Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Paris Xmas/New Year 2005-6

Just before Xmas I decided to go to Paris - carpe diem - it turned out to be a very good decision - possibly life changing, since I'm now thinking of moving to Paris rather than Montpellier, at least for some time.

Last time I came to Paris I found, thanks to the wonders of the internet, two American ex-pats who hold soirees/parties. I went to the Jim Haynes' one last year. This year Patricia was having one on Xmas day. It was SO much more fun than many of my xmases; nice turkey meal and wine; an English woman sculptor, Pre-Raphaelite looks, red hair, did an apple crumble - all this for a donation of 25 euros.

The hostess had Aslam Ansari talk about a film he made about child labour, mainly in Pakistan. He didn't have a lot to say, and I got into lecturing mode a bit :-) talking about the recent popularity of documentaries like Supersize Me and Michael Moore's docs, also about the new possibilities of making docs cheaply, using the new digital technology. I have to say it was good for my ego, a couple of women afterwards said they'd found what I said interesting :-) Then Patricia asked if I'd like to give the talk next Sun. ! Actually not SUCH a big compliment, since it means she doesn't have to look around for anyone else.

Trois Mailletz bar, Paris

I stayed on talking to her and Kathy, another American woman, and I mentioned how I like to stroll around at night and check out interesting bars, e.g. an old favourite of mine which I went to on Xmas eve, Le Trois Mailletz, on the left bank, just across from Notre Dame. The guys who built ND are said to have drunk there. It has a large cellar bar where they have late night cabaret. Upstairs. Henrietta, a Dutch woman plays the piano very well, and a wide variety, from opera to pop numbers. A young Japanese woman sang opera arias VERY well, and also, Jim, an older Scottish guy, a retired pro opera singer, a great showman, who wandered around the room singing to people. He has a very powerful voice for a relatively small guy and a good sense of humour. There was also another French male singer, who must also have been a pro. What a great night !

Patricia said that she knew the place, but had never been inside, and said it's not so easy for a woman to wander into bars on her own. So I offered to take her, then Kathy said she'd like to go too. So I agreed to take them both on Tues. I went back on Monday to check that there will be music and it won't be empty early in the week. I shouldn't have worried, it was very lively again, and I got talking to Jim, the Scottish singer, Pauline, his New Zealander girlfriend and to the Henrietta, the Dutch pianist. Unfortunately he and Pauline are returning to home in Folkstone today, but there will be a female singer. We might go to the cabaret, but I think it will be too late for Kathy, it doesn't start till 11.30.

I then went on to Caveau de la Huchette where Leah Kline was singing with Bert De Kort and the Intenational Jazz All Stars. When I arrived it was the break so I stayed upstairs in the bar. Then a woman came and ordered a drink beside me and coughed - I said: "It's all these French smokers". She said she just had a cold - and she was Leah Kline ! We got chatting and it turned out she'd possibly like some help with her web site and I suggested she start a blog. I also poured scorn on the guy who was going to do some illustrations for her poems, but with an Arty approach, i.e. they'd have nothing to do with her poems !

Leah Kline at Caveau de la Huchette
Leah's blog set up by me.


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