Haynes, 50, has been lecturing at Paris University
these past 15 years. One day a week. But it's a living, he's still writing
and he'll tell you he's at peace. With himself and the world.
"All university lecturers tend to be baby-sitters. I guess I'm doing
a little bit of that. I'm supposed to be lecturing on media studies. And
I lecture on sexual politics. I was invited to lecture for one year at the
university. I'm still there, if that means anything."
You might say Haynes is in his element. He's living in a spacious flat in
Montparnasse. Henry Miller lived just up the road. Francoise Sagan used
to be a neighbour. Francoise Hardy lives down the street. And Juliette Greco
lives round the corner. They use the same grocer.
He's in Paris for life. "I've no desire to live anywhere else. I always
think the lyric of a famous First World War long is applicable to the city
and certainly to me. It goes 'How can you keep 'em down on the farm after
they've seen Paree?' I like and need city environments
haven't been completely destroyed by the automobile, like Edinburgh, Amsterdam
and Paris, although it's got plenty cars."
He's at peace
all right, but he hasn't managed never to worry. He worries for Edinburgh.
"In the late sixties, the university in their wisdom demolished the
whole block where I had my paperback shop
the houses, the shoe repairers,
etc. It's now a car park.
"People stop me in the street and tell me it's a crime what the University
did. I'm almost stopped more for that than for the Traverse.
"Just across the road from this very restaurant where we are in Rose
Street there was this mad Greek restaurant and I had a flat next door, rented
from Mike Shea, who's now the Queen's Press Secretary. I had dinner in the
Beehive last night when I was delighted to hear the Grassmarket is still
being refurbished. Some institutions go on and on in this town. Henderson's,
for instance. I knew Ma Henderson. I ate there a lot."
He worries for the Traverse too.
"It's 21 years old this year, but I'm genuinely worried about it, like
so many other people. It needs dynamic energy pumped into it, more than
money. I wish they had a bit more sense of purpose, rather than rest on
their laurels. It's got an incredible history.
"But last Festival I went into the downstairs bar and nobody was
there. I couldn't believe it. We began with no capital and our rent to
the dear man who owned the building was one shilling a year. I thought
that was fair. I'm told the Traverse now gets £210,000 a year from
the Arts Council."
Haynes was married once, to a Swede he met in Edinburgh. Never again.
"I've no plans to embark on farther adventures in matrimony. It's
a good way to kill a good relationship. We co-produced a son, Jasper,
who's 22. He came up with me to the Festival lest year and wanted to stay
"I've mellowed, I hope. I'm on the wagon apart from the occasional
glass of wine. No drinking. No smoking. No cocaine. No heroin. No cannabis.
No snuff. I just like to sit in front of a coal fire with a good book."
He laughed. "I must say I have a weakness for the ladies. I'm not
interested in marriage or possessions and I'm not jealous, so I don't
cause problems. I never fall out of love and I'm constantly falling in
love, so I'm in love with at least 5000 women."
His racy autobiog has a cast of thousands, by the way. "This book
is for ..." it starts and the first 19 pages are crammed with some
3000 names. His major regret here is that the list doesn't include that
Air Force corporal. "I never did remember his name and I've no way
of contacting him."
Haynes on his mellow Montparnasse nights by the fire is writing another
book. "It's an attempt to demystify the East-West conflict and I'm
calling it 'Workers of the World Unite and Stop Working.'
"No, it isn't heavy and, yes, it's an ironical title. As we say in
America, I've thrown a curved ball."
©Edinburgh Evening News, Thursday, February 23,