I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Monday, 30 December 2013

WALK 6. Paris

Journalism's messy: a job for those incapable of anything else, for show-offs, the prurient, the seedy. I admit to those defects; part-explanation for my limited social circle and my tenuous hold on blogosphere acquaintances. But it can be fun.

I emerged from dinner in the Marais - the "village" of central Paris. My host was a genial Swiss guy who owned a Ferrari and a vintage violin on which he played unaccompanied  Bach. My bed was in a hugely expensive hotel with a bathroom done out in green veined marble. I decided to walk.

The distance was 6.1 km (3 miles, 1391 yards) but the route was obvious, the hotel was close to the Eiffel Tower. I crossed the Seine via its famous island, Ile de la Cité, home to Notre Dame. Also the Quai des Orfèvres, Ministry of Justice (above), where Simenon's Insp. Maigret worked.

Westish, along the Quai Anatole France, maybe I saw the Louvre; certainly the Tuileries garden. Invisible but in parallel, the Champs Elysées. Tourist trappery; what mattered were the street lamps: tall bright lights and lower yellowy-orangey blurs saying: Hey, this is Paris.

On my side (the left bank - aha!) the Quai d'Orsay, named after a count, amateur artist, dandy, on the other the Voie Georges Pompidou, say no more. The Seine takes a left turn here and I'm home - for once a journalist lightly touched with virtue.

WIP Second Hand (52,980 words)
… he seemed smaller but more clearly defined. Dwarfish, his qualities were intensifying. Not just what was visible - his dark, flaw-free Iberian skin and deeply waved blue-black hair – but the invisible features too: his skills as a painter, his maleness, his powers of suggestion, his articulacy and – it had just occurred to her - his prowess as a lover.


  1. Your concise walk account was evocative, and I wonder if your acquisitive host would have appreciated it; perhaps so considering his musical taste. I am invariably struck by the drifting aromas of Gauloise cigarettes and French cuisine in French towns.


    “blue-black…” is interesting. A semi professional artist looking at some of my Photoshop efforts recently, where shadows were more or less solid black, suggested that I should have used some blue. I have tried it since to good effect.

  2. Mr Blue/Black sounds like quite a handful. I hope you have a suitable heroine for him - obviously Blonde for maximum contrast (maybe not unless you are writing a Mills and Boon).

    I have left my Kindle and thus Gorgon Times in Malvern. You may be gratified to know that I am missing the experience of reading it and suffering from frustration at not being able to find out what is going to happen next.

  3. Sir Hugh: The acquisitive host had other stirring qualities; prior to ordering the wine he always took out a vintage chart. Normally I would have gently suggested I knew more about wine (had he been French I would have insisted) but in this instance I allowed him the honour. There was a downside - he tended to concentrate on Bordeaux and these days I only approach cab. sauv. rarely. But his enthusiasm was genuine and his pockets were deep.

    Blue/black: see my reply to B2.

    B2: Well spotted! He is a handful. He's appeared in other extracts, he's a successful Spanish (hence his hair) painter and has been written about in such a way that the reader has reason to fear him (or at least doubt him) while Francine - mobilising both her intelligence and her emotions - takes a more humane view of his erratic nature. I'm fantastically glad she persisted with this view because only a few pages back I felt forced to make him also vulnerable. And thus, you see, his trajectory will eventually intersect with... Well, you get the idea.

    As to GT you are the expert. Loaded down as I was with concerns about a host of writerly matters I was unable to judge it as a story. I knew every twist and had known them all for years. There were no surprises: as to whether they exist and whether they are rewarding I am in your hands. You, B2, and a small handful of others have the power to justify my existence.

    However there is one surprise for me and you have sprung it. But you'll have to wait "until London" before I let you know. Remind me if I forget; there'll be an opportunity for you to feel quite smug and that should be a fairly novel experience for you.