Jim Haynes newsletters

Newsletter No. 718
A flashback look at 2011
24 December 2011

Another wild and wonderful year of life on Earth. Many adventures. Many ups and downs. Many visitors. Some travel, but less than other years. A delightful young woman from Santa Barbara, Kristi McIntosh, has been living here this year. A great chef and a dear person. A constant source of joy. Not only has she cooked many dinners, both for Sunday nights and for small affairs, she has over-seen the remodeling of the bathroom (we now have a new shower unit) and the downstairs generally. The atelier is looking better and better. Another regular visitor, Natalia Shkola, has helped me have a general clean-up of my two upstairs rooms. The place is beginning to shine. Many visitors as always. Steve Gove popped over from Prague on his way to and from Marrakesh. Cara Black made one of her regular trips from San Francisco to research a new mystery novel to be set in the 14th arrondissement. I introduced her to my wonderful upstairs neighbor, Fauvette Paupert, and they spent the afternoon together gossiping about life in the 14th over the past 75 years or so. Many dinners here with friends and in restaurants. Often in the Terminus Nord with John Calder and Sheila Colvin. Many in Amy and Miguel's Fajitas in the rue Dauphine with Varda Ducovny and others. (Just last night six of us dined there: Varda, Kristi, Natalia, Jonathan Pryce, Martin Belk and yours truly.) The sometimes waitress in Fajitas, Laure, is one of the most beautiful and attractive young women I have seen in a long time. If I were only 40 years younger...

I did go to London in March to celebrate Jay Landesman's life in his favorite haunt, the Groucho Club. (His wonderful wife, the poet Fran Landesman, followed Jay when she died in August.) Stayed in London with Lindsey Bareham and with Dorota Chrisp. Co-hosted an Indian take-away dinner with Ernie Eban for about a dozen friends. I traveled to New York City for two weeks in May and stayed with old friend, John Flattau, and visited with my son, Jesper, and his now wife, Takae Ooka. I also managed to see Lynne Tillman, Phyllis Roome, Craig Unger, Stanley Cohen and Betty Dodson. I attended a fund-raising event in the Museum of Natural History with dear friend, Jane Alexander. Jane later journeyed to Paris to be in a film with Michael Caine. We were able to dine twice during her brief visit. Once at a small birthday party here in my atelier with her husband, Ed Sherrin, and about ten others. I also journeyed out to Sag Harbor in Long Island with John Flattau to spend the day with Alan Furst.

In August, I went to my 55th Edinburgh Festival and had a heart attack on arrival in the Waverley Station then spent a week in the Royal Infirmary. Claudia Monteiro collected me there and delivered me to Ruth and Martin Burke's apartment in Great King Street. I stayed another 10 days in Edinburgh. Steve Gove interviewed me for a programme he helped produce for Czech TV. The Herald gave me a 2nd Herald Little Devil (the first one was in 2001). Thank you Keith Bruce and Neil Cooper. Meet the actress, Kristen Sieh, at the ceremony. Also meet Rupert Thomson and his lovely wife, Anu. And the blonde beauty Kitty Douglas-Hamilton. Rupert, Anu, Kitty are all involved in a new venue, Summer Hall. Old friend, Ricky Demarco, is also involved. I attended many delightful events in the Book Festival (thank you, Nick Barley, Frances Sutton, Harrison Kelly and Esmé White Haigh). As always I received a warm welcome at the Traverse (thank you, Sarah Dee) and the Assembly (thank you, Bill Burdett-Coutts). I managed to attend a Camille O'Sullivan concert, thanks to Camille and Morag Neil. Later, in Paris, they invited me to another concert with many singers. Camille was Varda's favorite and mine. Astrid Silins hosted a small dinner party in her fabulous apartment. (And she highly recommended the production, Casablanca, which I saw and loved.) I managed to have tea with Tim Cornwell and his lovely wife, Alice. Also my annual intimate dinner with Joan Bakewell. So many great people and productions at the Festival.

I did not travel to Frankfurt for the Book Messe in October, I flew to New York City instead to attend my son's wedding. On arrival, found it difficult to breathe and ended up in New York University Hospital. Jesper came to visit with the lovely Takae just after the wedding along with his mother, Viveka, step-father, Gosta, and with Katherine Hilliard and her friend, Tony. My thanks to Jesper's friend, David Baron, for being super kind to me.

The big news is the University of Edinburgh and the Edinburgh College of Art are co-sponsoring a competition to create a statue for me on the spot of my old bookshop, The Paperback. It is scheduled to be up in August 2012. By then it will be fifty years since John Calder, Sonia Orwell and yours truly created the Writers' Conference in Edinburgh. In 2013, it will be fifty years since the Traverse was created, although I personally date the start of the Traverse to the first production in The Paperback in 1960.

The Sunday dinners continue. Many people have cooked here including Mary Bartlett, Antonia Hoogewerf, Cathy Monnet, Galina Prokhorova, Michael Boone and Kristi McIntosh. As always media attention on the dinners continues with articles in various newspapers and magazines, in various blogs and Websites, on the radio and on television. Exhibitions in the A2 Gallery included John Calder's Shapes, Andrew Radkowsky's drawings, Martin Lehberger's photographs. The current exhibition is of photographs by Jonathan Pryce.

So many more things to relate and to report. But this is enough. My legal battle continues. Yet all in all a wonderful year. In spite of various pains and trips to the hospital, I am still here. Still love life. Still plan to travel. Still plan to receive guests. Still plan to host dinners parties - both big and small. Still plan to hug and kiss as much as ever...




Jim Haynes
December 2011

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




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