thrill to try.

The rest of the week was spent painting, more or less (with occasional rain dances) – it’s been very fun to get back to work after our little holiday down south.

We were at some point taken to a cool little bar in the 10th – the place had white neon lights, pressed metal ceilings and a scuffed red bar from the 1950s.  Looking out the window I saw one of the scenes I’d painted.  It was a very pleasant surprise to see again this place that I thought I’d never be able to find again – it felt like Paris got a little smaller and more intimate.

Another night, a dinner out, a cute little restaurant of chipped red walls and overgrown potplants; the menu a blackboard propped on the chair next to us; at the end of the tiny space a man played guitar and sung the most beautiful songs in an exotic African tongue.  His smile gleamed.

Another night talking to a guy from Shanghai, unintentionally giving the impression that Australia is the most expensive place on Earth but not knowing how to put it any other way.  Feeling good that I can finally have a faltering conversation without flicking through the dictionary.

Friday night some friends at ours, M made sushi.  Good sushi, been so long since I’ve had it.  Talking, talking, drinking drinking, friends in a circle on the rug.  A late night and awoken the next morning to the Techno Parade.  What luck – the first real humdinger of a hangover in ages and the street is thick with chads screaming and dozens of party buses spewing obnoxious doofdoof from banks of speakers four deep.  But it was fun to watch it all over the rim of a cold pint – shaven headed youths off their tits (one even draped in the ubiquitous Aussie bogan flag!), day glo ankle warmers like some sort of snow on the ground, a forest of forefingers stabbing in blissful, violent rhythm.  And after the tide of bare chests and beer cans the slow, methodical march of the Gendarme in their plastic armour.  We joked at how they must hate this tribal music, but it seems so many here have a soft spot for the doofdoof and so we decided they were probably looking forward to joining in after their shift.

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