Avignon | Encore

The train from Marseille to Avignon was a pleasant 90 minutes. The south of France looks like Spain, and reminds me of family holidays when I was a kid – walking along in flip flops and baggy shirts down to the beachfront restaurants for an evening meal, the night air warm, crickets chirping in the bushes.

I met Seth at the station. I’d been running late, and when I found him outside he was leaning on a railing, shaven-headed, grinning at me through a pair of dark sunglasses.

“Hello mate,” he said, when I came in for a hug.

It’s always nice to be back.

Continue reading

London | St. Reatham

I’m growing fond of Streatham Hill. It’s a buzzword for ‘shit’ around much of London, which I quite like. I ask somebody at a party where they live and they say ‘Pimlico’ or ‘Balham’ or whatever, and I say ‘nice’, and then they ask me where I live and I say Streatham and they say ‘oo’—the same sort of ‘oo’ noise people make when a footballer on the telly trips up and his shin bones burst through his calves.

Continue reading

Strasbourg | You Must Learn Speaking French

I’m acquiring a lot of physical possessions in France, which is scaring me a bit. On my desk I have a sepia French globe (a gift from Jeanne), a harmonica (a gift from me to myself; extremely ill-advised), and a strange glass ornament containing sand and water and bubbles, the three of which drip over one another to form little orange pyramids whenever I shake the thing, which is every thirty seconds because I have the attention span of a hummingbird.

Continue reading