Friday, August 19, 2011

Sexy Beast(s) en France

Amount of creative activity achieved in last 24 hours: 1
Listening: TSF Jazz, France's bonzer jazz radio station - jingle: 'cent percent jazz' (said in soothing lady's voice)
What I can see from my window no. 15: Brixton Town Hall

I have returned, daisy-fresh, from a recuperative holiday in the sun-deluged sud de France, just up from Antibes. The days were beautifully reduced to the simplest of things as we fattened on sleep, swimming, food, books and writing, centred around our pool, which had views of the Alpes and glittered in a sort of turquoise leopardskin vibe. It was like playing out scenes from 'Sexy Beast' (without Ben Kingsley barking 'NO! NO! NO! at us), French artfilm 'Swimming Pool' (without the murder, waspishness and swimming-trunked erections) and English artfilm 'Archipelago' (without the insufferable middle-classness. No, wait...). Art-tasks included learning Chopin preludes on the electric piano whilst drinking gin and tonics, writing most of a new DOLLYman song (about badger-death, naturally), and penning a poem a day - the full collection to follow in some other blogs I think!
 Swim-activities became creative and competitive, lilo-surfing being the most hilarious (and brief: 2 seconds before hurtling in was the record), and keepy-uppy reaching new levels of masterful complexity. Chess pieces wound their way to death or victory on the sun-baked poolside, making long shadows on the grass; ping-pong and the sport of aged Frenchmen, petanque, was won resoundingly by the boys (Andy and Matt) whilst I sulked into my rose. We got stuck into David Simon's latest masterwork: 'Treme', simply a televisual dream, being basically a more relaxed  'The Wire' but with sousaphone. Best quotes: 'You got a gig? LIFE is a gig' and 'Why did my marriage fail? I married
a musician, thats why'. See it!
We did make it out a few times - to Biot's cutesome village, teetering on top of a steep hill (including watching a hokey blues-rock lot in in outdoor amphitheatre on a warm night - would have preferred avant-garde skronk-step, obviously); along the coast to Monte Carlo (ghastly, wreathed in a murky humid fog that was probably the rich hoi polloi's every waking thought), Eze (Neitzsche's old hood, bakingly hot) and Villefranche-Sur-Mer (sea-swimming!); and to Antibes' old town, where I overcame my fear of being nibbled on by shoals of peckish fish by swimming goggles-down in the sea to watch the equivalent of 'Finding Nemo' rainbowing around me. The best extra-villa experience was given to us by our wondrous host, Matt, who took us to a fabulous restaurant where the owners, friends of Picasso, have a private gallery that you they will unlock the doors to, just for you; so we had a post-prandial, exclusive saunter through the cellar displaying a cornucopia of cubist paintings, op-art, 80s sculpture, and much more. It was like they'd been slumbering in the basement and had roused themselves awake, to be on display, just for us.
Whilst we were doing 'Sexy Beast' et al, I was sightly expecting to come back to a dystopian city that was part 'Attack the Block' and part '28 Days Later', with London's hooded yout' pitted against teams of multi-ethnic shopkeepers and super-hipsters. It was horrible to watch on the news (especially when you're trying to translate - badly - from French) and I hated being away for those few days. Glad to come back to a civilised and sedate-ish neighbourhood for my big bro's wedding; London IS the best, no matter what.

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