Spring weather returns to Provence so a dream ride through four départements, Bouches du Rhône (13), Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (04), Var (83) and Vaucluse (84). Warm enough to play and no sign of the strong winds that had been forecast. Checking in en route with Lionél in Peyrolles-en-Provence, who looks after my bike, and very happy to find the convenient boulangerie in Gréoux-les-Bains has reopened with a new boulanger and staff. That’s a Tarte Citron I’m enjoying in my photo. Then up the twisty road to the Valensole plateau for a ride through the fields of lavender with distracting views of the snowy Alps above Allos and Barcelonette.
Unlike yesterday’s: Marseille snow
This is not how things are meant to be in Marseille ever, let alone on the first day of Spring, the day of the vernal equinox. And the talk in the boulangerie as I bought my croissants this morning was that his morning’s is the third fall of snow in Marseille this winter. That’s climate change.
Marseille’s idealistic Parc of the 26 Centuries, celebrating the city’s history through three millennia, contrasted with the reality of Marseille traffic: scooters weaving round cars and all waiting for the off at the lights at Cours Honoré-d’Estienne-d’Orves.
Going home time from the GBMCC pub night. The last of about three dozen club members striking a pose and getting ready to ride home after another popular club event in Kennington, southeast London.
Photographically, this is the latest in my series of photos of “After the...”
“Visit Sunny Worthing” shout the posters, and it was good to feel sun on our faces today; the slogan could equally read “Come to Colourful Worthing” as the Sussex seaside town seems to have a thing about colours.
GPN London’s first film festival featured a wide variety of art film styles taking us on a journey starting from Davids’ showering movie, heckled with shouts of “watch out for Norman” (as in Bates, see “Psycho”), clearly his GoPro is actually waterproof.
Matt’s fetishistic detail shots of leather and skinhead boots in slow motion.
Kam’s short film for “Drinks of London” featuring detail shots from London’s South Bank lovingly depth layered and edited very tight and punchy.
WA’s “Alchemist”, portraying a highly symbolic initiation with implied chems, between a tattooed man and a smooth-skinned athlete; intimate and erotic but not overtly sexual.
Jon’s deconstruction of the static and dynamic form and textures of body skin and surfaces using hard video keying.
And finally a segment of Stephen’s documentary work-in-progress about his childhood upheaval when his family uprooted from Ireland, a searing experience to which many gay people may relate.
An uplifting lunchtime stroll in the classical landscape of Richmond Park, wandering amongst the deer herds, screeching crows and parakeets but under the rumbling superjumbos roaring off from Heathrow airport.
This was a great bottle. Classic Margaux. Old enough to be rounded and slightly tawny but not so old as to taste thin or musty. A fine nose, a forward taste in the mouth with a delicious after-taste that complemented roast goose for our Christmas Day lunch and followed on from Champagne Bollinger Spécial Cuvée that was a birthday present (thank you Jon).
This is a bottle I bought and selected myself - we’re moving on from drinking our way through my Father’s cellar. One more bottle of Château Rauzan-Ségla 1994 remaining in my cellar, it won’t be long before it too is uncorked.
The Nutcracker at Covent Garden. They don’t do pantomime of course, this is as near as they get in the Royal Opera House. Peter Wright’s choreography of Tchaikovsky’s ballet score is very family-friendly, there’s a live television relay worldwide of tonight’s performance and showings on television over the festive season. So what’s the point of being here in the theatre?
However much the technology improves, it doesn’t replicate the thrill of seeing these major performers just over there, direct line of sight, nothing in between. There’s no mediation: you see, sense and feel the performance as it is, in its entirety. For ballet it’s about the physicality too, these moves are athletic in the extreme, the concentration and the physical effort communicates directly to us, human to human, both the soloists and in the group pieces - tonight we had principals plus up to two dozen dancers all performing detailed, complicated dances in character with huge grace and in pretty near perfect synchrony.