Jim Haynes newsletters
|Newsletter No. 480|
|The Edinburgh Festival
August 12th to September 3rd, 1999
Thursday, 12th: Awake when I hear Kitty's alarm ring at 7am. Go next door and she smiles a big "Good Morning!" What a lovely lady she is! Go down to pee and to make a pot of coffee. Quick read of the "Trib"; Mike Zwerin has a sweet piece about Loudon Wainwright 3rd. Go back to my bed for a quick nap. Up again at 8 when my alarm rings. Shower, shave, shampoo, dress, pack. It's quickly 9 and time for Kitty's departure to Charles de Gaulle and Stockholm. She is a wonderful lady and I will miss her. We have talked about meeting in October in Odessa with John Flattau and Tanya, a friend of Kitty's.
Soon I am out the door myself and headed for the RER station at Denfert Rochereau. Minutes later I am at the Gare du Nord and checking into the Eurostar and another trip to London's Waterloo. Buy Camel Lights for Benny and an Independent for me. There is a photograph of Diane Dubois by Geraint Lewis. I suppose Geraint, Robbie Jack and John Ritchie will be among the first I see in Edinburgh.
Kyle Roderick is waiting at Waterloo. After our embrace, we elect to taxi to Ernie's place. Upon arrival, Kyle produces a new shirt and a bottle of shampoo. What an angel she is. And what a pal! She immediately produces color photographs of Brett, William, Henry and James. And lots of news about her lads and about her recent days in London with Ernie (before he left for France). I make a call to Benny and get his answering machine. We walk to Pizza Express. Kyle has a Veniciana (with a part of the purchase price going to a Save Venice Fund) and I have an American (because it contains Hungarian sausage). Our waiter is from Galicia in the north of Spain. I suggest we head for Kings X and Edinburgh straight away. We gather our things, lock the two locks, and go outside to find a taxi. Minutes later we are at the station and discover we have just missed the 5 o'clock train by less than a minute. But there is a 17.30 Great North Eastern train. Kyle has a first class ticket. I have a See Britain second class pass. We find two places in first class and are on our way. It's another adventure with Kyle. It's my 43rd festival and Kyle's first trip to Scotland.
The conductor passes and we learn Kyle's ticket is not valid for the Great North Eastern line. So that's why the fellow who sold her the ticket was a bit slippery. I pay a supplement and Jim Eadie (the conductor) kindly says that Kyle can travel with her ticket. Jim is from Fife and a Washington Redskins pro-football fan. We have a good talk with him. Later Jim says he will be returning to London the 2nd of September at 11.30 a.m. and we are welcome to travel back with him. Kyle becomes more and more excited as we enter Scotland and the countryside looks more and more beautiful. It's about 21.30 when we pull into Waverly Station. We bide a farewell to Jim. Soon we are in a taxi rolling toward 84 Great King Street. Ring the bell and Martin buzzes us inside. Up two flights of stairs and Martin opens the door. And introductions begin to be made. There is Monica, an opera singer, from Glasgow. There is Peter van Staveren, from Delft, who does something with computers and who is living here at Martin's for a few months. And there are others. It seems they have just returned from the Tango production in Café Graffiti that I managed to see and loved last festival. Kyle tells a story about Wagner's granddaughter. It seems the granddaughter and husband have been living in L.A. and they and Kyle have become friends.
Kyle and I are hungry and I suggest we walk to Café Graffiti. There we have an excellent dinner. Kyle has salmon and I have a steak. Our waiter is a nice fellow called Rodney. We meet the chef, a fellow called Christophe Pelletier from Burgundy. He has a restaurant in Edinburgh called La Bagatelle. And he used to be a sous-chef in Paris in the Zink in the rue de Buci. After dinner I suggest we go to the Assembly Rooms, but we are both tired and elect to return to Great King Street and bed.
Friday, 13th: Slow start. Coffee in the kitchen with Kyle and Martin. Read yesterday's London Evening Standard and find a recipe for Lemon Mousse by my pal, Lindsey Bareham. Tear it out of the paper and say that I will try it when I am home. Kyle needs a sweater, so loan her mine. She and I walk up Frederic Street and I point out my old apartment on the corner of Queen Street where the 1962 International Writers' Conference was organized. We bump into Jennifer Willies and after our quick embrace, she continues rushing down the street. First stop, Assembly Rooms and encounter Liz Smith straight away. Liz proudly announces they have won three Fringe Firsts. For the first time the Fringe Festival started a week before the rest of the festival. The rest starts in the next few days. Not sure I approve of this. Liz produces Assembly Rooms Club Passes for us. What a sweetheart! Kyle and I stroll over to Hanover Street and purchase bus passes. We continue down Rose Street, pass Sheila Colvin's old flat, pass my old flat, and into Charlotte Square where we see the Book Festival tents under construction. Up Lothian Road to Filmhouse where we encounter Helene Guldberg, who is one of the directors of LM Magazine and who is organizing a conference next February entitled "The Sex Wars". She has asked me to be involved. Inside for a bowl of soup. Kyle is more and more excited about Edinburgh. Later we cross the street to the Traverse. No sign of Yvonne McDevitt. I explain everything to Kyle as we continue our tour up Johnston Terrace, behind the castle, to Lawnmarket, pass the original Traverse Theatre Club, and on down the High Street. I point out 369 High Street, a place I co-owned with Roy Guest. I know it is not nice to speak ill of the dead, but Roy cheated me and this is hard to forget and to forgive. We enter Canongate's offices to see if Jamie Byng, Stephanie Wolfe Murray, and others might be there. Sheila McAinsh reports that Jamie is in London. She says she has just returned from a funeral service for Consuelo. Stephanie flew from Cyprus to attend the ceremony. A tragic accident. It seems that young Consuelo, leaning out of a window while talking with her boyfriend, fell. Oh no. What a young life wasted. After talking briefly with Neil Moir and Moraig, we slip out. Kyle is keen to see Jamie and his wife, Whitney. Kyle hosted them when they were in L.A. for the annual American Booksellers Association gathering.
We stroll up the Royal Mile to the Fringe office. I am able to collect my press pass from a young woman called Leonie. A panel discussion on censorship takes place upstairs. And I am one of the panel members. Kyle and I wander up. We get a welcome from Claire Fox who is one of the directors of LM Magazine and who is hosting this series of discussions entitled "The Culture Wars". Other panelists include Dominic Shellard (author of British Theatre Since the War and head of drama at Sheffield University), Diana Dubois (author of the play Myra and Me), Timandra Harkness (comedian) and Neil Cooper (writer and critic). The session is fun and stimulating. Lots of questions from the audience. When it is over, Helene Guldberg suggests we have drinks in a café across the way. Over we go. We discuss "The Sex Wars" conference that Helene will direct next February. I suggest lots of people: Betty Dodson, Marianna Beck, Suzanne Brøgger and many others. Audrey Kyle and I walk up the High Street. There are lots of street performers. One young woman is dressed as a wind-up music box marionette. She is extremely lovely and looks familiar. I drop some coins and she gives me a heart-breaking smile. We continue toward George Square and I point out the spot where my bookshop was located. We spend a moment of silence in honor of those wonderful days. Much that later took place in Edinburgh began in the bookshop: the seeds for the Traverse, the organization of the fringe itself and the fringe catalogue, Ricky Demarco's career, etc. We continue to Forrest Road and I point out Jim Campbell's old apartment and tell Kyle how we met. Suddenly suggest we jump on a No.12 bus and end up in Lothian Road. Down to the Traverse and this time we are successful, we find Yvonne McDevitt. Drinks and talk ensues. Yvonne leaves her position with the Traverse at the end of the festival and will go to London and join the staff of the English Stage Company at the Royal Court. We congratulate her. I tell her my plans to launch a Paris Arts Club in the near future that would contain a theatre, cinema, gallery, café, and restaurant. Yvonne expresses excitement and states she would like to be involved. She asks about Jack Moore in Paris and we tell Kyle about the Beckett production Jack directed in Dublin with Yvonne.
And speaking of Jack, I have decided that Kyle and I would try to see Harvey Fierstein, "It's Not Going to Be Pretty." It's being presented for one night only tonight in the Usher Hall. Jack and Harvey are friends. A friend of Yvonne's has given us an invitation. We learn that there are no more tickets. And then I learn the reason why. Only the small seating area behind the orchestra pit is being used. No matter how much I try, the ticket-sellers are firm in stating there are no places available. Others are also waiting. Anne Marie Timoney walks up and for one second I do not recognize her. Then it hits me. Anne Marie played Marlene Dietrich in a wonderful 1987 Edinburgh Festival production. I brought the production to a small theatre in Paris and it was a big success. Anne Marie rushes off. Finally luck strikes. A fellow walks up to me and hands me two tickets. No money requested and he refuses all my offers. I give him Newsletter No.425 (Sean Hignett's article in the Telegraph about my Sunday dinners) and tell him he is welcome to come and dine anytime and he does not pay. He smiles and says OK. (I think Jack might like him.) Kyle can see that the fellow we have been talking with is desperate to attend, so she gallantly offers him the second ticket. She says she will wait for me in Filmhouse.
Harvey is fun. But more than anything we are paying our respect to one of the icons of the Gay Revolution. The fellow I am with is from Birmingham, but he was a Liberal candidate for Parliament from South Edinburgh the year John Calder campaigned in Kinross-shire. They met a few times. When it is over, he thanks me and asks that I thank Kyle for him.
Collect Kyle and we use our bus passes to ride to Leith Walk. We walk to Dundas Street and dine in The Mountains of India restaurant. It's the same restaurant I dined in last festival with Astrid Silins. It was delicious last year and it is delicious this year. Kyle treats. I take her back to Great King Street and point out my first room (in 1956) and relate how I was evicted "for having too many guests". Upstairs we meet Martin's stepmother, Maggi Burke. I'm not tired. Slip out and walk to the Assembly Rooms. Stef Grzybowski is the security fellow again this year. He tells me that he has moved to Balermo and I tell him that I did my military service in the late 50s in a small air force base in Balermo. The 'three lads" (Geraint Lewis, John Ritchie and Robbie Jack) are a small welcome committee. Report to Geraint that I saw his photograph of Diana Dubois in the Independent and that I was on a panel with her this afternoon. They complain that the Fringe has started a week early. We express our concern about Ricky Demarco and wonder where we shall meet every night this festival. Maybe here in the Assembly Rooms public bar. (The club bar is always crowded.) Or maybe in Filmhouse or Café Graffiti. I see Liz Smith and her assistant, Amanda, and wave a greeting. It's late and I'm tired. Ask the lads if I may be excused. They kindly grand their permission.
Saturday, 14th: Up early. Quickly dress and go out for coffee, milk, cereal, the morning newspapers. Back in the kitchen and make coffee for Maggi. A long talk with Peter van Staveren about his travels in Latvia, Lithuania, Australia, and the USA. He tells us that he drives to the Scottish West Coast today. Phyllis Roome calls and I congratulate her for the excellent review of her show in yesterday's Scotsman. She got four stars. I tell her I think she deserves five stars. She suggests I wait a few days more before attending. Maggi is doing a crossword puzzle and I help her by supplying "Berg", the author of the opera, Lulu. Try to reach Stephanie Wolf Murray on the telephone (no answer), then try to get John Calder (and get a machine), then am successful with Sean Hignett. We discuss the festival, his visiting son, and our meeting for dinner. Successful again with Frances Anderson and we exchange gossip. Maybe we will meet tonight in the Assembly Rooms. Yvonne mentioned yesterday that she was sending tickets to a Traverse production to Martin Burke's, but no tickets in the morning post. Call the Traverse and leave a message for her.
Kyle and I walk up toward George Street. A young woman smiles in my direction. She is from Bilboa and has a job as a waitress in the Café Rouge. Invite her to come and visit me in Paris, then continue with Kyle to the Book Festival. Talk with the lovely Lisa Torrance and she gives me a presspass for the Book Festival as well as an invitation to tonight's opening party. Look around to say hello to Faith Liddel, the Director of the Book Festival, but do not spot her. Do see Sue Hardie, the Book Festival Administrator, and we exchange greetings. Kyle and I continue our stroll toward the Traverse Theatre. We walk past the Unitarian Church and I tell Kyle that I married Viveka, Jesper's mother, there in the early 60s. And that I produced the play, The Investigation by Peter Weiss, in the church. Kyle and I talk about my turning all the newsletters I have written about the Edinburgh Festival into a book. Yes, this might be a good idea.
Jan MacTaggard, the Traverse press officer, is in the pressroom and, after introductions are made, we talk about her pregnancy and the child's father. Learn that his name is Duncan and that he is on the staff of the theatre. Since I founded the Traverse and Jan and Duncan both have jobs in the theatre, is it fair to say that I can claim some responsibility for this child. I tell Jan that Yvonne sent us tickets for the afternoon Traverse production in the Lyceum, but that they never arrived. Minutes later we are handed tickets. We go downstairs for soup and ask a woman if we may share her table. We learn that this woman attended Edinburgh University, that she writes school textbooks and that she was talking about me last week with a friend in London. Her family name is Brown, but I cannot remember her first name. Bizarre. We three chat like old friends.
Kyle and I walk the short distance to the Lyceum Theatre. Caroline Campbell greets us. She came to Paris in 1987 with the Dietrich production. She was the stage manager. Now she is the front of house manager for the Lyceum. Kyle and I find our seats and spot Yvonne sitting behind us. Also see Max Stafford-Clark. The play is entitled The Meeting and it is by the Catalan playwright, Lluisa Cunillé. Two friends are in the cast: Russell Hunter and Anne Marie Timoney. The play is highly stylized and reminds me of Salvadore Dali mixed with Samuel Beckett. I enjoy it. Mainly because of Russell and Anne Marie.
Of the way out of the theatre, bump into Angela Wrapson and we exchange news. Kyle and I cross over to Filmhouse for coffee. John Ritchie joins us. Later Kyle and I stroll up to Mr. Boni for an ice cream. We wander to the Traverse and Yvonne asks us to join her and some of her friends. We meet a Jenny Litster and a fellow who is a lighting specialist. Kyle, Yvonne, Jenny and I agree to dine tonight. Jenny and Yvonne will collect us at the Book Festival party.
The Book Fair party is fun. I talk a long time with Paul Scott and John Ritchie. Soon Yvonne and Jenny collect us and we make our way to Stockbridge and Maison Hector. On the way, see Rebecca Pidgeon's father, Carl, and wave a hello to him. We are lucky and manage to get a table at Maison Hector. We have a feast. Joseph, our waiter, is also an Edinburgh University student.
Sunday, 15th: Superb night's sleep. But I have a bizarre dream. It deals with the club I wish to create in Paris and the chefs from Maison Hector. After I have washed, I put on Hy's black t-shirt. Poor Hy. Life can be so quickly over. The television is on in Martin's room. In the kitchen discover that Magi is up. Fresh coffee has been produced and it seems Martin has made it. Magi and I have some and I made another pot for Martin and Kyle. Martin enters and reports John Calder telephoned earlier this morning. I call the magic number and learn that Sheila Colvin called yesterday afternoon and John called earlier.
Taxi to Herzmark's for morning coffee. Warm embrace for Herzmark. Meet Steven Alan Green and his wife, Tamsin. Discover she is Anselm Hollo's daughter. What a nice surprise!
Go to the Traverse and meet Philip Howard as he is rushing out to be on the LM Culture Wars panel. Yvonne uses a photocopying machine to produce a few newsletters for me. I write letters to Anne Marie Timoney and to Russell Hunter and ask Yvonne to give the letters to them. She promises to do it.
Meet Willie Milliken in Filmhouse. He tells us an amazing tale about Gone with the Wind playing in a south London cinema in 1944 or thereabouts. The film had been playing to full houses for months. At one particular screening, just as it was about to reach its climax, there was an explosion in the projection booth. The house lights came on and the manger went on stage to announce it was impossible to continue. The audience wouldn't have it, expressing anger and disappointment. The quick-thinking manager announced that he and his staff knew the dialogue by heart and they would take over and continue the story. The manager himself took the Clark Gable role and an usherette was recruited to play Scarlet. It seems they did a great job. I tell the story of one of Shuji Terayama's short films. Two actors have an argument. One says to the other that if the argument continues, he is not going to continue to be in the film. And in fact, the actor playing the role is hiding behind the screen. He jumps through the split screen and talks to the actor in the film. The actor in the film agrees to be nicer whereupon the actor on the stage jumps back "into the film". And then Willie tells a story about a theatre performance with a planted actor in the audience who interrupts a performance. The actor unfortunately is sitting next to an off-duty policeman who arrests the actor and forces the performance to end.
See Michael Kurcfeld. Tell him that Kyle is in Edinburgh. He is pleased and surprised.
Syd Kiman arranges for Kyle and me to see the gala film at the Odeon in the Bridges. We dress in our finest outfits and arrive about 4pm. Geraint Lewis, Robbie Jack and John Ritchie are snapping away. They take lots of photos of Kyle and yours truly. See lots of people I know. Meet Ian Rankin via Michael and Mona Shea. Mike tells me of his (and Mona's) upcoming boat trip to the Baltic States and St. Petersburg. Mike is talking with Giles Godron. They tell me that Ian Rankin has ten (or twelve) books on the Scottish best-seller list. The movie is The Ratcatcher, directed by a young woman named Lynne Ramsay. The film is beautifully directed, but I keep wondering who will go to see it. I prefer "up" movies. I am not interested in sitting in a dark room for an hour or more and not enjoy the experience. Sheena McDonald sits in front of us with a fellow I don't know. I don't bother them by interrupting. Ride to the Art College with Sid, Jenny and Ailsa. I am an "unsung hero" at the party by opening two windows to let fresh air inside an extremely hot and stuffy room. Penny Thomson reports that the BBC tells her "no" to a proposed documentary about yours truly. Talk with Bill Russell and he introduces me to various people. Also see David Steele and we exchange greetings. Mike and Mona introduce me to Stuart Cogsgrove, a television producer. Michael Kurcfeld introduces me to a young woman from L.A. called Susan. It's her first festival. She tells me she might write about the festival for an in-flight magazine.
Kyle and I leave the party and walk down Lothian Road. We decide to have a bite to eat and select the Italian restaurant next to Filmhouse. I see John Peter, the London Sunday Times drama critic, sitting with his friend, the novelist Judith Burnley. We exchange greetings. After we have had our pasta, we pay and prepare to leave. Pause to chat with John and Judith and he suggests we join them for a drink. We accept and stay for drinks, dessert and a good talk. A typical festival encounter, unexpected and fun.
Monday, 16th: Lots of morning telephone calls: Mike Shea, John Calder, Ernie Eban. Somehow mention Sheena McDonald and learn of her recent terrible accident. Poor Sheena. I hope she is on the road to recovery. Bus to Sundial with a bag of laundry, then taxi to Cameo to see the press screening of Run, Lola Run and cannot enter Cameo 2 because no more room. Make some photocopies in a place called Ali's Cave. The boss, Islam Raza, is very nice.
Walk to Filmhouse. See Willie and he reports Rangers beat Motherwell, 4-1. I see Helene G and we discuss the LM legal battle. I suggest they declare bankruptcy and start a new magazine entitled ML Magazine (Modern Libertines maybe).
Meet Kyle at the Book Fair press office. All the Ian Rankin events today are sold out. It is impossible for us to get tickets. My grandmother was a Rankin. Kyle elects to have a bite to eat and to stay in Charlotte Square to rest in the warm sunshine. I walk down George Street. Find a telephone and call Astrid Silins at her clinic. She reports John Lloyd is in Edinburgh. I ask her if she would like to go to the theatre with me, but she has plans to attend the Mandela event in the Book Festival. I call David and Roza. Roza has to meet some Russians this afternoon and cannot attend the Phyllis Roome performance with Kyle and me. Call Paris and no one answers. Call Frances Anderson and leave a message on her machine.
Walk to Assembly Rooms and encounter Liz Smith just as I am about to purchase an ice cream. We exchange news. Go into the club bar and see Bill Burdett Coutts, but he looks busy. We exchange smiles. Sit alone and ponder how the afternoon might unfold. A young couple from St.Petersburg asks if they may share my table. They are Igor Kopiloff and his wife, Julia. He is performing in a production here in the Assembly Rooms every day at 16.45. I promise to see it. They excuse themselves and rush off to get ready for the next performance. Bill B-C passes my table and tells me about his financial problems with the City Fathers. I promise to write a letter to The Scotsman when I am back in Paris. (And I do.) He asks if I have seen my photograph in the old club bar. Go out and sure enough it is there. I am hugging Frances Anderson. What a lovely lady she is! A very silly photograph. Either Geraint or Robbie took it, I think.
Walk and bus to York Place. I discover that Ricky Demarco's old school building is being demolished. What a shame. Continue to Sundial and collect my clean laundry. Back to Great King Street and call John Calder. He suggests we meet at the Edinburgh Arts Club at 7pm. Depart for the French Institute and meet Hayden Murphy in Royal Circus. He is rushing to catch a performance. Continue pass my old flat in 1 Doune Terrace to Randolph Crescent. Kyle is waiting. Phyllis Roome and Mathieu Eltassi are even better than when I last saw them perform in my atelier. Rachel McGill (in The Scotsman) writes "The play is sweetly simple but it is not predictable... Angloklaxons tells a beautiful, ordinary story of discovery, loneliness and longing without recourse to cliché." Afterwards go for a drink with her, Mathieu and two musicians from Paris.
Kyle and I arrive at the Arts Club just as John exits a taxi. Len Fenton and his son, Toby, join us. We have a delightful dinner. Kyle is a big John Calder fan. Our waitress, Victoria Litton, is an actress and she tells me she is in the film The Big Tease. It will be screened in the Film Festival. I promise to try and see it. (Alas I fail.)
Taxi to Great King Street. Martin, our host, and Peter are up. We join them for a while.
Tuesday, 17th: Up at 9 for the daily shower, shave and shampoo. Make coffee for Martin and myself. Kyle awakes and asks the time. I report 9.30 and she elects to go back to sleep. I walk to Waterstone's in Princess Street to check on Celine's death. Kyle was right last night; it was 1961. Stroll to the West End and purchase The Big Issue from a street-seller. Bus to the Cameo for two press screenings. The first film is by a young Swedish director, Lukas Moodysson, and is entitled Show Me Love. It's a little jewel. Small town life in Sweden. Teen-agers seeking fun and a meaningful life. I love it. Then at 13.00, see a French-language film, Catherine Corsini's New Eve, which is about Camille, a liberated woman in Paris. It's also fun. The actress, Karin Viard, is superb.
Bump into Heinz Badewitz at Filmhouse and he says that Rainer Kölmel is in Edinburgh and he wants me to join them again this year for dinner in Venter's Room in Leith on Thursday evening. I accept, then realize that Kyle is cooking a dinner the same evening at Martin's.
Kyle and I attend the 4pm "Culture Wars" debate: Who and what decides which writers should feature in the literary canon. The panel includes Diane Wood, an American academic, Alan Taylor of The Scotsman, Jamie Byng, the Managing Editor and Publisher of Canongate Books, and Blake Morrrison, poet and writer. Jamie's position most closely matches mine. As you who know me might imagine, I feel each person must decide for one's self, that no one must dictate literary taste (or anything else) to others.
Go to John Calder's show, Damn Publishing, at 7pm with Kyle. It celebrates fifty years of independent publishing. It also celebrates forty years of my friendship with John. The heavy rain does its best to ruin it, but fails. We dine once again in the Edinburgh Arts Club. This time we have John's actress, Irene MacDougall with us. But she is very upset because she has lost her handbag. Leonard Fenton, Sheila Colvin and Kyle also participate in this celebration. Other diners join us. A superb dinner. Alas Victoria, the actress/waitress from last night, is not on duty tonight. (She did tell me she is stopping.)
Walk afterwards to the Assembly Rooms and meet Michele Banks in the club bar. She introduces me to her handsome brother, Gernaul, who is a dancer. I tell her about Martin's party.
Wednesday, 18th: Up at 7.45. Have coffee in the kitchen with Peter. He departs for his office and I read yesterday's Scotsman. Major earthquake in Turkey today. I hope all my friends are OK.
I taxi to the Cameo in Toll Cross to see a press screening of Cabaret Balkan. The press screening for The Big Tease is the same hour, so cannot see it. Lots of familiar scenes of downtown Belgrade. I fully expect to see friends. I like the film and suspect it might be a critical success. (Maybe even a commercial one as well.) Spot Willie and he attempts to get me to stay for Judy Berlin, another screening. I say I cannot handle another film. Walk to the film festival pressroom. Bump into Stephanie Noblett and she tells me that she is now the Lyceum Theatre press lady. She is a pretty lady!
Walk to the Traverse. I see Yvonne is in a meeting with Philip Howard and two other people. I wave and sit nearby. Start to write a note for Yvonne, but she joins me before I finish. We have coffee and discuss seeing the production that uses Jacques Brel songs. I promise to get tickets for tonight. Leave her and walk to the Assembly Rooms and purchase tickets for Brel for tonight and for Berkoff's Women on Friday. See Liz Smith and ask her if she would like to come with me to John Calder's tonight, but she has tickets to the ballet.
Go to Great King Street and write a letter to Paul Getty about a possible tea date on my way back to Paris. Kyle has decided to cook a big feast for Martin and a few friends. She and Martin will go shopping this afternoon. I walk up to the Frederick Street post office and post my letter to Paul plus a lot of postcards for Kyle. There is another Culture Wars discussion in the Book Festival on censorship. I stay a while, then slip out and walk to the Bank of Scotland in St. Andrew's Square. Withdraw 200 pounds from my account and thank Mrs. Maison. Call Paul Harris and he tells me he nearly died in Kosovo. We agree to lunch soon and he will tell me how a small hospital in the south of Italy saved him. Visit briefly with David Petherick in his office in Forth Street. He gives me a cup of tea and introduces me to another David. Roza is at the airport collecting people. Head for Café Graffiti and bump into Philippe Dallais, one of the musicians from the Orient Express Moving Shnores who I met via Phyllis Roome. He introduces me to Jimmy (the manager) and to another musician with the group. I promise to try and catch a performance. (Alas I don't.) I have a chocolate milk shake. Spot Pete Simpson. He is busy talking with someone, so don't interrupt.
Bus to Charlotte Square. Sit behind a woman I recognize from last year's film festival press desk. She is very pretty. She tells me she is off for a trip around the world (with her boyfriend) and hopes to finance the trip by writing travel pieces for Scotland on Sunday. She tells me she has a travel piece in next Sunday's paper on Cuba. (I look in the travel pages for the next two Sundays and never find it.)
I enter the Book Festival at the same time as Alex and Patricia Neish. They introduce me to a woman they are with. As I suspect, they are going to John Calder's Damn Publishing. Alex and Patricia are friends of John's ex-wife, Bettina Jonic. I also see Mario Relich. I see John Calder and he tells me that Len Fenton has not appeared yet. I tell him not to worry that I can always take over Len's role. But there is some good news: John's actress, Irene MacDougall, found her purse. (She had left it yesterday in the Book Festival café.)
Just before the performance begins, Len appears and I do not have to perform. I whisper in John's ear that Alex and Patricia Neish are in the audience. John suspects they are spying for Bettina. Once again it is an excellent performance celebrating John's many successes as an independent literary publisher. Good for John! They are all going to the Edinburgh Arts Club again. I beg out because I have a date with Sophia Malczewska. She and I stroll slowly down to Stockbridge and to Maison Hector. Joseph greets us and we learn that a pretty Alison will be our waitress tonight. After we have ordered, Soph's boyfriend, Mark, joins us. He and Soph are moving to Verona after the festival. I learn that Mark speaks Russian and that he spent a year in St.Petersburg. We talk a long time about Russia and Poland. Soph and Mark lived last year in Poznan. Soph tells me that she enjoyed Polonaise by Piers Paul Read, a book I gave her last festival.
Leave them and go out to hail a taxi. I am successful. I see a young woman nearby is also looking for a taxi, so offer her a ride in mine. I get out at George Street (give her my fare) and she continues to the King's Theatre. Chat with Stef at the Assembly Rooms and he tells me his grandfather came to Britain from Poland. Inside I say hello to Dave Fulton and tell him that I attended his performance in Paris at the Hotel du Nord and that Karel Beer introduced us afterwards. He says he remembers and that Karel is in Edinburgh. Geraint Lewis walks up and I introduce them. I ask him about Melody and he says she is home resting. Then I learn that she is expecting a child. Suddenly Karel walks out of the club bar and we embrace. More introductions. I go into the club bar and Karel introduces me to Jimeoin, a comedian from Australia. Then I meet a woman from Australia and two fellows. One of the men, David, is a ventriloquist performing in the Pleasance.
It's time for me to start looking for Yvonne. Go out to see if she is in the queue and meet Elena Kachkova and her husband, Nigel Wilkes. They introduce me to another fellow. Find Yvonne and we go into the Ballroom for the 23.45 production of Jacques Brel's Anonymous Society. It is superb. I can understand why it is one of the hits of the festival.
Thursday, 19th: Shian Holt calls me to the telephone. It is Astrid. She asks if I am going to Mike and Mona for drinks and if I would like to go to a concert with her afterwards. Alas I cannot go to the concert, but I will see her at Mike and Mona's. Check call-minder and I have five messages: Xaviera Hollander, Karolina Blåberg, Sean Hignett, Michael Kurcfeld, and Sophia Malczewska. I know how to find all of them except Karolina and she did not leave a number. Joy Hendry calls and we agree to meet at the pub across from her home in Broughton Street in about 20 minutes. Quickly out the door and deposit some laundry at Sundial and up the street to the pub. Joy is sitting at her favorite table in the back room. We have a long talk about her spider bite. It seems it happened in Budapest. She tells me there is a show from Budapest she wants me to see. Before she rushes off to the clinic to have her wound dressed, I purchase two issues of her magazine, Chapman.
Leave her and walk to the bus stop. Meet Mel and congratulate her for the coming birth. She departs to take breakfast to Geraint. I notice a big poster for Ennio Marchetto. He opens the 25th in Martin's theatre, the Palladium. Bus to High Street. Enter the international news shop and purchase a New Yorker (with pieces by Alastair Reid, Isabel Hilton, Ryszard Kapuscinski and other pals). Kyle is going to a Beckett production at 2pm today, but I think I will go another day. Walk down Johnson Terrace and meet the beauty that performs on the High Street. She gives me a warm hello. Then I realize that she came to a Sunday dinner with her handsome brother. Her name is Anna Neal. What a beauty she is! She is dressed in her music box outfit. Invite her and her brother tonight and tomorrow night. Continue to the film festival pressroom. Talk with the sweet young woman from Spain and a pretty redhead about the movie, The Big Tease. Bump into Sabine and Rainer on my way out. I report I received their invitation and that I am coming tonight, but that I have to leave early to attend a second dinner at my host's apartment. We discuss going for a bowl of soup, Sabine reminds Rainer that they have to see a sick friend in a hospital. But they do have time to show me photos of their new place in the south of France. Bump into Angus Wolfe Murray and he asks me about my legal problems with Emile-the-Rat. I give him a quick report. Go to the Traverse to see Yvonne. See Philip, but no sign of Yvonne. Call Kyle to tell her that I am not going to the Beckett production with her, but get the BT answering service. Telephone John Peter and invite him and Judith to Kyle's dinner tonight and to Martin's party tomorrow. Tell him that John Calder and I talked lovingly about him a few days ago.
At Filmhouse, order a bowl of tomato and spinach soup. Sit with Willie's cousin, Sally. When she departs, sit at a nearby table with Ailsa. Sid and Helene join us. Willie and John pass.
Bus to York Place. Hot chocolate in the Lost Sock. Read both Paul Harris and Michael Coveney in The Daily Mail. Michael's review of Five O' Clock Angel by Kit Hesketh-Harvey makes me want to see it. Collect laundry. Bus 13 to Great King Street. Kyle tells me she enjoyed the Beckett performance. She is busy preparing a Tex-Mex dinner. I rest a while. Then bus up the Mound to Mike and Mona's. Margaret and Malcolm Morgan are present. Also Sandy and Gina Mountford. And Bill Russell, the Arts Editor of The Herald. Then Astrid Silins arrives. It's very pleasant and intimate. With the best view in Edinburgh! Astrid is going to a concert in Usher Hall. I walk with her. Then taxi to Leith and the Vintner's Room. Rainer and Sabine give me a warm welcome. Two angels. Also present are Ray Milne and Jurgen Labenski. Plus Heinz Badewitz and Ursula Böser. And Mary Davies. Plus Jim Hickey. Another fantastic meal. I apologize and slip away before the dessert. Taxi to Great King Street and another dinner. Kyle has made a feast. There are lots of people: Martin Burke, John Calder, Sheila Colvin, Phyllis Roome, Michael Kurcfeld, Astrid Silins.
Friday, 20th: Kyle sleeps. She came to bed very late. I get up at 9 and make a pot of coffee. The doorbell rings and Shian Holt answers it. It's a city official for Martin, something to do with his car. Today is Sir Gus Macdonald's birthday. Happy birthday, Gus! Tonight Martin Burke is hosting a big festival party. I suspect it is going to be a wild affair. Call John Lloyd and give him Martin Burke's address. He says he will try to come to the party tonight.
Go to our bedroom and Kyle asks the time. She says Martin is an angel. She also says she departs for London tomorrow and she will miss Edinburgh. I congratulate her on the feast she prepared last night. Sit quietly and study festival programmes and realize there are so many things I wish to see.
13.15, attend Berkoff's Women with Linda Marlowe "at her stunning best". Have a drink with Joyce McMillan and Michael Coveney afterwards in the club bar. Michael tells me a terrible story about a swimming accident the 11th of September last year. And how a French nurse maybe saved his life. Linda Marlowe enters and we all tell her how great we think she is. Linda tells me she dined in my home on a Sunday night about eight years ago. We also talk about Fran Landesman, a mutual friend. Peta Lily comes over and I tell her that I plan to see her show, Topless. Someone introduces me to Benny Chia, the Fringe Director of the Hong Kong Fringe Festival, and to his assistant, Catherine. Benny says that he purchased my autobiography, Thanks for Coming!, years ago at the Demarco Gallery, read it and enjoyed it. I congratulate him! He is among the selected few. Give him a newsletter and invite him to call when he is next in Paris. Catherine too.
15.30, attend old pal Suzanne Brøgger's event in the Book Festival. Ben Twist introduces her, but I really think I should have done it. I have known her about 30 years. She reads from a new novel, Cat of Jade, to be published in English next year. Walk afterwards to try and find Ricky Demarco. Bump into Suzanne and Michael Søby (the Cultural Attaché with the Danish Embassy in London) and give them directions to Susanne's hotel. No luck finding Ricky. Realize that I am near Edith Simon's home in Grosvenor Crescent. Knock on her door and tell her that she is wonderful. She asks if I would come on Sunday morning for a sitting. She would like to paint my portrait. I tell her that I would be honored and will, of course, come.
Walk to the Traverse and cannot find Yvonne. Cross over to Filmhouse and get myself a cup of hot chocolate. Amy makes it for me. See Ailsa and Sid and ask if I can get something for them. She orders coffee with cold milk and he gets a n orange juice with soda water.
Slowly make my way by to the Book Festival and attend an event entitled Cultural Identity with Susanne Brøgger on the panel. I make a brief statement about being an Earthling, a World Citizen.
Martin Burke's party is wild. A couple arrives to meet me via Yvonne McDevitt. They are Beth Lincks and Donald Maass. She has written the play (under the name Arlene Hutton), "Last Train to Nibroc". He runs a literary agency in Manhattan. I tell her I have already a ticket for next Wednesday. She says that Hal Prince will be coming to the same performance. They are also with a young woman who is the production assistant. Soline McLain is from New Orleans. She will be 19 years young at midnight tonight. It seems that Beth purchased a copy of one of my People to People books in a bookshop in New York. She read that I was the founder of the Traverse Theatre. When she met Yvonne yesterday, Yvonne told her I was in Edinburgh and invited her to Martin's party. They were a bit nervous about coming but I assure them they are very welcome. At midnight I lead the singing of Happy Birthday to Soline. There are so many people and a lot of drama. Dvora and Joelle, from Paris, are upset with Herzmark about a key and the fact they cannot return to Herzmark's and their beds. There is a pretty Nathalie from the Canadian Bookshop in Paris who I seemed to have invited. She is having a great time. Astrid Silins looks fabulous! Michael Kurcfeld seems to be enjoying himself. Meet an editor from The Guardian, Dan Glaister, who tells me he loved my piece about John Calder that he published. I think Mel and Geraint Lewis introduced me to Dan. Talk a long time with Shian Holt's sister, Sarah. Peter van Staveren takes a lot of photographs. Kyle cooked so much food last night that there is lots of it for tonight's guests. I have some and it is still delicious. Michele Banks is present with her pal, Rona Thomson. Talk briefly with Jennifer Willies. Frances Anderson arrives, looking ravishing, and introduces me to a theatre director from Budapest, László Magács. He invites me to his production and I promise to attend. Martin, our host, is certainly enjoying his party. That's nice. People are dancing wildly and I pray the floor is super strong. There is one extremely tall beauty from the north of Scotland. Her name is Yvonne. Stumble into bed about 3am. The noise level is ear-splitting. Kyle and I fully expect the police to arrive at any minute. About 6am it begins to get quiet.
Saturday, 21st: Kyle departs for London this afternoon. She will be missed. And I know she will miss Edinburgh. She has had a great time. Get up at 10am to survey the mess. Make coffee for myself and go into the living room to begin cleaning up. The door bell rings and I buzz the DJ up. The tall beauty from last night was his girlfriend, Yvonne. He says they are not speaking. Yes, it was a wild party. There is a message for me via BT call-minder from Paul Getty's secretary. He is expecting me for tea. Kyle comes alive. After she has dressed and had coffee, she wants to walk to Princess Street one last time to purchase some magic soap and natural beauty items. I walk with her and she says over and over how much she has enjoyed Edinburgh, seeing the festival with me, staying with Martin Burke, spending time with John Calder, with Yvonne McDevitt, etc. There is something at 2pm I want to see (an interview with David Mamet in Filmhouse 1) and something at 3.30 in the Book Festival (Herta Müller), but it is impossible. I want to see Kyle off, but I don't want her to leave. Suddenly she is on the train and it leaves the station for London. Goodbye, wonderful friend, I am so pleased you enjoyed Edinburgh.
Go to the Film Festival pressroom and pick up a Guardian. Walk over to the Traverse to find Yvonne. No luck. Sit on the steps of Usher Hall and read The Guardian. Terrible news about the earthquake in Turkey. There is some good news. Greece seems to be helping Turkey. Geraint Lewis walks pass and we talk. Then Jimmy Boyle appears and we have a talk. I see Ricky's brother sitting at a bench. Walk over and say hello and give him my Guardian.
Cross over to Filmhouse and see Heinz and Yvonne. It is Yvonne's last day with the Traverse. Meet also Troy Kennedy Martin and he sits with Yvonne and me. Excuse myself to call Astrid and she invites me to a quiet dinner in her place in Leith Walk.
Leave Yvonne and Troy and taxi to Timber Bush. Her sister, Ingrid, and Ingrid's husband, Jim Kempston, will join us. Two friends of Astrid's pass for a drink. The woman is from China and practices traditional Chinese medicine and is treating Astrid's shoulder. Dinner is a wonderful lamb stew. Conversation is mainly focused on the festival and mutual friends. Jim and Ingrid drop me at Great King Street. (They also invite me to lunch Saturday, the 28th.) Upstairs I find my host recovering from last night's bacchanale. It's still early and I am not tired, so decide to walk to the Assembly Rooms to buy tomorrow's Scotsman.
Warm greetings from Stef. He reports no sightings of Frances Anderson. After a quick look in both bars, I decide to check out the Traverse. There I spot a tall attractive blonde who gives me a heart-breaking smile. It's Scott Griffith's beautiful daughter, Sara. She says she fully expected to find me here. Sara has been at the Film Festival's premiere of the David Mamet film, The Winslow Boy. Sara and her old pal, Rebecca Pidgeon (Mrs. Mamet), are in the film. Sara introduces me to Rebecca's brother, Matthew, who is also in the film. For some reason, we talk about John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Paul McCarthy, Linda Eastman. I tell my story on how I knew each of them before they knew each other. (Except John and Paul of course.) We talk about the Arts Lab in London and our video cinema. (Thanks, in part, to an Ampex video recorder that was a gift from John Lennon.) Sara tells me about her recent visit to the south of France to see Scott and Barbara. She tells me about her son and daughter. I ask Sara to pass my greetings to her husband, John, and to the wonderful Rebecca Pidgeon.
Walk over to Filmhouse and see the pretty skinny waitress, Mel. She asks me to see her short film next Wednesday. (Alas I fail her request.) On my way out, Lee spots me. She and Linda Graham hand me a lot of publicity material for a series of dance productions.
Walk to Princess Street. Stop in Macdonalds for a small ice cream. The place is packed with young people, all having a good time. I cannot be anti-Macdonalds. It is what it is. Stroll down the hill to Great King Street. Sit in Martin's kitchen and read Scotland on Sunday.
Sunday, 22nd: Kyle would close the curtains every night before going to bed. I didn't last night, so awake early to a room full of light. Get up and make a pot of coffee. Telephone rings and it is Sean Hignett. We agree to meet at one of his favorite restaurants tonight, the Jolly, next to Valvona & Krolla. Xaviera calls and offers me a ticket to go with her to the King's Theatre tomorrow evening. I accept. Go into the kitchen and find Peter. Tell him to help himself to the coffee. Check call-minder and there is a message for me from a fellow whose name I cannot catch. It seems he is a friend of Ernie Eban's and he seeks advice regarding a trip he is about to make to Cuba. After I have washed and dressed, taxi for Edith Simon's. She makes me another cup of coffee and suggests that I tell her the story of my life while she sketches. Later I sit in her front room and wait for Astrid. Discover that Edith has written a dozen books or more. I read several chapters of Luther Alive and find it delightful. There is a quotation from Dorothy Parker in Esquire. It is so good I make a note of it and quote it here. On Edith's book, The Great Forgery, "It seems to me on reading this dazzling satire that Miss Simon knows more than anyone else in the world, from painters and the techniques of painting on to her mastery of the fanciest steps in the complicated pavanne of sex. Brilliantly written."
Astrid arrives and makes a quick inspection of Edith's exhibition. Then we excuse ourselves and drive in the blue convertible to George Street where we sit outside and have hot chocolate. We share our table with the movie critic from the Manchester Evening News and his wife. She is eating a dish of three kinds of pasta that looks superb.
We walk to the Assembly Rooms. Astrid tells me bad news. John Lloyd had his apartment in London robbed. He left Edinburgh in a hurry to see what has been stolen. Poor John. I learn that his computer is missing. It contained a book in progress. Oh no!
Astrid has two tickets to a one-man show. I have no idea of what it is. There is a strange kind of excitement in not knowing anything about what is soon to unfold. And it is delightful. The piece is entitled Lyrebird: Tales of Helpmann. The actor Tyler Coppin has written (and performs) this one-man show about Robert Helpmann, the Australian dancer, choreographer, actor and director. We go up to the pressroom to thank Julia Holt, the show's producer.
I suggest to Astrid that she come with me to a party that Michelle Banks is giving this afternoon. She says OK. We drive across the Meadows. Michele introduces us to everyone. There are at least two people from the Jacques Brel show, Betty Vermeulen (from Holland) and Tom Zahner (from USA but lives in Dusseldorf). Tell them how much I loved their production. Also talk with Rona Thomson and Keith Adams. Rona says she enjoyed "my" party. Adam does something with computers. There is also the director of the Budapest theatre piece, Laodamai, László. We met with Frances Anderson, at Martin's party. He is with two attractive women, Sara Moffat and Riley Salyards. Astrid has to depart. I stay and continue to talk with lots of people. Soon it is time for me to head for my meeting with Sean. I elect to walk and after I have thanked Michele, I find myself leaving at the same time as the lovely actress, Betty Vermeulen.
We stroll slowly through the Meadows to George Square and on to the Pleasance. She has a date to see something and I continue to Leith Walk. Meet Sean and we have our usual Edinburgh Festival dinner. Lots of talk about mutual friends. We leave the Jolly and cross the street to Giuliano's. The proprietor, Giuliano Binanti, and Sean are friends. They go mushroom picking together. Sean and I have a dessert and some sparkling wine. Giuliano will not let us pay. I insist he call me when he is next in Paris.
Sean drops me at the Assembly Rooms but I cannot remember how the evening unfolds.
Monday, 23rd: Make coffee at 9am. Check the BT answering service and I have a call from Jack in Amsterdam and one from Rex Pyke in the west of Scotland. Too early to call Jack, so call Rex and he says he will come to Edinburgh on Wednesday and stay four days. I get a call from Phyllis Roome and she tells me that a woman from Independent on Sunday said her show was the best she had seen in the festival. That's certainly nice. Roza calls to say she wants to see me. Martin gets up, has coffee and reports he will try to see Phyllis Roome's show this afternoon. I read about six newspapers. I call Jack in Amsterdam and Rémy answers. He reports Jack has gone out and is expected back in an hour or so. I chat with Martin while he irons his shirts. He will go to the Palladium and try to get tickets for Phyllis Roome and her kids to see Gumboots, an extravaganza of song and dance. We also talk about tickets for Ennio Marchetto's opening next Wednesday.
Leave Great King Street and walk to the Assembly Rooms. See Julia Holt and thank her once again for the Tyler Coppin show. Walk to the Book Festival and find Alison Kennedy waiting outside for a lunch date who is late. We talk about Bob Kingdom and the festival until Don Paterson arrives and takes her away. Go inside and visit with Lisa Torrance. Then gossip with Colin Bell.
Walk to Filmhouse, then to the film festival press room, then to the Traverse. Decide to have a bowl of soup. John Pavin joins me and we have a long talk about films, Willie and life. Leave the Traverse and walk to Charlotte Square. Spot Faith Liddel and we have a brief conversation. She looks like Greta Garbo with her dark sunglasses. Sit and scribble a few notes. See Mario R stroll pass. Get up and purchase some shortbread. Hundreds of young school kids enter. I see Faith and she tells me that the Book Festival has been a great success with school kids. They all seem to be enjoying themselves. We talk about Colin Bell and the panel discussion on "cultural identify". Faith tells me about Colin's book, Scotland's Century - An Autobiography of a Nation. We walk over to a Book Tent and she shows it to me. It's delightfully produced.
Briefly attend a Claudio Magris event in the Book Festival at 15.30. Then at 16.45 rush to The Assembly Rooms to see Farces, a performance without words by a company called Fantasia from St. Petersburg. Sweet and delightful.
Rush to the King's Theatre by taxi and arrive at 18.15. Greet Xaviera and Michael Coveney. Then introduce them to each other. Inside the King's, I see Brian MacMaster and say hello to him. Introduce him to Xaviera and he introduces me to his assistant. Also spot Jane Frere and we chat briefly. She is a sweet lady. Tonight we are entering The Sleepwalker's by Hermann Broch (Part 1), which is over four hours. And there are two more parts on other nights. Translated from the German, performed in Polish (with subtitles in English) by the Stary Theatre Company from Krakov. It's an amazing evening. I must confess I enjoy it. Total madness. Beautifully directed and acted. Extremely slow. Xaviera leaves after about two hours. I keep changing seats.
Leave the King's with Nicholas de Jongh and he pauses to say hello to someone. It is Charles Spencer, the Drama Critic of the Daily Telegraph. (Charles Spencer wrote some kind words about me a few years ago and I have always wanted to thank him, but I do not realize it is he until we are almost at Lothian Road.) Walk home very late. Discover Ed Jones has arrived from Budapest.
Tuesday, 24th: Up at 9 and talk with Shian and her fella, Mark Quinn. Make coffee. They go out. Martin gets up. Shave, shower, shampoo. Take the #13 bus to Sundial and leave a bundle of laundry. Take another bus to Charlotte Square. Briefly visit with Faith Liddel, Lisa Torrance, and Claire Fox. Walk to Hope Street post office and post a card to Michael Ockrent in Manhattan and to Benny Puigrefagut in London. Purchase a doughnut in front of the Caledonian Hotel. Continue to Traverse and Jan too busy to gossip. Stroll to the film festival pressroom and sit and read The Guardian, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail. Michael Coveney liked Cooking with Elvis by old friend, Lee Hall. Also in the Mail, an article by A.N.Wilson who attacks the Bishop of Edinburgh, Richard Holloway, for his recently published book, Godless Morality (Canongate). Bishop Holloway sounds delightful. There is a semi-obscene article in The Scotsman with the headline: London club bids for festival venue. In the article it states that the Edinburgh Town Council put out invitations seeking offers to operate the Assembly Rooms. Don't these fools realize and appreciate what William Burdett Coutts has accomplished? I am shocked by their callousness.
A fellow from Switzerland asks if I will go to his screening, Imagining Reality, this afternoon. Alas I cannot. I have a ticket for Nixon's Nixon at the same hour. I see Michael Kurcfeld and he tells me he has recovered his lost address book. He bumped into a woman, told her he needed her telephone number again because he had lost his address book. She says she saw an address book in the bookshop on the corner of Lothian Road. Michael rushes there and lo and behold, it is his.
Walk across to Filmhouse and no sign of Willie, John, Sid, Ailisa, Helene, or anyone I know. Bus to High Street and go to the Fringe Press office and meet Charlotte di Corpo. She has lost her voice. She gives me a ticket for Laodamia for 8pm and for Peta Lily in Topless at 10pm tonight and for Steven Allan Green at 10pm tomorrow. Walk to Canongate and leave a message for Jamie. Outside in the free fudge shop, encounter Sarah Moffat and Riley Salyards. We three eat some fudge then walk to Cyberia in Hanover Street. They want to check their e-mail. I treat them to cups of coffee. I have a hot chocolate and a chorizo and cheese toastie. Rush to the Assembly Rooms for the 3 o'clock production of Nixon's Nixon. See Claire Fox and she sits with me. We sit next to a Tamsin from Bristol. The performance of the two actors playing Nixon and Kissinger is riveting. Go to the pressroom to thank Liz Smith and she is not there. But say hello to Troy Kennedy Martin instead.
us to Broughton Street and collect a bundle of clean laundry. Bus to Great King Street. I have a telephone message from Roy Hanlon. Ed Jones arrives and washes the dishes. I start a letter to The Scotsman regarding Bill Burdett Coutts and Richard Demarco.
Walk to the Spanish restaurant, the Tapas Tree, and dine alone. Chat briefly with the proprietor, Luis Letelier-Lobos, and mention David and Roza.
Bus to Chambers Street to the old Adams House theatre where Jane Quigley performed the lead role in Orpheus Descending back in 1960 and I was an off-stage voice shouting "Rope, get rope" in the final minutes of the play. Am surprised to encounter Anne Goring and she introduces me to a bunch of people. Talk with a woman from Budapest also going to the performance. Her name is Andrea Gáncs. The Merlin Theatre of Budapest's production of Laodamia is based upon a classic Hungarian poem which I find extremely difficult to follow. Finally I decide to enjoy the performance as dance-theatre and then it works for me. Three extremely attractive young women with great bodies move about the stage. They are divine! Drinks with the cast upstairs afterwards and fall in love with one of the dancers, Orla Fitzgerald, from Cork. She is divine!
Walk to Peta Lily's performance entitled Topless. It's very personal and very revealing. Peta opens up and talks to the audience about "life and death, love and hate, sex and sticking plaster, table dancing and breasts". Not at all what I expected. Very moving. I want to stay and tell her how much I admire her guts, but I don't. Not sure why. I agree with Time Out: extremely funny crackpot glamorous.
Walk toward Princess Street. See a woman walking near me who was in the Peta Lily show. Engage her in conversation and she turns out to be John Malcolm's ex-wife, Tamara. Bizarre. We walk and talk all the way the East End of Princess Street. And exchange addresses.
Wednesday, 25th: Get a call from Ann Thompson who invites me to lunch on Friday. I call Roy Hanlon and arrange to go to his place for a coffee. He lives less then a three minutes from Martin's. We talk about my legal problems. He tells me that he and Tom Conti are concerned. Leave Roy and walk toward George Street. Half way there I realize I left my umbrella at Roy's place, so back I go. Change directions and this time go up Hanover Street, pass Henderson's, to Assembly Rooms. Stick my head into the pressroom. Liz Smith is not there, so give one of her assistants a kiss instead. I have missed two press screenings I wanted to attend as well as Alison Kennedy's event in the Book Festival. Damn.
Walk to Charlotte Square. I see Faith Liddel picking up trash. Chat with Lisa Torrance. She tells me that Theodore Zeldin has sold out, but if I appear at 18.15, she will slip me inside. Walk to the doughnut kiosk and purchase one with cinnamon. It's warm and delicious. At Filmhouse I sit with Helene. Sid and Ailsa join us. I have a bowl of soup. Walk over to the Traverse and bump into Chris Thompson. He says that Anne will be calling me. I report she called this morning and that I will lunch with him this Friday. Then bump into Willie and we discuss the film festival and the possibility of having lunch together before he departs for London. Geraint Lewis and Robbie Jack appear. They have been upstairs having coffee. We three bemoan the insensitivity on the part of the Town Council vis-a-vis Bill Burdett Coutts. Stephanie Noblett stops to say hello. Her arms are full of flowers. Penny Thompson stands nearby talking with someone and we exchange smiles. I go upstairs and read Michael Coveney's review of the Stary Theatre's performance at the King's Theatre. Begin to read The Guardian. Say hello to Faynia and tell her we will lunch together Friday. Someone asks to borrow a chair next to me and it is Bob Flynn. He is with an attractive woman. We three have a long talk. Her name is Nicole Dillon and she is from Orlando, Florida. We talk about Xaviera Hollander and The Happy Hooker. We also talk about Cynthia Payne and the two movies made about her life: Wish You Were Here and Personal Services. (Back in Paris, just after writing these words, I decide to call Cynthia in London and send her my love and greetings.) Adrian Belic joins us; he has a movie in the festival entitled Genghis Blues. He tells me he read the Ruth Bonapace interview with me years ago in the United Airlines in-flight magazine and always wanted to meet me and attend a Sunday night dinner. He pulls out his electronic address book and sure enough, there I am.
Walk to the Assembly Rooms and stand in the queue for the 16.15 production, Last Train to Nibroc. Talk to the woman behind me and she turns out to be an editor at Doubleday. Her name is Joanna Goldsworthy. We enter the Wildwood Room and we find ourselves sitting behind three reserved seats. I suspect they are reserved for Mr. and Mrs. Hal Prince and myself. And I am right. Beth Lincks enters and leads Hal Prince and his wife to the reserved seats. She spots me and introduces us. She indicates that one of the seats is for me. I thank her and elect to stay with Joanna. Beth tells them that I created the Traverse Theatre. I lean forward and say that we have at least one common friend. When I mention Jane Alexander, Hal replies that his wife went to Sarah Lawrence University with Jane Quigley (as she then was). I say I created the Traverse for Jane. We get no further. The show begins. It's pure Tennessee Williams minus the angst. Beautifully written, impeccably directed and acted, it depicts an America when America was innocent. It's tender and innocent and beautifully done. The two actors, Benim Foster and Alexandra Geis, are outstanding. A joy! Afterwards we all congratulate Beth. Hal Prince says that he and his wife will come to Paris in January and will call me. Joanna Goldsworthy and I say our farewells.
Wander down to the Book Festival and sit in the café tent, have an orange juice and scribble a few notes. Claire Fox sits at a table nearby with her LM crew. They are a sweet bunch: Jane Clinton, Jim Panton & Munira Mirza, and Sandy Starr.
At 18.30, Lisa Torrance slips me into the Spiegeltent to hear Theodore Zeldin talk about conversation. He attempts to create a dialogue with the audience. He goes off on a number of tangents and one of them deals with "work". I put forward my idea about "fullering" and he fails to understand what I am talking about. Very disappointing. But a number of people from the audience come up to meet me afterwards. One woman, Carol Stobie from Edinburgh, says that she has read my little manifesto, Workers, and loved it so much that she purchased a dozen copies and passed them to friends. Carol wants more copies. I give her my address and tell her and the others that they are welcome to call and come for dinner whenever they are in Paris.
Go to Palladium Theatre to see Ennio Marchetto with Martin and Ed Jones. Chat with Ennio and Glennis (his agent) before the show. He is pleased to see me and asks about Jack in Paris. Just before the audience enters, we have "a scene" with Karen Koren who "suggests" we move upstairs. We end up with better seats. Ennio is, as always, fantastic!
Dine afterwards with Ed Jones, Martin Burke, Peter Irvine and a fellow called Neil Butler in a new restaurant called, I think, "Wow" in Broughton Street. Neil says he was a fan of The Arts Lab in London.
Thursday, 26th: Go looking for Yvonne. Not to be found in the Traverse. Maybe she is in Starbucks. Not there either. Decide to go to the film festival pressroom and encounter Rex Pyke. He says he was just about to call me. I suggest we go to the Traverse for coffee because I would like to see Yvonne. We have coffee and exchange news. I bring him up to date with my Emile-the-Rat case and my plan to create a Paris Arts Club with theatre, cinema, and restaurant. Rex tells me about his involvement with an ex-hospital in Covent Garden which will contain a film school. We talk about the earthquake in Turkey and Mussafer and her brother. And we talk about Heathcote Williams, Jack Moore, Peregrine Eliot, and lots of other friends. Suddenly spot Yvonne and she comes over and I make introductions. Yvonne wants me to meet her new boss, Ian Rickson, the Artistic Director of the English Stage Company. I get a good feeling about him straight away. Yvonne also introduces me to Eric Barlow, (an actor), to Ros Steen (a voice teacher), and to Maggie Dickson (an actress).
Rex, Yvonne and I go upstairs to a place called Blue and have lunch. For some reason, tell them two "good lawyer" stories - one about Benny and one about Blaise Cendrars. Liz Lochhead dines across from us. Yvonne and I go over to say hello. She is with her Italian translators.
At 4pm attend another Culture Wars event in the Spiegeltent entitled "Brand Broadsheets: the Battle Between Facts and Comments. The panel consists of Roy Hattersley, Mick Hume, Magnus Linklater and Nicholas Jones. It's fun and stimulating. And I keep my mouth shut.
Back to the Traverse. Meet the two translators from Italy and we exchange addresses. Sara Soncini translates Liz Lochhead's theatre pieces and Adele d'Arianbelo translates her poetry. The Traverse staff is having a final drinks party for Yvonne. I have an orange juice and talk with a number of people. Yvonne introduces me to everyone. I have a date with Astrid, so must depart.
Rush to the Assembly Rooms club bar to meet Astrid Silins. She wants to introduce me to some people. One is a fellow from Latvia called Lauris Gundars and the other is a nice young guy from Australia. I think his name is Ian.
In the evening, Phyllis Roome cooks a fantastic dinner for lots of people at 84 Great King Street. I think Martin is falling in love with Phyllis and I don't blame him at all. She is wonderful!
Friday, 27th: Alarm rings at 6.20. Get up and call Yvonne McDevitt's home number. She answers and reports she is up, dressed and about to depart for Waverly and London. She thanks me for calling and wishes me fun times for the rest of the festival. I wish her luck with the English Stage Company and tell her that I will miss her. Go back to bed for another thirty minutes or so and get up again before 7. Lots of dreams about Paul Allen, meeting Boris Yeltsin in the Kremlin and talking about all this with Paul Getty.
Rush to the Café Royal Studio to see Five O'Clock Angel about Tennessee Willaims and Maria St Just. Written by Kit Hesketh-Harvey (with assistance from Maria St. Just), Nichola McAuliffe is partnered by Stefan Bednarczyk and the two of them give outstanding performances. I notice in the programme that this play is respectfully dedicated to Drue Heinz. That's nice. When I make my theatre in Paris, I would love to bring this production to Paris. Thanks (once again), Michael Coveney, for the tip.
Lunch with Ann and Christopher Thompson. Other guests include Richard Crane & Faynia Williams, (plus their son, Sam, and his girlfriend, Penny), Elisabeth Fairbairn, David Todd. Share a taxi with David who drops me at Great King Street.
Go to Film Festival pressroom. Sit with Ray Milne. Rex Pyke joins us.
Walk to Mr. Boni and have some ice cream. Three scoops! Stroll slowly toward the Cameo. Willie walks out just as I arrive. He reports Sean Connery is inside having a cup of tea with his wife and Lizzie Francke. I tell Willie about the time I met Sean many festivals ago in Ricky Demarco's gallery in Blackfriars Street. It was Ricky himself who introduced us. Ricky asked me if I had a copy of my autobiography. When I replied that I did, he suggested I sign a copy and give it to Sean. Sean graciously accepts it. Willie and I wonder aloud if he ever read it. Willie and I continue to Filmhouse.
Stand at a bus stop in front of Filmhouse and engage a young couple in conversation. She tells me she is in a play, Love to Madeleine by Craig Warner, and I promise to see it in the Pleasance. We jump on a bus and I get off in Princess Street and walk to Charlotte Square. I go to hear Jimmy Boyle in the Spiegeltent at 6.30 talk about his novel, Hero of the Underworld (Serpent's Tail). Steven Berkoff quote on the cover should help sales: In the vein of Jonathan Swift with a touch of William Burroughs. Chat briefly with Peter Ayrton, the publisher. Samra Turajlic tells me she has started her medical studies in London.
Eat a pastrami sandwich in the Assembly Rooms. Bus to Chambers Street and walk to a theatre in the Bridges to see the Ken Campbell show. Yvonne asked me to say hello to Ken. Her brother, Roddy, is married to his daughter, Daisy. But I don't.
Bus to Princess Street to see Steven Alan Green's Viagra Falls! in the Café Royal Studio at 23.00. See Herzmark, Tamsin, and Earl. Show starts and there is a difficult audience. Steven "fires" the audience and walks off the stage.
Walk home via The Assembly Rooms and purchase a Scotsman. Find Martin, Ed and Carmen sitting at the kitchen table. Ed is videotaping her.
Saturday, 28th: Up at 9.30. Make coffee. Read today's (and yesterday's) Scotsman. Carmen gets up and announces she has a hang-over. I quickly shave, shower and shampoo. Sit and read the TLS - an article by Germaine Greer (about Ottawa and Manhattan), a column by Hugo Williams, a piece by Jim Campbell, and letters from Nicholas Lezard and Michael Horovitz. Next read The New Yorker and a piece by Ryszard Kapuscinski (Hitchhiking Across the Sarara). Martin gets up and has his morning coffee. I make a few telephone calls: Paul Harris, Roza, Ann Demarco, Michele Banks, Frances Anderson, John Lloyd, Sheila Colvin.
Lunch with Jim & Ingrid Kempston plus Susan & Michael Lagor (from Calif/London). Jim has cooked a feast for us. Susan and Michael are delightful. (So, too, are Jim & Ingrid!)
Attend the last performance of Mikhail Bulgakov's Zoyka's Apartment in a small theatre in the Cowgate called The Attic at 16.30. An attractive brunette sits behind me and stretches her long legs out near me. Mikhail Bulgakov's "tragic-comic masterpiece is set during Moscow's 'Roaring Twenties'... on the fifth floor of a once exclusive Moscow apartment building, Madame Zoyka plans to flee Russia and join the aristocratic exiles in Paris. But first, visas must be bought, officials bribed, money must be made!" - to quote the programme notes. I enjoy the performance. The small audience is even encouraged to participate when vodka is passed to us. When it is over, one part of me wants to stay and talk with the cast, another part wants to follow the Brunette. She wins. We chat briefly and she tells me she is up from London with her boyfriend. I guess I should have stayed and talked with the cast.
Walk to the Filmhouse. About 10pm, stroll down Lothian Road. A fellow walking toward me suddenly hits me on my left shoulder. Then he takes one step away from me and attempts to kick me. For one quick moment, I have an opportunity to grab his foot and flip him over. It could be a severe fall for him. But I step back, stare at him, and continue walking toward the West End. Ponder what has just happened to me - in Edinburgh of all places.
Try to find Ricky Demarco at one of his venues in Palmerston Street. No luck. Walk to the Assembly Rooms and tell Stef on my Lothian Road adventure. I wonder what Stef would have done. See Sara Moffat, Riley Salyards, Michele Banks, Rona Thomson, Tom Zahner and Betty Vermeulen. And the wonderful Orla Fitzgerald! Sit with them for a while.
At 23.45 walk the short distance to the Hill Street Theatre and see Fanny Hill. It's silly, but it is an attempt at staging an erotic classic. Philippa Hammond, who plays the title role, gets an A for effort.
Sunday, 29th: Get up very early in order to make Michael Shea's morning talk in the Spiegeltent. It's at 10.30. Arrive too early so walk to the Traverse, then over to Filmhouse and then back to Charlotte Square. Then Diana Hope reports the programme is wrong. Michael gave his talk last Sunday and I have forgotten it has been re-scheduled. He and Mona had to leave for their trip to St. Petersburg and Estonia. I feel a complete fool. There is the Yvonne Baginsky/Michael & Zoë Bennett-Levy Thirty Years Reunion party today. Ed Jones goes and both Martin and I contemplate going, but in the end we do not. Later I hear it was great and I feel, again, like a fool. Two times in one day.
Purchase items for Great King Street: Sunday newspapers, milk, rolls, etc. Sit in the kitchen with Ed Jones, Martin Burke and Shakil Ahmed. Read an appreciation of Samuel Beckett by John Calder and a book review by James Campbell of a new biography of James Boswell. Both in The Observer.
Write a note for Ennio Marchetto. Jack Moore, in Amsterdam, wants Ennio to call him. Ride with Martin Burke to the Palladium and find a sweet Australian stage manager (Susanna) who promises to give my note to Ennio. Go out in the rain to find a taxi. Find instead an attractive woman who is also looking for a taxi. Francesca Spinazzi is from the Berlin Festival and she is in Edinburgh looking for productions to take to Berlin. I find a taxi and we share it to Charlotte Square. Afterwards she continues to the Grassmarket.
But I do go to hear Grace Paley in the Book Festival at 3.30. And she is wonderful. She reads her story about the Woman's Prison in Sixth Avenue. I have heard her read it before. Nevertheless is a tender and moving story. I ask Grace a question afterwards about this story, but I cannot remember what I asked.
Attend Sheila Colvin's annual festival cocktail party. Lots of people I know: Sheila Brock (who helps - with Sheila Colvin - to raise money for various arts projects), Nicholas Phillipson (Professor of History), Elisabeth Smith (Member of the House of Lords, widow of the late John Smith, M.P.), Ruth Wishart (journalist with The Herald), Elisabeth Fairbairn, John Calder, Nic Beeby, Hugh & Rosemary Gentleman, Chris & Julia Barrron.
Quiet dinner with Astrid Silins in her apartment in Leith. Catherine Robins joins us. Catherine and I take a taxi very late; she drops me at Café Graffiti. Stay there less than two minutes, then walk home.
Sit in Martin Burke's kitchen with Carmen Raya-Vargas & Shakil Ahmed and with Mark Quinn & Shian Holt. Tell Martin Burke that I think we missed a good party this afternoon.
Monday, 30th: Lots of bizarre dreams. Make a pot of coffee. Mark Quinn shouts I have a telephone call. It's Sheila Colvin. She asks if I left a black scarf in her home yesterday. Yes, it seems I did. We agree she will give it to me tonight at Elizabeth Fairbairn's dinner party. Check telephone messages. There is one from Soph. She is free to dine tonight and suggests I call her at 1pm. Martin calls his lawyer and instructs him to accept the offer for the Paladium.
Bus to Sundial with a pile of laundry. Bus to St. Andrew Square and discover my bank is closed. Yes, it's Bank Holiday Weekend. Walk to Assembly Rooms and chat with Liz Smith. Purchase a ticket for Love to Madeleine. Walk to Charlotte Square and talk with Lisa Torrance. She flies to Sydney a week from today for a job with the Sydney Festival. Tell Lisa about my adventures in Australia. See Faith and give her a warm hug and congratulations. Faith is both sad and happy The Book Festival ends today. She and I talk about Grace Paley and we both agree she is a special lady. Talk with Robert McDowell about Ricky Demarco and a festival in Malta. He is with David Allen. David and I talk about Victor Herbert and life in France. Slip into the Gap Theatre and listen a while to Iain Banks.
Walk to the Traverse and try to get into Faynia Williams' talk, but am not allowed into the theatre. The fellow guarding the door says it is almost over. Say hello to Philip Howard. Call Soph at 1pm and we will meet this evening in the Elephant Café in George IV Bridge.
Make my way to the Pleasance. Share a table in the café tent with a pretty Edinburgh University history student named Charlotte Phillips, from Wales, and she tells me she is in a revue entitled Navelgazing at 15.45. I tell her I will see it. At 14.30, attend Love to Madeleine and sit next to the actress's husband; then attend Navelgazing at 15.45 and am impressed with Charlotte. Walk down to St. Mary's street and discover han pic has a new location. Bus to Sundial and meet Kate Love. Call Roza and she invites me to dine on Wednesday night in her home. Collect laundry and bus to Great King Street.
Meet Soph and Mark plus Anita and John in Elephant House in George IV Bridge at 18.30.
Taxi to Elisabeth Fairbairn's in Moray Place for a late dinner. More faces I recognize. Talk with Veronica and Magnus Linklater, with James Dunbar-Naismith and with a counter-tenor from Canada. Also talk with Philip Caplan and his delightful wife. Sheila Colvin has brought my black scarf. Walk home about midnight.
Tuesday, 31st: Up at 10am. Ed Jones is already up, dressed and on his way out the door, headed for the airport and Budapest. Call Jan at the Traverse and she tells me to come at Noon. She has a bunch of press tickets for me. Three today and one tomorrow. First is Happy Birthday Mister Deka D at 12 Noon.
I have a lunch date with Paul Harris at the Edinburgh Arts Club at 1pm. I manage to arrive at Rutland Square just as Paul arrives. We go upstairs and he tells me his semi-tragic medical story. Iain Crawford joins us. Iain was for many years the Press Officer for the Official Festival. He has written a book about the festival. We three have a delightful fish and chips lunch.
At 5pm, attend Begin Again. Sit with Jackie McGlone, a journalist. We speak lovingly of Faith Liddel. We are both confused by Begin Again.
Go to the Traverse again at 10pm for Mojo Mickybo, a full day of theatre. I sit with Philip Howard who introduces me to someone called Paul.
Afterwards I call Michelle Banks and we agree to meet at the Elephant Café. Before leaving the Traverse, I see Frances Anderson with three people, but don't interrupt them. Taxi to George IV Bridge and find Michelle standing out front. The place is closed. We walk to Deacon Brodie's pub in the Lawnmarket. She has a Jack Daniels and I have a pineapple juice. Long talk about the Edinburgh Festival, about Xaviera Hollander, about Michelle's life and plans and my life and plans. We are the next to last to leave as the management begins to close. Find a taxi for Michelle. I walk down the Mound (as I have done thousands of times) and go straight home. Shian Holt and Mark Quinn are up and watching a police serial on television. We talk a bit and then I head for bed.
Wednesday, 1st: Leave Great King Street about 11am and as I am crossing the street, Carmen shouts from a front window and asks if she may come with me. Yes, no problem. A minute later the two of us are puffing up the hill and headed for the Traverse. I have a press ticket for the Jui Jui Girl, so purchase another one for Carmen. We go down for hot chocolate (me) and coffee (Carmen). Lisa Torrance joins us briefly and we talk about the Book Festival. She tells me she is off to Sydney to serve as a Press lady for the Sydney Festival. Philip passes and says that we are a small (but select) audience for the performance. Jui Jui Girl is a provocative piece. It deals with a young Scottish woman returning to Zimbabwe to find her roots. Carmen and I both enjoy it.
In the evening I dine with David and Roza Petherick in their home in Colington. A delightful dinner. We are three couples and young Jim Haynes.
Thursday, 2nd: A very restless night. Impossible to sleep. The mind races with future projects. I keep thinking about the Paris Arts Club and all the time and energy it will entail. At 6, I am awake. I almost give up and get up, but I make one more effort to sleep. This time I semi-succeed. About 7.45 I get up and shave, shower and shampoo. Peter is up and having his breakfast. I have a big bowl of muesli and a cup of coffee. Paul Getty's secretary calls and would like to postpone our tea date. Paul will be watching a major cricket match. She suggests I call about 18.30. I call Paris and Hanna answers. She says Jack is in Amsterdam. I call Amsterdam and Jack answers. He is busy cooking pancakes. He says he will drive to Paris on Friday. Carmen gets up. Martin too. I knock on Shian and Mark's door and discover they did not come home last night. Go out for the morning newspapers and discover it is a gloriously beautiful and warm day. Quickly devour the morning papers. Martin says he has to go to the Paladium and would be happy to take me to Waverly Station. Hug the beautiful Carmen and wish her well in the coming months. Tell her she is always welcome in Paris.
Martin delivers me and I discover I am early. Thank him again and repeat the invitation to come to Paris and allow me to spoil him. The Great North Eastern departs from platform 19. I make my way there and spot Jim Eadie standing on the platform. He introduces me to the driver. The 11.30 train to London pulls into the station. I find myself a spot in First Class. Jim is very concerned for my comfort and introduces me to his staff. At some time, I have an Indian meal and it is surprisingly delicious. We soon arrive in London and I thank Jim for his kindness. Find a taxi and head for Ernie's. Call Paul's secretary and she says that Paul is tired and he would like to cancel our meeting until my next visit to London. This is disappointing, but que sera, sera. In the evening Ernie, Daniel Topolski and I dine al fresco at Pizza Express. Later back at Ernie's I talk with Hercules Bellville and we agree to a late morning meeting tomorrow. Not very late I taxi to Fulham to stay the night with Benny and Victoria. Give him the carton of cigarettes that I purchased in the Gare du Nord weeks earlier. We sit and talk for several hours.
Friday, 3rd: Wake up early. Victoria makes a wonderful coffee for the two of us. I call Dorota Chrisp and ask to be excused. There is just not enough time for me to go to Chiswick to see her. Vicky rushes out and Benny gets up. It's soon time for me to depart. Bus to Shaftesbury Avenue and walk through sunny SOHO to the offices of the Recorded Picture Company. A secretary buzzes me inside. She says that Hercules called. He is running late. Her name is Florence Larsonneur and she used to live in the rue des Plantes, very near me. Hercules arrives and ushers me into his office. He wants my news. We talk about the Edinburgh Festival, about Emile-the-Rat, and about my Paris Arts Club. He immediately says he will become a member. We talk about Bill Burroughs, about Joan Juliet Buck, Jack Niccolson, Evelyne Purcell and Norma Moriceau, and Ernie Eban. Hercules has a lunch date with David Thompson, but he wants me to meet David. The two of us walk down Greek Street, pass the Gay Hussar, to the meeting with David. We arrive first and Hercules orders drinks. A minute later, David arrives. After the introductions, I sit with them briefly. Then leave them and walk back to the Gay Hussar.
John Lloyd arrives. I commiserate with him about the lost computer and congratulate him on his New York Times magazine article about the current political situation in Russia. We have an excellent lunch. He tells me that he is buying a new apartment in Hampstead. We talk about mutual friends in Paris, London, Edinburgh and Moscow. He promises to come over to Paris soon. But first he must go to Moscow. John insists upon treating our lunch. We walk to a tube station and we both head West. John exits before me. I get out at Marble Arch and continue by bus to Ernie's place. Give my Day Pass to Ernie, collect my bag and thank him for his hospitality. We go outside and hail a taxi to Waterloo.
Roxy does not show up at our meeting point and I miss the train to Paris. Just as I am getting a new departure arranged, I see Roxy. He was at another part of the station. Confused arrangements. He passes me a large bag of videocassettes for Jack. Somehow I am able to carry it all to the train.
Uneventful ride to Paris. When I leave the train, I manage to find a trolley and load everything on it. I see a fellow with too much baggage and offer to share my trolley with him. He thanks me and says he will be OK. Outside I discover a mile-long taxi queue. Try to phone home and discover I cannot find my telephone card. The fellow with the luggage sees me and offers me his telephone card. Thank him and refuse the offer. In the end I talk with his wife and discover they live in the rue Père Corentin, one minute from my home. I suggest we share a taxi. He is a professor from Israel doing research in Paris. His wife is from Poland. They drop me outside my atelier and I give them a newsletter and suggest they come for tea.
Inside find an empty atelier. The telephone rings and it is John Flattau calling from Manhattan. He asks about the festival and announces he and Isaac will arrive in Paris the 1st of October. We discuss the Paris Arts Club project, my legal problems with Emile-the-Rat and we talk about possible trips to Odessa, Istanbul, Cluj, and other exotic places in the autumn. There are a hundred messages on the answering machine, lots of e-mail, and, of course, a pile of post. It's good to be home again.
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