Paris and the Alps and Galway

Greetings everyone!

A busy but relaxing week-and-a-bit: hitting the Continent, performing an open-mic night in Paris, signing a rather significant agreement from a writing point of view (more on that in future posts) and gambolling around the Alps:

Alpine scenery

Just got back from a trip to Paris and train down to Switzerland, where I took this picture. I just had to include it in large size. From a quick look at the geography of this beautiful country, I can’t help wondering if money is the only reason why it managed to stay out of two world wars.  I wouldn’t fancy the chances of any invading army hoofing it over the Alps.

We also went up to the top of the world in cable cars and trains. Never before had I been at such high altitude, and even though I’ve a robust pair of lungs, I felt the work involved of breathing such rarefied air. I’ve no idea how the builders of the cable cars managed it. And on one train ride, I took a picture of some glaciers. Let’s just say that looking at them put me in mind of Brahms’s “Wie lieblich sind Deine Wohnungen” -” how lovely are the Lord’s dwellings”.  Or how wondrous to behold something so gorgeous and yet so inhospitable that humans couldn’t ^&*! it up –

monte rosa glacier


The Monte Rosa Glacier

Before then, as I said, we went to Paris, where for the first time in at least a year I took part in an open mic which is organised by Spoken Word Paris. They are a great organisation and I recommend anyone spending any time in Paris to check them out. I read a part from the novel I had written and completed the last few years – of a historical (and unlikable) character, Mrs Humphrey Ward, in mid – fictional – monologue. And as I read her long, haranguing speech, I felt her malign energy start to lift me like a wave and by the time I got to her final “They shall be shamed!” I was booming out like Margaret Thatcher. I scared myself a little, I have to admit.

And the night after that I signed the agreement which I will talk about later 🙂 in a café in Paris.  And thence to Switzerland.

And no sooner am I home and showered and rested than I am off again tomorrow – to Galway, to give a talk to the MA in Writing class of 2013. You’ll recall my posting earlier that I went to the same class exactly a decade ago. Now I’m going to share my knowledge with them; whether that is useful knowledge or not I will leave it to the Good Reader to decide.

Oh and I read a lot of books. Separate post for that, I think.


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