Jim Haynes newsletters

Newsletter No. 302
Trip to London
April 27th - May 1st 1994

Wednesday 27th : Up at 7.30 to let Robin the cat out. Samantha gets up; she flies to Athens this morning. Not a lot of post: a letter from Jody Kleinberg regarding her short stories, a change of address letter from Gogo Malesevic in Stockholm and a postcard from Stashu in Vilnius. Sam heads for Charles de Gaulle. Bettina Haeske calls from Koln to tell me she wishes to become a film producer. I give her some suggestions. A woman named Doris from Estonia telephones to ask if she can meet me. I tell her to come over straight away. Fire off quick notes to Roy Williamson and Gogo. Antonina calls to say she will come over. For some bizarre reason I call John vanden Bos at FUSAC regarding Emile. Alexandar Stefanovic calls from Milano to thank me for getting Martin to send him a book on Russian monastaries. Doris Kareva arrives and we discuss a grant application, her poetry and translations, my People to People books. Quickly call Canongate and chat with Stephanie about the Prague book Fair, the Russian book, and my departure for London. Rush to Charles de Gaulle, collect my ticket, don't check my bag, quickly clear customs and am soon on my way to London. Painless flight. Am one of the first out of the plane and quickly clear customs. No Eve, so have a Haagen-Dazs ice cream and wait. She is soon walking toward me. She looks great, a carbon copy of Sally when Sally was twenty. We drive to her place and on entering am introduced to Telford "Teo" Bailey. He reports that I have had two telephone calls. One from Jamie B at Canongate in Edinburgh and one from "En Route" magazine in Toronto. Teo shares the house with Eve and her boyfriend, Mark Wild. Mark is in Switzerland making a film and will be back on Friday. We have some coffee and there is another call. It is Rex Pyke calling from Scotland; he called Paris and someone there gave him Eve's number. Eve runs a hot bath for me. Later she insists on driving to the Lyric Hammersmith. We hit a traffic jam and we arrive a few minutes late. But I know Bob Kingdom's performance. I saw him perform Truman Capote five times in Paris. Bob "becomes" Capote. I spot Nicolas de Jongh in the front row and he seems to be enjoying it. There is a "Lily Tomlin" look-alike just behind and to my left who is also loving the show. At the interval drink with Nicholas and he introduces me to a "Time Out" critic. As always when I meet Nicholas, we talk about Ernie Eban, Daniel Topolski, Jack Moore, Edinburgh Festival and Paris. Chat briefly with Alison Kennedy who has come down from Glasgow for the opening. I thank her for her collection of short stories she send me some months ago. Everybody seems knocked-out by Bob's performance. Eric Clapton, who has co-produced the show, is hosting a party upstairs. Nicholas rushes off to write his review for the "Evening Standard" and I slowly make my way upstairs. Exchange smiles with Eric but make no attempt to talk with him. Dozens of photographers snap away. Bob comes upstairs and greets me warmly. I tell him that his performance was even better than Paris. He says that he is glad that he had the five performances in Paris because they helped prepare him for this evening. Meet lots of people including Dan Colman, Bob's agent. Am introduced to a delightful woman who tells me she knew Capote. Later Bob tells me that she was a top model. She still is very lovely. Bob disappears. Am told I have a telephone call and it is Bob. He says that Eric is taking him to dinner and can the two of us meet tomorrow. I promise to call him in the morning as soon as I get up. Talk with a few more people including Kevin Knight, who directed the show, and with an American who says he wants to take it to the USA. Also talk with an attractive young woman, but fail to remember her name. Slip away and walk the short distance to the tube station with an actor. Metro to Queensway, telephone Ernie and we agree to meet at Pizza Express. On my way, pause to call Eve to see if she would like to join us, but she is in bed. She will leave the key under the mat. Ernie is waiting. After our embrace, order a pizza with pepperoni. He and I discuss the book I have proposed we produce about Sally Belfrage. To my pleasant surprise I learn that he has already put all the obituaries onto a disk. He has brought them all for me to read. Ernie's friend arrives. James and I met the last time I was in London. He is married to a woman from Iran. I remember that I told him I once lived in Paris with a wonderful Persian woman. We discuss what must be done to print Sally's book and we agree it makes more sense to print in New York City. Eve wants it there in three weeks for a reading that is being organized for Sally. I agree to send $200 to USA to help with the production costs. Ernie seems to think that will be helpful. Later that night at Eve's, get into bed and read all the wonderful tributes to Sally, wonderful Sally.

Thursday 28th : Coffee with Eve. Make lots of phone calls: Bob Kingdom (and we agree to meet in Dillon's in Long Acre at 11am), Dorota (and we agree to meet tomorrow afternoon), Francine (and learn that Norma is in Vienna), Jamie (and confirm my radio interview this afternoon), Sally (and confirm I will lunch with PG at 1pm today), John Calder (and get an answering machine) and Joanna Anderson (a Deborah Kermode tells me she will be arriving soon). Just before I depart, Joanna calls and we agree to meet this afternoon. Manage to get a free train ride to Euston and tube it to Leicester Square. Walk the familiar short distance to Dillon's. Don't see Bob but do see a pile of books on sale and decide to purchase two: RUSSIAN JAZZ (which contains essays by two friends, Bert Noglik and Virgil Mihaiu) and TUSOVKA OR WHO'S WHO IN THE NEW SOVIET ROCK CULTURE by another friend, Artemy Troitsky. A quick perusal of Art's book and I discover I know lots of the people inside: Alex Kan, Seva Gakkel, Kolya Vasin, Boris Grebenshikov, and Timur Novikov. Bob arrives and we go for a hot chocolate (me) and a capuccino (Bob). Lots of his friends greet him. It's a warm beautiful day. Leave Bob and walk thru SOHO. Purchase an "Evening Standard" and see that Nicholas has given Bob a good review. Walk to Paul's and Michael greets me warmly. Meet Victoria for the first time. She is wonderful. Paul gives me a warm embrace. We have a superb lunch; his new chef from Germany has prepared ravioli and ice cream with honey. Two of my favorite dishes. Ask Paul and Victoria if I may "borrow" the chef for my "restaurant" in Paris. It's not on. Taxi to L.B.C. and the interview with Frank Bough. (Both Paul and the taxi driver ask their greetings to be sent to Frank. And I do it.) Interview lasts about thirty minutes and Frank seems to really like my travel series. We get a call-in from a fellow who also likes the books. Taxi to The Troubadour in Old Brompton Road and await Joanna Anderson. Order a hot chocolate and ask about the old owner, Michael Van Blomen. Am told he lives in Dubrovnik. Joanna arrives and she is very lovely. We discuss her travel plans to St.Petersburg and Russia. Give her lots of advice and tips. Leave her and decide to walk pass my old home in Old Gloucester Road. I lived in the basement and Sonia Orwell lived upstairs. My "rent": serve drinks for her many cocktail parties where I meet and talk with Mary McCarthy, Francis Bacon, Cyril Connolly, Marguerite Duras, and other characters and celebrities. That's what I call a fair rental arrangement. Continue walking to Ernie's; bump into Daniel Topolski outside in the street. Dan comes inside and we discuss our dining together tonight at Khan's. Ernie and I have an Indian feast. No sign of Daniel. Later we go to Simon Cutter's for drinks. There are four fellows at Simon's and one femme fatale, Katia Caballero, from Paris. Dan arrives, says he went to Khan's but did not see us. Ernie, Daniel and I fall immediately in love with Katia. Well, at least, I do! She is an actress now living in London. Daniel drives Katia and me home. Alas not the same home.

Friday 29th : Lazy morning. Pastries with Eve chez Lisboa in Portobello. Afterwards we drive to Randolph Avenue. Greet Moby. He has a band called "After Image". Eve takes me for a walk in the garden and shows me the tree that has been planted to honor Sally. We drive to Ernie's, collect him, then to a toy shop. Eve will attend her niece's birthday fete this afternoon. They drop me in Soho. Bump into Jeremy Thomas in Old Compton Street. His film, "Little Buddha", has opened in London. (I saw the film in Paris with Magda and Renata and we all three loved it.) Jeremy invites me to visit, but I suspect he and Hercules must be very busy now. Thank him, but say no. Ask my greetings be sent to Eski, Chris and Hercules. Go to John Calder's office and greet him and Sue Herbert. John and I have a sandwich in Covent Garden. I make another one of my attempts to get John "to retire" to Paris where he can write books, go to the opera, and take it easy. This time he seems to be listening. Leave John and walk to the filofax shop, purchase four binders and more paper. Visit with Bernard Stone at Turret Bookshop and purchase "The Literary Review" (for a Martin Walker article) and the "London Review of Books". Tube to Dorota's in Chiswick. Have a good long visit with her and her son, Joe. Tube north to Randolph Avenue; pick up ice cream, potatoes, carrots, bread, etc from a local supermarket and walk to Eve's. Eve is cooking a feast for Ernie, Dan, myself, herself. Moby has a dinner somewhere else. Dan's Susie is filming in Wales. Eve's Mark arrives late and joins us. We all feel Sally's presence. It's a magical evening. Eve drives us home late.

Saturday 30th : Lazy morning. Call Ulla Larsen; apologize to her for not seeing her this trip. Eve drives me to a tube and we embrace tenderly. Remind her that she has a duty not to grieve, to live life fully. We are alI roses. I continue to Heathrow and terminal 1. Call Bob Kingdom and ask about reviews. They have all been very good. He suggests we meet in August at the Edinburgh Festival. Check my bag and head for the departure lounge. Flight is called. Find myself sitting next to Var Ashe and her friend, David Houston. She has written her autobiography, FROM PURGATORY TO PARADISE. Published in Britain by Hodder & Staughton. I tell her that I will trade her a copy of my autobiography for a copy of her's. She agrees and we made a tentative date for Sunday dinner. One British Midland stew, Sarah Barry, is very lovely. Bus home. Discover the cartons of clothes have been collected and taken by someone to Lithuania. Pile of post and a large package from L.L.Bean with a blue shirt, 3 pairs of purple socks, and pajamas. Peter, Natalie and I contemplate: a Sunday dinner or no Sunday dinner. We decide to have one. Quickly call the Village Voice and yes I can "borrow" 1,000 francs for the weekend. Corine Berrevoets will cook the dinner. We rush about and manage to get most of the shopping done. Dora calls me from Budapest; she says that Andras has found an apartment for Jack's friends. Gabriel comes over. He has his car and agrees to drive me to Bastille. Susan Rooke has a birthday party tonight. It's a great party!

Sunday 1st May : Go early to Alesia with CB for more shopping. Bard from "Army of Lovers" calls; he will come to Paris next week. Call Michel and Holly and invite them to dine tonight. Barbara, who has written the "Pret a Porter" film script calls, and we chat and I suggest she come to dinner tonight. She cannot. Magda arrives and we catch each other up to date. Nevinka calls from Ljubljana to say that she departs with her theatre company to perform in La Mama in New York City and also in a theatre in Seattle. I ask her to give my best wishes to La Mama's Ellen Stewart and to call JoEllen & Don Loeb in Seattle. By 8pm, we are ready to receive our guests. CB has done a great job. We have another feast.

Tuesday 17th May : Two weeks have zoomed by and this newsletter is still in the computer. Lots of things have happened, but one of the most momentous has been the arrival of our new DELL computer. Thanks to Layne Jackson in Austin and Susannah Andrzejewski in Paris! It is the second week of Cannes and for the first time in some 25 years I am not there. Two reasons really: The purchase of the DELL computer has wiped out my financial reserves and the saga of "DIETRICH SONGS" continues. Almantas reports that the Mary Guggenheim novel I am publishing has been printed and is on its way to me in Paris and to Mary in San Francisco. John Flattau and I talk often on the telephone about his upcoming exhibition in Paris. It opens the 7th of June. And John is flying over for the opening. Not sure how many pages this will fill, but enough is enough for now. To be continued...

 
Jim Haynes
May 1994

Atelier A-2,
83 rue de la tombe Issoire,
75014 Paris

 

 

 

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