Jim Haynes newsletters
Newsletter No. 733
The Prague Fringe Festival
May 21st: Up before 7. Estelle Pilade, one of my two wonderful nurses,
calls. The door code has changed and she cannot enter. Give her the new
code and she is soon with me. I have done my medical chores, so she only
has to wish me a bon voyage and to warn me about my bad eating habits.
I have breakfast with Steven Ullman. He arrived yesterday evening from
California and will be watching the atelier while I am away. He will also
be preparing the tiramisu dessert for next Sunday's dinner. Patricia Sherer
will be the principal chef and Steven will assist her. Steven will also
co-produce our planned production of Morag Fullarton's Casablanca -
the Gin Joint Cut scheduled for next February off-Broadway.
22nd: Up at 6. Shave, shower and shampoo. Blood sugar level is OK.
Call Michael March, an old friend. Michael with his lovely wife, Vlasta,
directs the Prague Writers' Festival for the past dozen or more years.
(I have attended two or three times.) We agree to meet tomorrow. He has
a medical appointment today. Try to contact Eva Kacerova. No luck. Do
manage to talk with Ivana Bozdechova, only to be told that she is leaving
Prague for a week. Séamas and I walk towards the Charles Bridge
and I withdraw 6,000 Czech Crowns from an ATM machine. We continue to
the Charles Bridge, then return to Starbucks for coffee, croissants and
Jim and Steve Gove
23rd: Up at 8 after a great night's sleep and immediately perform
my medical chores. High blood sugar levels again. Damn. Call Paris. All
well. Call Grace Teshima. She is looking after my Airbnb site for me.
Quiet morning. Read the London Review of Books article by Seymour
M. Hersh about the killing of Bin Laden.. Call Michael March and we agree
to meet at 3 this afternoon at the Hotel Josef.
24th: Up at 8.30. Blood sugar level is perfect. Shave, shower, shampoo.
Starbucks again for coffee. Back to the hotel and chat with Rado. He gives
us directions to Mosaic House. My mobile rings and it is Steve Gove. He
will come to the hotel in fifteen minutes and we will go together for
the brunch (or Frunch) at Mosaic House.
25th: Up at 8.30. Test blood sugar levels and it is perfect. Shower
and dress. Go downstairs to the change place next to the hotel and change
200 Euros. Séamas and I have breakfast. He treats. Séamas
goes to the hotel and I go up to the Fringe Club. Wander across the street
and purchase a 'doughnut' on the street. Up to the hotel room and share
my 'cinnamon doughnut' with Séamas. Read two articles in the Guardian
literary revue. One about the Czech novelist, Milan Kundera, and the second
about a battle in the Second World War. Call Paris and talk with Steven
Ullman. The dinner yesterday was a big success.
26th: Up at 7 and test blood sugar levels again. Again perfect. Estelle
and Barbara, my nurses in Paris, would be pleased. Go back to bed for
an hour. Séamas will fly to Paris this afternoon and the lovely
Susie Parker, from Sydney, will arrive and take his bed. I have a quick
shower, shave and shampoo. We go out for a late breakfast at 11. Coffee
and strudel. Back to the hotel and study the Fringe programme. There is
something at Mosaic.
Jim, Hana Newman and Susie Parker at Chapeau Rouge
27th: Awake at 6 but decide to stay in bed for another hour. Get up
at 8 and discover that Susie is up and has had her shower. Sugar level
is a bit low this morning. We go out for breakfast below the Fringe Club.
Coffee and pastry. It's a sunny Prague day. Susie decides to go back to
the hotel to get her sun glasses. Tell her I will meet her in Starbucks.
Purchase today International New York Times. More coffee and another
pastry. Susie joins me.
Steve and Susie at the Birtish Embassy
David Wadmore. He and his wife have a home in the South of England and
a small apartment here in Prague. He tells me that he has been a fan of
mine for years. We talk about the Arts Lab, I.T., and The European,
a newspaper which he designed. Talk as well with Carol Gove, Steve's 'big
sister' and with her fellow, David Kirk. Thank Jan Thompson for her hospitality
and Susie and I head back to our hotel to rest.
28th: Again awake at 6, but go back to sleep for another hour or so.
Susie produces a breakfast for us. And makes a pot of coffee. Blood sugar
level is perfect this morning. Call Michael & Vlasta to see if they
would like to attend Neruda Nude this evening with us. Get their
answering machine, so leave a message. Steven Ullman calls from Paris.
Jim, Susie and Michael at the Divadio Na Prádle
29th: Up again about 7. Susie also up. She reports her mother is not
well. Susie makes coffee for us. I try to call Steve Gove, but get no
answer. Go downstairs. Petra, at the front desk, tells me that Eva Kacerova
has called and wants me to call her back. Do so. She wants to meet me
at 8 pm tonight at the Fringe Club and then see the 9 pm performance together.
I agree. Susie goes to Starbucks and I go for today's newspaper and agree
to meet her in Starbucks. I almost have a major accident as I miss judging
a step and almost have a terrible fall. But I catch myself just in time.
30th: Both Susie and I get up very early this morning. We soon pack
and are ready to go. I paid the hotel bill yesterday afternoon. After
coffee and a wee breakfast, we begin to take our bags downstairs in the
elevator. Our taxi is waiting for us. Goodbye and many thanks to the hotel
Nicholas and all the helpful staff.
Jim Haynes' newsletter