March, 2024


Well, February, and still it rains. We are told that it has been a warm month – one of the warmest – but oh the damp!

People are scared the water table is rising where I live and homes will be flooded. Still, there are those who deny climate change. Admittedly, it is probably too late now to do much about it. Still, we drive on….

Nevertheless, there are signs of spring!!! The birds are chirping and bulbs are appearing:




Notice the wet puddles though!


I reconvene at work: a ‘post-modern’ building:



I do not normally post photos of other here. However, two noticeable events this month: meeting up with an old student friend – Richard – from my time in Toulouse, France – many years ago. He saved my bacon. He saved my bacon. Because I was not officially a student, I had to rent a private studio. I had no money even though I worked for the Aérospatiale, and no kitchen. The room was damp – literally, water coming down the walls, and I heard rats scurrying at night. No heating or sheets on the bed either. I realised in those days how ‘bourgeois’ I was. Despite all this, the thing that bugged me most was having no hairdryer!!

Anyway, my friend used to sell me meal tickets to eat in the University refectory.  They had two meals a day and only needed one. Pretty good for a few French francs – three courses of a hot dish, starter and dessert. The French way!

He also suffered my endless talk about French history and philosophy. I was very intellectual in those days!!



Tywi also came to work with me. We did a lot in one day!!



Continuing the French theme…

It being an ‘indoors’ time, I had a bit of a French cinema fest; namely, the Antoine Doinel series from the French film Director François Truffaut. They begin with 400 Coups (1958), starring the then child actor Jean-Pierre Léaud. Great film in black and white with historic shots of Paris at a time of transition. Antoine is a bit of a wayward boy constantly getting into trouble with his parents and school. Yet, seems prone to bad luck: for example, he steals a typewriter but then gets caught when he is talking it back. A great film that announced Truffaut as a leader in the new wave of French cinema:


The next film – Baisers Volés (1968) – catches up with Antoine again when he is now in his 20s and follows him still somewhat mystified by adult life and the opposite sex. My favourite film of the series, with Paris of the day again starring.




1970 and Antoine is now married but still crazy – Domicile Conjugal.



Finally, in L’Amour en Fuite (1979), he is divorcing his wife. Still confused, however, with his life coming back to haunt him.



The series tells a tale of the troubles of fitting in and finding a stable life. Léaud was the perfect actor to convey this. In fact, he became something of an unofficial adopted son of Truffaut. When the latter died, he went off the rails. Léaud did play other parts but never ever lived down being ‘Antoine’.


Oh, these days of wine and roses:


My business partner in Argentina getting the Spanish version of my Guitar Craft book about.



I have been reading the new collection of poetry by David Harsent:



I also picked up a new reprint from the J G Bennett group. The title says it all:



I have also been listening to the romantic sounds of Franz Schmidt thanks to GC Brother Ugo Adam from La Platta, Argentina drawing my attention to him:



Investigating why I have not heard of him, I read that he is the ‘composer that history forgot’. The reasons do not seem to be justified. Certainly worth unearthing: