Jim Haynes newsletters

Newsletter No. 730
My Life (Chapter 2014)
January 2015

In spite of everything and because of everything, I made it through another year in this soap-opera called "LIFE". And it has been another year of wild rides and adventures, thrills, love, fun and lots of giggles.

The first trip in January was to San Sebastian. Only a six-hour TGV train ride from Paris. An Edinburgh-friend, Bob Flynn, has been talking to me about this city for years and I finally made the trip. And I must confess, Bob is 100% correct. A great city full of delightful people, including Jone Karres and David Bumstead, to name but two.

I attended in Paris the celebration of the publication Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer. It was published in Paris eighty years ago. Henry lived at that time just up the street from where I now live. The Henry Miller Library in Big Sur, California co-produced this event in association with Sylvia Beach's Shakespeare & Co. There was a wonderful dinner at Chez Jenny in which I gave a brief talk (along with John Calder, Mary Duncan and others) and I managed to sell a number of copies of my book, Homage to Henry.

Then in April, I co-produced Morag Fullarton's lovingly disrespectful homage to the classic film, Casablanca, in the oldest theatre in Paris, the Déjazet in Place République. This production of Casablanca - the Gin Joint Cut was loved by all who managed to see it. I saw every performance and if Gavin Mitchell, the actor who played the Bogart role, ever needed a stand-in, I think I could have done it. But I think no one, not even Bogart himself, could have done it better than Gavin. With luck, we will produce it in New York City off-Broadway in 2015. Stay tuned!

In April, Jack Henry Moore, a dear old friend, died in a Paris hospital. On June the 22nd, another friend, Felix Dennis, died. Always sad when friends leave life.

There was a quick trip to Amsterdam with Antonia Hoogewerf to see Broadway Melodies with Isabelle Georges and Frederik Steenbrink. They were backed by the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège and their own five piece jazz ensemble. Needless to say, it was a fabulous event. I also managed to see Alexandre Buijsman, Bill Levy & Susan Janssen and Eddie Woods. And to meet Jane Harvey.

The lovely Kristi McIntosh, my flat-mate for almost three years, departed for California. She is much missed. The greatest salad-maker in the world! But another California beauty, Stella Belly, is on her way here. I hope she stays for three years (at least).

Then August, as usual, in the glorious city of Edinburgh to attend another Edinburgh Festival. Instead of staying with old friends Martin Burke and Ruth Holloway in their Great King Street home, I decided to stay in the Hotel du Vin. A real treat! (See Newsletter No. 728 for details.) I saw dozens of old friends and met many new ones. Old friend Ennio Marchetto was one of my favorite performers. Maybe I saw his show four times and every time a major source of joy. I also managed to catch Sarah Pascoe who I also greatly enjoyed.

While I was in Edinburgh, my atelier was completely re-painted. Now it could really be featured in House Beautiful.

In September I made my second trip to San Sebastian to attend the San Sebastian Film Festival. It was great and a great deal of fun. I plan to be there every September from now on. Thank you, Jose-Luis Rebordinos, Director, San Sebastian Film Festival!

Health in 2014 managed to be OK – thanks to the great care one gets in France. My GP, Frank Slattery, my two nurses Barbara Engrand and Estelle Pilade, my heart doctor, Claude Zeitoun, my doctor for diabetes, Pauline Faucher, my doctor for kidneys Claire Tinel, and my doctor for eyes, Dominique Monnet – all looked after me with great care. Every country should have this great French medical care system!

Again the Sunday dinners here every Sunday evening except for three in August when I am in Edinburgh. But once again I hosted a dinner in the Scottish Arts Club to celebrate the launch of two new editions. Thanks to Martin Belk, Thanks for Coming! Encore! and Everything Is! are now available in two superb editions. (No home should be without them.)

Lots of visitors here in 2014. Among the many were Martin Walker, Steve Gove, Susie Parker, Steven Ullman, Martin Belk, Johnny Pryce, Natalia Shkola, Alexandra Buijsman, Ernie Eban, Stella Belly, Nivvy Randhawa, Masha Monbelli, John O'Mahoney and my wonderful son, Jesper and his wonderful wife, Takae. I have joined Airbnb, (thanks to Martin Belk and Grace Teshima), so expect many more visitors in 2015.

On the 10th of November, we celebrated my 81st birthday. It was a much more modest affair than the two-day celebration in 2013, my 80th. But super fun nevertheless. Still I will never forget the birthday some years ago when there was a knock on my door and when I answered, I discovered an extremely attractive young woman I had never seen before. She announced: "I am your birthday present. Do you want me now or later?" I said now. And up we went to my room where I enjoyed every minute. I hope she did as well.

All in all, 2014 was an action-packed year. 2015 promises to be the same or better. Plans include a trip to New York City to attend the première of Casablanca- the Gin Joint Cut. Of course Edinburgh Festival and San Sebastian Film Festival again. I also hope to travel to Prague to attend Steve Gove's Fringe Theatre Festival the end of May. And there are always a few surprises. Jesper and Takae might have one for me.



Jim Haynes
January 2015

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




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