Gandini Juggling

Had an interesting few days this week – which terminated with the presentation of the ‘components’  of what will make up Sean Gandini’s latest opus « Spring »

He and I spent a week exchanging text messages (I hate disturbing the artists so always contact them by text rather than by a phone call) – my initial text was in English – to which he replied in French – se we continued like this – until I went to visit CiRCa on Wednesday and take a few photos – he was rather surprised I spoke such good English…!! His French is excellent!

Anyway, the 16 ‘bits’ we saw last night were all very dynamic and the artists were excellent, with a special mention for Guy who is lighting the show. However I don’t envy them – their first night is in early January – I can’t help feeling there’s a lot of work ahead!

Gandini Juggling – « Spring »

Johnny Hallyday

This is Johnny Hallyday

I’m sorry, I’ll start again.

This WAS Johnny Hallyday – he died yesterday the 6th December, aged 74. His career spanned almost 60 years and he sold more than 100 million albums.

Virtually unknown in English speaking world, he was the bees knees, the « French Elvis » and hugely popular – in France. I’m not a fan, but I feel sorry for his family etc. as one would for anyone who has died. What I can’t quite come to terms with is the furore surrounding his passing – people are travelling from all over France to « be close to him » at a small village just outside Paris where he died from lung cancer on Wednesday morning.

Now the government have decreed a national outpouring will occur on the Champs Elysées on Saturday morning – for goodness sake, they’ll be naming ships after him next. I’m waiting for the first « Boulevard Hallyday » or « rue Johnny » to be announced. Let’s try and get this all in perspective – he was a singer (not even a singer/songwriter – he interpreted other peoples work) he didn’t save hundreds of Jews from the ghetto during WWll, or discover Penicillin – he sang songs, earned pots of dosh, married 16 year olds and sniffed coke – a true rocker.

I can’t help thinking this is a huge « head in the sand » operation to keep our collective consciences away from thinking about Donald Dump deciding to claim Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in spite of the rest of the world refusing to recognise it, or Willy Wonka threatening a nuclear holocaust from North Korea .

As it is I missed my favourite American police series last night because the television channels all decided to run programmes about Johnny – was it really necessary for each channel to run a tribute? Really?

David Bowie, another fairly well known show biz personality, was cremated only 2 days after having died of liver cancer in January 2016 – and while there was an understandable outpouring of grief from his fans, I’m not aware of any national holidays etc.

Nowt as strange as folk….

Lily « Fuck You » Allen

Sorry about the swearing, but it is in fact the title of one of Lily Allen’s songs – such a class act…

Lily « I must be famous I’ve got blue hair » Allen

You’ll notice I didn’t write  the word « singer » – this is someone of measurably little talent who considers herself a « singer » – sadly her career was as short as her IQ and to get noticed, she’s decided to invent « events » A: to get into the press, and B: to get into the press.

(You may remember her father, the excellent Keith Allen, who appeared in the 1994 film ‘Shallow Grave’ with Ewan McGregor – visibly the only one of the family with any talent)

The latest « event » involves a flat she purchased in Notting Hill – because she doesn’t work, and therefore, earn anything, she rented the flat out. The people who rented it happen to work for the Italian government, and when the end of their rental period ended, asked for a two day extension to organise their final move.

Lily, of course, took this as a refusal to move out and accused them of being squatters, and that as Italian government officials, had diplomatic immunity and that she could do nothing to get rid of them. Sob, sob etc.

Predictably, the two day period over and the family have moved out, as planed. Lot of fuss about nothing – a bit like the career of Lily Allen…

Fame at last (almost)

Well, I seem to have made it – I can relax and sit back and ponder over, well, anything really – I mean I’ve really reached the summit – anything else will be purely coincidental.

What am I going on about? Well it seems that the Association Départementale pour le Développement des Arts (ADDA32) have decided to include my bio (and photo – woooo) on their website in the « Portraits of Artists » bit…

The director of this association really (but I mean REALLY) doesn’t like me and I imagine it must have been very hard for him to write to me and ask for the bio… well anyway, I’ve finally joined the ranks of the recognised artists Gersois – guess I shouldn’t complain!!

The Daily Mail

Since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement, the press has gone bonkers with stories about the Markle family tree, why is she coming over here?,  what about her dogs etc. and pretty much all of these come from our favourite ‘news’ paper, the Daily Mail.

The latest offering is, IMHO, the best yet…

With the title « So who does she remind you of? » and a lead beginning « From her brunette locks to her fashion sense, the prince’s fiancée bears more than a passing resemblance to Pippa Middleton. »

Only one tiny little detail mars this scenario, again, in my opinion – Meghan Markle is actually quite pretty…

Remember – Pippa Middleton is better known for her backside…

The Cal 2018

The Pirelli Calendar, now in it’s 45th year, has been unveiled, and it’s British photographer Tim Walker who has been chosen to create this years ‘happening’.

The calendar is known as « The Cal » (it’s even a registered trade mark!) and this years offering is « Alice in Wonderland » – but with a twist – all the models are black.

Here’s RuPaul as the Queen of Hearts

Slick Woods as the Mad Hatter

So many names, ,known and becoming known – brilliant idea, and beautifully photographed – of course! Visit the website – it’s worth the trip…

Bordeaux S.O Good

We went to Bordeaux to spend the day with my daughter – and ended up doing a workshop with a superb chef, and learning how to prepare foie gras!

It all started with our arrival in Bordeaux – « There might be something interesting to see ‘au Quays’ (the old docks) if you’re interested » so we got on the tram and set out for Hangar 14 where the « Bordeaux S.O Good » food festival was underway – right up my street! There were stands everywhere and people encouraging you to taste (and buy) ham, foie gras, cheese, bread, wine – everything grown/produced in the South-West and as Bio as it comes!

We hunted around and found some decent ham, chorizo and cheese (oh, and a beer!) to start our day…

These we found from the stands on the ground floor – and when we had finished, Jemma suggested visiting the first floor….

When we arrived, it turned out she had booked us in for a workshop with Nicolas NGUYEN VAN HAI – an up and coming (soon to be Michelin starred?) chef who is chef at the Chapon Fin restaurant in central Bordeaux.

We spent an hour with him where he explained all we needed to know to prepare a foie gras with a delicious licorice sauce – there were 9 of us, and he had time to individually explain everything to each of us – a real pro.

Obviously, when we had prepared the food, he showed us how to dress the plates, and we all sat down with him and ate our creations!

Well yes, ok, so my plate looks a little weird, but it tasted excellent!

Top marks Jemma!

We left and made our way to the Palais de la Bourse where (again, unknown to us) we were signed up for a wine tasting with a viticultrice (a lady!) who explained how red and white wines combine with food – this was a practical experience, and we tested both red and white wines, and four different chocolates! (Black, milk, white and caramel) Very interesting and I’ve finally learned something about wine!!

As we were leaving the Palais, we noticed a very good photo exhibit – all the images had been made with food!

Great day – topped of with nice nosh at MADAME PANG – well worth a visit also (we’ll be going back, I feel sure…)

What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday!

Le Corps Sage

Bunked off games yesterday and went to CiRCa where the Company Corps Sage were in residence, preparing their next spectacle « Mur / Mur ».

The current ‘trend’ in contemporary circus seems to be dark clothes, black backgrounds and virtually no lighting. Add to this periods of rapid movement – wonderful conditions for a photographer…

Luckily I have a bit of experience (and cameras that have super-sensitive sensors!) with these conditions, so I was able to justify my time with them – can’t for the life understand the ‘theme’ (if there ever was one) and reading the press documents just makes it worse…nice people though.

Mur / Mur
Mur / Mur
Mur / Mur
Mur / Mur

 

 

Autumn

It’s autumn (well it has been for a while actually) and so here’s an ‘autumnal’ image…

Sometimes it’s amazing what you can find a few feet from your own front door… just have to open your eyes.

Now Everyone’s a Photographer – chapter 20

Our famous Facebook friend is at it again – this time bemoaning the fact that, well, he just doesn’t seem to be very visible…

I personally can’t help think this is probably down to the fact that he’s A: not very good, or B: that he has no actual content to show off, or C: the content he has to show off is really not interesting to anyone.

I guess he could be just someone who needs everybody else to do everything for him…

I think he should go back to the ukulele lessons…