Jim Haynes newsletters

Newsletter No. 739

Edinburgh Festival 2016
8 to 29th August 2016

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016

 

Monday, August 8th: Today begins with a visit from one of my two lovely nurses. Barbara Engrand comes to check on my blood sugar level and to give me an insulin injection. I am warned about being too much out of control in Edinburgh and I promise to be a good boy.
Spend the day packing and getting ready for my departure tomorrow morning. In the evening dine in the Italian restaurant next door with Marta Moslw, Ece Ger, Oguzhan Akalin, and Suzanne Shea from California. It is a lovely sweet dinner. Tien Nguyen, from Vietnam, calls and passes to say goodbye. She is with a fellow from Bangladesh. She flies on Thursday to Bangladesh to continue her studies.

Tuesday, 9th: Up early for my medical chores. Then further packing. We call an Uber to take us to the Gare du Nord. And we five are soon in our reserved places in the Eurostar and on our way to London. Smooth trip. Gigi de la Torre films our departure and shoots various scenes in the train. The wonderful actress, Rossy de Palma, sits a few seats from us. Both Marta and I invite her to dine one of these Sundays and she promises to do so. She even allows Gigi to shoot a scene with her for our film, Meeting Jim. When we arrive at the St Pancras station, I do not have Natalia Shkola to greet us. She is in Russia. Ece, Gigi, Marta and Oguzhan pile into one taxi and head North to Tamara Alferoff's home. I head for Ernie Eban's place. In the evening we have our usual Indian take-away dinner from Khans. We are about 19 people: Elisa Bailey from the V & A, Jewel Rubi also from the V & A, Jonathan Nunn who is Cynthia Payne's grandson, Ece Ger, Marta Moslw, Oguzhan Akalin, Gigi de la Torre, Joan Bakewell, Dorota & Tim & Joe Chrisp, Sylvia Libedinsky, Mary Clemmey, Victoria Mur, Alex & Anna Kan, Lindsay Bareham, Ernie Eban and yours truly. A wonderful evening.

Wednesday, 10th: Up at 8.30 and perform my medical tasks. Dress and pack. Ernie makes an excellent cup of coffee for me and serves me a cereal. At 9.30 the film crew arrives in an Uber and we depart in the morning sunshine for the Kings X Station and Edinburgh. Sit as usual in the Pret a Porter while Marta goes to get wheel chair assistance. Share a table with an Edinburgh University student named Ollie. Dan comes to collect me and he wheels me to the platform for the 11 o'clock train. Lunch is served almost immediately. I have chicken curry and for train-fare, it is pretty good. A pleasant trip. Marta is so happy that she does not want the train trip to end. She wants it to last ten hours or more. Ece, Gigi and Oguzhan enjoy the passing countryside as it flows past us. At some point I chat with a family from Geneva who have two lads about ten years old. They all speak excellent English and talk lovingly of their time in London. We arrive about 3 pm. I am met by Craig who is supper nice. He suggests he orders a large taxi for us. We agree. I am the first to be dropped at the Hotel du Vin. The leaflet that Martin Belk emailed to the hotel is collected by Ece and they head off to the Napier University student hostel.
I am welcomed by Lukasz Ratajczak and we talk about Magda Gorzelak and her recent retirement. I am taken up to my old room that I have come to love. Two messages: from Claudia Monteiro and Roza Nazipova.. Text them both that I have arrived. Book a table in the hotel restaurant for Claudia and yours truly. Claudia arrives and we have a catch-up dinner. Afterwards we cross over to Check Point and elect to attend a Canadian comedian named Phil Nicols from Toronto. Also see the couple from the Bay Area who come every year to the festival, Jerry & Rebecca. We all sit together. Phil is OK, but not my style of comedy. Too silly for my taste.
Go downstairs and sit in the Check Point cafe. Marco Fuguccia, from Glasgow, serves us. He has just finished law school at Edinburgh University. He will go to Paris in September to improve his command of the French-language. He arrives on the 4th of September, a Sunday, and I invite him to dine. (And he comes.)

Thursday, 11th:Shower, shave and shampoo. The shower is as I remember it: fantastic! Blood sugar level is low. Go downstairs for a breakfast feast. Ece and Marta call and the film crew will come to the hotel and we will lunch across the street at Check Point. Dina Iordanova calls and says she has two tickets for a ballet on Sunday and would I like to go with her. Yes! Taxi to Marks & Spencer and change some Euros for pounds sterling. Then purchase a bus pass. Next a new mobile phone. Ece and the film crew call and they will come to the hotel and we will dine at Check Point.
Check Point is always fun. Our waitresses are Chelsea (from the Channel Islands) and Alea Ibrahim. She has an Egyptian father and a German mother. Marco comes to our table and I introduce him to the film crew. Afterwards I treat everyone to lunch. Back to the hotel to rest. Roza calls and suggests she and David come to the hotel and we dine at the nearby Thai place. OK, good idea. Ece calls and asks if they can come and visit. Yes of course. They arrive with a cap and scarf. I said at some point in our journey from Paris that I had forgotten my cap and scarf. What a wonderful crew. How thoughtful. The cap is too big, so they take it back to get a smaller size.
Roza arrives at the hotel. I go downstairs. David is standing in the queue at the Thai place around the corner. The film crew have returned with a new cap and it fits better. Walk to the Thai place and we have a feast. Roza insists upon treating. She goes to arrange tickets at a BBC event near by. David and I walk to Check Point. The film crew is there. Introduce them to David. Learn that Penny Arcade is performing upstairs at 18.55. Cannot go tonight, but I do want to see her show. Walk the short distance to David's old school for a night of comedy. Six or more stand-up comedians. I like the young woman from New York City the best. Her name is Liz Miele.
Early to bed.

  Penny Arcade, Longing lasts longer
Penny Arcade, Longing lasts longer

Friday, 12th: Lovely night's sleep. Up at 8.30. Perform medical tasks. Blood sugar level is again low. Quickly dress and go down for a breakfast feast. Fresh fruit, porridge, bacon, and coffee. Call John Calder and Sheila Colvin and agree with John to meet them at the Scottish Arts Club for lunch. Call Astrid Silins and she will join us. Call Mona Shea and agree to go to her home on Thursday for coffee at 10.30. Call Angela Bartie and get her answering machine. Leave a message.
Bus to Princes Street and tram to the West End. Walk the short distance to the Scottish Arts Club. Get a call from Angela Bartie. She is in Glasgow and today is her birthday. We chat a bit. I continue to the Scottish Arts Club. Catherine Robins spots me from inside and comes out to let me inside. She has a show to see so rushes off. Hilary Mounfield comes over to join me. I sit at a table and await John, Sheila, Astrid and the film crew. I spot the film crew walking outside pass the Club. Get up and go to the front door and shout to them. They turn back and enter the Club. Astrid arrives, but no sign of John and Sheila. We all gather round the table and I suggest we order. Catherine Robins returns; she had the wrong day in her calendar. After lunch we go upstairs and Catherine, Astrid and I are filmed.

Then tram back to Princes Street and the 41 bus up the Mound. I think it will stop at Bristo Place, but it doesn't. I suggest we walk to George Square and stop to see my two statues. Continue to Bill Burdett-Coutts offices in George Square. He is not present. His staff welcomes me. Someone presents me with a Friend of the Assembly pass. So kind of Bill. We walk to Check Point and have hot chocolate. Then I cross to the hotel for a siesta.
David Petherick picks me up at the hotel at 7 and we speed to St. Andrew Square for Christine Bovill's performance. She is superb! I want to bring her to Paris where I believe she will be a star. A terrific voice. Great songs. Afterwards we meet and I tell her she is fantastic.
Later Roza and David drop me back at the Hotel du Vin.

Saturday, 13th: The usual activities in the hotel. In today's Scotsman, there is a loving obituary written about Marianne Ihlen, the Norwegian beauty, who inspired Leonard Cohen to write his classic song, So Long Marianne. She died the 29th of July in Oslo.

  click to visit Christine Boville's Website
Christine Boville, Piaf

Leonard and I became friends in London in the mid-60s. We even contemplated starting a paperback publishing house. But it was all talk. In 1968 I organized The Alchemical Wedding in London's Royal Albert Hall and Leonard Cohen was supposed to come and perform. He did not make it and I was consequently banned from the Royal Albert Hall. (John & Yoko did attend and perform.) Head out to the Book Festival. Taxi to Charlotte Square. See straight away Charlotte Gosling, Frances Sutton and Hannah Wright in the Press Yurt. See Nick Barley next. He is the Director of the Book Festival and is always super nice. We exchange warm hugs. See Amanda Barry. Am introduced to the new Press Assistant, Anabel Barrero-Eliche. She is from the South of Spain. See Colin Fraser. Marta comes to the Book Festival and I introduce her to Anabel. Greet Roland Gulliver and he introduces me to his lovely daughter. Chris Close takes a photograph of me with Peggy Hughes. (I adore Peggy Hughes.)
Taxi back to the Hotel du Vin. Lie in bed and rest a bit. Watch the Olympics in Rio on the TV set. Taxi back to Charlotte Square. In the Author's Yurt am given a bunch of tickets. Chat with Francis Bickmore, an editor at Canongate. I ask him about Jamie Byng. See Geoff Dyer and tell him I plan to attend his session at 17.45. Walk to the Garden Theatre. Sit next to Peter Gutteridge and Ed Jones sits behind me. Ed says he attempted to purchase a ticket for my session but it was sold out. I ask him about Martin Burke and Ruth Holloway. Geoff's session begins. Andrew Franklin is in the chair. He and I always talk about Faber & Faber. Geoff Dyer is always interesting. Learn that he lives in L.A. now.

Walk to the Press Yurt. See Anabel, Hannah, and Charlotte. Chat with Viviene Devlin. Chat with Chris Close and tell him the photograph he took of Peggy Hughes and yours truly is delightful. The film crew arrives. The Book Festival opening party starts in an hour or so. We walk over to the Spiegeltent and I sit outside with Roza. Various friends pass and sit briefly with me: Claudia Monteiro, Ian Mackenzie, Stephanie Wolfe Murray, Amanda Berry, Faith Liddell, Ian Rankin. I tell Ian Rankin that this is my 60th Festival. He tells me he was born 4 years later. Stephanie tells me that she is going home and asks if I wished to be dropped at my hotel. Yes, why not. Another great Book Festival begins.

Sunday, 14th: Get up at 9 and discover blood sugar level is dangerously low. Strange. Go down for my usual breakfast feast. This morning red berries, porridge, ham and coffee. One waiter, Craig, is from Northern Ireland; another Vicki, is from Melbourne. I tell her about my trip to Melbourne. Also there is a sweet young woman from Hungary. Gossip afterwards with Lukasz and tell him that Antonia is expected today and to welcome her and let her have the key to my room.
Shower, shave and shampoo. Dress. Watch Rio Olympics on TV. Call Antonia Reeves and we have a nice chat. Antonia Hoogewerf arrives at 2 pm. We taxi to Charlotte Square. See Ruth Wishart. And Nick Barley. Introduce Antonia to everyone.
Meet Dina Iordanova to go to the Festival Theatre to see Natalia Osipova, an outstanding contemporary ballet dancer. Very much official festival. We have great seats down front. I am on the aisle and Dina sits next to a young fellow from Taiwan. His name is Chang-Chih Chen. We three chat. We learn that he is a photographer. The program consists of three short modern ballets.

  London.Paris.Roam!, by Sarah Tullamore. Music & lyrics by James Burn, piano John Florencio
London.Paris.Roam!, by Sarah Tullamore. Music & lyrics by James Burn, piano John Florencio

Late dinner at Mother India with Antonia Hoogewerf, Dina, and Chang-Chih. We have a delicious dinner. And fall in love with the restaurant. Dina buys a book about the restaurant.

Monday, 15th: Again blood sugar level is low. Have a big breakfast with Antonia. We leave the hotel early for Charlotte Square in order not to miss Alaa Al Aswany. We are both big fans. And when we enter, spot him immediately. He is sitting in the garden with Faith Liddell. I do not wish to disturb them, but we wander out and say hello all the same. He greets us warmly. We say we are looking forward to his session. And he is terrific. Faith Liddell chairs the session perfectly. We sit in the Spiegeltent behind Miranda Harvey, Ian Rankin's wife. I introduce Antonia to Miranda and the two chat away. Somehow or other, I tell Miranda that Antonia leads walking tours around Europe. Miranda expresses an interest. (Later she tells Antonia that she has contacted her company, The Wayfarers, and booked a walking trip in Corsica.) Alaa Al Aswany gives one hope for Egypt.
Later encounter David Black and he tells us about a play he has written about David Hume that is being performed at Summerhall. We promise to see it.
Antonia and I elect to see Sarah Tullamore's show London, Paris, Roam at 15.35. She is delightful as always. I had seen it when she first performed it in Paris, but Antonia is seeing it for the first time. We are both big fans of Sarah's.
We head for George Square to see Michael Griffith's Cole. Spot William Burdett Coutts and Guy Masterson. Warm hugs for them both. Then we see Michael's show about Cole Porter. And we both love it. And we tell him so afterwards.
Walk to the corner of George Square and Charles Street and sit and rest briefly.

  Cole, by Michael Griffith
Cole, by Michael Griffith

End up talking with a sweet young couple from Finland. She is a social worker and he is an actor. Continue to the hotel and lie in bed and watch the Rio Olympics. Later Antonia and I dine in the Hotel du Vin.

Tuesday, 16th: Sugar level this morning again a bit low. Get up and shower, shave and shampoo. Go down for porridge and bacon. And coffee. Antonia and I rush to Summerhall to see Nancy's Philosopher. It is about her relationship with David Hume and caused a big scandal in Edinburgh in the late 18th century. David Black has written it and it is directed by Andrew Dallmeyer. Afterwards we go to the cafe for hot chocolate. David Black comes over and thanks us for coming. The actress, Kelly Burke, also comes over to thank us. I tell her I saw her in 2006 playing Zelda Fitzgerald in the Fringe.
At 15.30 it is back to the Book Festival to see Joyce McMillan. She talks about theatre in Scotland over the past years that she has been writing anout for The Scotsman. Afterwards I walk to the bookshop and purchase her book. Ece calls and she will come to the hotel or to Charlotte Square later today. Wander about. See the fellow who directs the Wigtown Book Festival, Adrian Turpin, and meet his two kids. Later cross paths with their mother, Pru. Then encounter Jenny Brown. Bump into the journalist, Duncan Campbell, and chat with him and his partner, the fabulous Julie Christie. Later I miss seeing Antonia, who has a coffee date with Sheila Colvin. I tell Antonia that she missed meeting Julie Christie and she is disappointed. In India, people often ask her for an autograph. They think she is Julie Christie. I am often asked for my autograph in India and am thought to be Gunther Grass. In Russia, autograph-seekers think I am Charles Bronson.
At 20.15 decide to see Ian Rankin. Sit with Susan Mansfield. Sit next to Antonia Reeves and we talk about her lovely daughter, Indigo. Susan covers the Book Festival for The Scotsman. Ian Rankin is over the top superb! He is a joy that is for sure. The packed theatre loves every minute.

  Nancy's Philosopher, starring Kelly Burke, writer David Balck, director Andrew Dallmeyer.
Nancy's Philosopher, starring Kelly Burke, writer David Balck, director Andrew Dallmeyer.

Sit afterwards outside the signing theatre with Elisabeth Fairbairn. Roza joins us. Dinner later in George Street with Antonia Hoogewerf. David and Roza join us. See David Calvito and Guy Masterton. And the film crew.

Wednesday, 17th: Up at 7. Go back to bed for another 30 minutes. At 8, do my medical chores. Level is OK this morning. The reception desk calls to say that Claudia Monteiro is downstairs. Ask that she be told I will be down in a few minutes. Quickly dress and am with Claudia fairly quickly. She is sitting at one of the window tables and I join her. We have a catch-up talk. She has to rush away to her office nearby. One minute later Antonia appears. Today's Scotsman has an article that Alexander McCall Smith has purchased a 50-seat theatre in South Africa. Good for him. What a superb fellow he is. Back to the room and scribble a few postcards. Get a call from Paris. All well in the atelier. Bar Zalel is there with his mum and sister. (Bar has recently married in New York City a lovely woman he met here in the atelier, Alex Hubbell.)
Walk to Forrest Road and add ten pounds on my mobile phone. Post a few postcards. Taxi to Charlotte Square and spot Antonia straight away. Allan Little walks by and reports he is on his way to an interesting talk. Antonia and I discuss joining him. And by the time we get to the theatre entrance, we are too late. The door has closed.

See Catherine Lockerbie and we discuss John Calder and Sheila Colvin. I am pleased to report that Catherine looks great. She seems to be in top form.
Taxi to the hotel. The driver tells me that he met Gorbachev when he was in Edinburgh. I tell him that I once dined with Vladimir Putin. We rest. Antonia packs. Then we go down for hot chocolate. The film crew arrives. Susie Parker and her fella, Denver, arrive from Sydney. Then Indigo Reeves. The film crew shoot a bit. Antonia departs for the airport and Paris. We decide to walk to George Square and see Michael Griffiths show about Cole Porter. Pause on our way to take a few photographs of my rhino statue. Susie & Denver like the show as much as I do. Afterwards introduce Susie and Denver to Michael Griffiths and we decide to film there later. By now we are all hungry and I introduce Susie and Denver to one of my favorite restaurants, Mother India. They adore it and we have a delicious meal. We run into a friend who's involved in the upcoming V & A exhibition. Her name is Emily Harris. I cannot remember how the rest of the evening unfolds.

  Denver+Jim+Susie
Denver, Jim and Susie

Thursday, 18th: A busy morning ahead. I have a coffee date with Mona Shea and a lunch with the President of Napier University, Andrea Nolan. Nevertheless go down for a quick breakfast after my medical chores. Then back to the room and quickly out the door and find a taxi to Ramsay Gardens. As always, it is great to share Edinburgh with Mona. Her sister, Ellen, also present. She departs soon for her home in Madrid. She asks me to do some detective work for her in Paris. It seems that she and Mona may have a family connection in Paris with the family name Grec.
Taxi to Napier University. It is my opportunity to meet Andrea Nolan and a number of her staff. We have a fabulous lunch. On my left is the Napier President, Andrea Nolan. Then Martin Belk, Lucille Bluefield, Astrid Silins, Angie Lamb, Angela Bartie, Lynda Dryden, Stephanie Wolfe-Murray. I thank Andrea Nolan for their warm welcome and I appreciate all that Napier University is doing for me. I also thank Martin Belk for the wonderful job he has done publishing my books.
We received the very first copies of my latest, World Citizen at Home in Paris, which look fantastic. It is a new incarnation of my story, The Night I Dined with Vladimir Putin, but with a lot of new material. Napier have backed the publication as part of the archives, and we got the entire job completed in less than a month - proof to press. Not to mention Jonathan Pryce's cover images are fantastic. All are pleased. I also report that many years ago in the early 60s, I taught a course at Napier.
The response is "when can you start again?"
Taxi back into central Edinburgh and head for Bob Kingdom's performance in the Assembly on the Mound. Susie and Denver join me. He has written a piece about Queen Victoria. I love Bob's many creations, but this one is not one my favorites. Back to the hotel to do my medical chores and rest.
At 7.35 we head for St. Andrew Square and Christine Bovill's delightful performance singing French songs in the Spiegeltent. Susie, Denver and the film crew join me. It's fabulous as expected. Afterwards chat with Christine. Susie and I want to produce her in Paris.
Then Susie, Denver and I head for Check Point and a light dinner. Louise, our waitress, studies physics at Edinburgh University.

Friday, 19th: Wake at 7. Decide to sleep for another hour. Sugar level is OK this morning. Go down for my breakfast feast. Martin Belk calls regarding a possible lunch today. Susie Parker calls and I suggest she come to the hotel. When Susie and Denver arrive, we discuss going to the Traverse and/or the Book Festival. Susie votes for the Book Festival. Martin calls and wants to book a barber for a haircut and whisker's trim, in advance of my Book Festival event. I reluctantly say OK. We go out and find a taxi for Charlotte Square. It is raining, we all go into the Author's Yurt and meet with A.L. Kennedy. Susie wants to buy her book. Roza calls and I ask her if I can bring Denver and Susie Parker to her dinner party tonight. She says yes, no problem.
Martin Belk meets me at the Book Festival. Jonny Pryce takes me to Ruffians Barbers in Queensferry for a haircut and mustache trim. My first time in a barber shop in years. It feels very strange. But in the end, I survive and even enjoy the experience. Thank you, Martin. Thank you, Jonny. And thank you, Ruffians Barbers.
In the evening we go to David & Roza's for dinner. The film crew films the dinner party. The author, Angela Jackson, reads from her new novel. David's cooking is superb. He says that he will come to Paris in the autumn and cook a Sunday dinner. Susie buys two of Roza's small paintings. It's a fun evening. Thank David and Roza and head back to my hotel. Say goodbye to Susie and Denver as they leave tomorrow for the South of France. Will see Susie in Paris again soon.

Saturday, 20th: Up early. Test levels very good. Dress and go down for breakfast. Tonight there is a small dinner party at Ingrid Kempston's home.
In the afternoon, head for the Traverse. Visit with Cian O'Siochain in the press room. His colleague, Kyriakos Vogiatzis, also there; he attended a Sunday dinner in my home earlier in the year. Robbie Jack takes several photographs of Cian and me. I am passed a ticket to see Mark Thomas's show, The Red Shed, in theatre 1 at 13.15.It is very political, and I enjoy it. I have lunch in the Traverse bar café afterwards. I am ashamed to say this is the only production I managed to see in the Traverse this year. I love the Traverse and am extremely proud to have co-created it.
I have no memory of what unfolds the rest of today. I know I head for Ainslie Place and have a wonderful dinner with Ingrid Kempston. She has prepared a feast. Maybe one of the best meals I had in the festival this year.

  Jim & Cian O'Siochain, photo by Robbie Jack
Jim and Cian, photo by Robbie Jack.

With us are Astrid, Ingrid's little sister, Martin Belk and Jonathan Pryce. And another couple, Astrida Balodis and John Eaton, from Leicester. The starters alone are divine, followed by a fish curry. Very full and very contented, I make my way to the hotel and bed.

Sunday, 21st: Today is my session at the Book Festival. My blood sugar level is fine this morning. Go down for my usual breakfast coffee, porridge, bacon, orange juice.
Meet Mohan Mulani at the Book Festival. He is with the beautiful Nathalie. After we have embraced, she introduces me to her son and daughter. I highly recommend that they see Christine Bovill's show. (And they do. And they loved it as expected. And by chance I just received an email message from Christine as I was writing these words. She writes from a Thai restaurant in Glasgow where she is having lunch and reading my new book. Ah synchronicity.)
Martin Belk and Pauline Miller-Judd, the Dean of the Arts Faculty at Napier University, have arranged to give everyone who attends my session this afternoon a complimentary signed copy of this new book, World Citizen at Home in Paris. This means I miss Joan Bakewell's talk because I am signing books. Afterwards taxi to the hotel to give myself an insulin injection, then back to Charlotte Square. Napier University hosts a reception in my honor and in recognition of Napier University acquiring my archives. It is held in the Book Festival cafe before my session. I stick my head inside briefly. They seem to be extremely proud to be able to host my archives, and all the festivities signify their new archive endeavors. I cannot stay as long as I would wish because I must meet Peggy Hughes and sign copies of my new book. Then I head for a wee chat with Peggy Hughes. She is as expected perfect in every way. In the Bailie Gifford Corner Theatre, we stroll down Memory Lane together. So many friends are present: Gavin Mitchell, Joan Bakewell, Dina Iordanova, Don Paterson, Mary Clemmey, the film crew have been allowed to film, Mohan Mulani & Nathalie, Roza & David Petherick, Astrid Silins, Jonny Pryce and Martin Belk and others.
Afterwards Joan introduces me to a poet published by Canongate Books, Lemn Sissay. She and I walk the short distance to Browns in George Street for a simple dinner. At a table near by sit the film crew plus Roza and David. Our waiters are Mia, from Prague, and Adam, from Budapest. Dinner is excellent. Fish and chips. Joan insists upon treating. Hooray for liberated ladies!
Taxi to Lawnmarket where I drop off Joan for a performance. Hotel and early night for me.

Monday, 22nd: Slow start this morning. After my usual medical chores, go down for my usual breakfast fare. Just as I am about to depart, I see Mohan Mulani. Go over and join him and have a second coffee. He tells me that he enjoyed my session yesterday in the book Festival. He also says that he, Natalie and her kids also enjoyed Christine Bovill's concert. Get a call from Marta who reports that Ece is not feeling well and that they will interview Joan Bakewell at noon and Ricky Demarco in the afternoon. Mohan will go to Glasgow this afternoon for three days, then fly to Bombay. He lives in Singapore, but is thinking of buying another home, but cannot decide where. Back to my room. Call Martin Belk and we discuss yesterday's Book Festival session. We both agree that it went extremely well and that Peggy Hughes is a divine lady. He will have 15 copies of World Citizen sent to the hotel.
I meet Roza Petherick in my hotel and we walk slowly to Blackwells for a reading from the literary magazine, Gutter. The editor, Colin Begg, says he dined recently at one of my Sunday dinners. The Assistant Editor, Laura Waddell, and I are introduced. She is lovely. The issue features Canadian poets. After a while I elect to leave. Roza walks the short distance to Mother India, but there is a 30-minute waiting, so decide to take a taxi to Bonsai, the Japanese restaurant I like. A great meal. Taxi to Summerhall. The firm crew are nowhere to be seen. I stroll about and spot Robert McDowell in the back bar. He invites me to join his table and introduces me a half dozen or more people.

Tuesday, 23rd: MBreakfast at 8. Blood sugar level is perfect this morning. My nurses in Paris would be proud of me. Marta calls. Ece is still not 100% OK. Damn. But they managed to interview Joan Bakewell and Ricky Demarco yesterday. There is a surprise birthday party for Frances Sutton this morning in the Book Festival in the Party Pavilion. Talk with her friend, the lawyer, Christian Melville. Also talk with Ian Rankin about his days and nights in Paris when he helped out at Shakespeare & Co in exchange for a bed. He promises to leave a book for me at the Writers' Yurt. (And he does!)
Go out to Summerhall and bump into Gavin Mitchell. What a superb fellow he is! Wander about and meet Ricky Demarco. He is being filmed for my documentary and I join him. Later John Martin joins us as well. Back to the Book Festival and attend at 15.30 Adam Biles session in the Writers' Retreat. In the evening taxi to Leith for Martin Belk's birthday dinner. He has cooked a Thai feast. It starts at 6.30 and I miss Ian Buruma's talk in the Book Festival. But one cannot be everywhere at the festival that is for sure. At the table are (from my left): Carrie Gooch, Astrid Silins, Martin Belk, Jonathan Pryce, Angie Lamb, Liam Lamb, Thomas Haywood, Catherine Harkin, yours truly.

Wednesday, 24th: I have a meeting this morning at 10 with Dave Hammond who will film me for Summerhall TV. And Ece and her film crew will film Dave filming me.
Go to the Book Festival and attend Arkady Ostrovsky's 14.15 session on why Russia is on the knife edge. He has a new book, The Invention of Russia. I sit with Allan Little and give him a copy of World Citizen. Arkady gives a superb talk. Back in the Writers Yurk I find myself sitting next to him and his son, Peter. Tell him that I once dined with Vladimir Putin. We also discover that we have a good friend in common, John Lloyd. See Marta. Talk with Steve Gove.
Go to Erica Jong's 17.00 session with Ruth Wishart in the chair. Erica once wrote me a letter asking my help in putting up a plaque in 18 Villa Seurat where Henry Miller once lived. My efforts came to nothing. Sit next to Hannah McGill and Susan Mansfield. Give them both copies of World Citizen. It is a fun event. Ruth is in top form. And so is Erica.
Back to the hotel to test my blood sugar level. Dine in the evening with Claudia Monteiro and Malcolm Kirkup. Steve Gove comes late to my hotel room to gossip.

Thursday, 25th: I have arranged to meet Angela Bartie this morning to see The Pianist and we will see it at noon. I also have a lunch date afterwards in the hotel with Stephanie Wolfe Murray, Angela Bartie, and Martin Belk. Susie Parker raved about The Pianist and said it was the best show she managed to see at the festival. My favorite shows were all musical based: Michael Griffith's Cole, Christine Bovill's Paris and Frederik Steenbrink & Isabelle Georges Oh La La.
Go with Martin Belk to see a Napier University student production. It is excellent. See Pauline Miller Judd there as well. Rush back to the hotel to give myself an insulin injection. Go downstairs and meet four ladies from Fife. Tell them that I was a friend of another lady from Fife, the late great Jennie Lee. Earlier the film crew had asked the ladies for silence while they were filming someone.
At 5, walk the short distance to Assembly Roxy to see Guy Masterson's Love & Canine. Sit with David Calvito. The show is completely zany.
Taxi to Leith to see Astrid. Stash Pruszynsky and his son, Oscar, have just arrived from Warsaw. Martin Belk joins us. We walk the short distance to Nobles Bar and Restaurant in Constitution Street in Leith and have a fabulous meal. I love the place. Great food and a great atmosphere.
Taxi to The Outsider, a delightful restaurant in George IV Bridge. Join Steve Gove, Jan Thompson, and two of Jan's friends. Steve is the co-founder and co-director of the Prague Fringe Festival. I have been the past two years and greatly enjoyed it. Jan is the British Ambassador to the Czech Republic and a big supporter of the Prague Fringe Festival. Steve has picked the restaurant and the exact table for Jan's birthday celebration. We can see the castle from our window and a glorious fireworks explosion. After a bit, stroll to my hotel.

  Isabelle Georges and her all star band, Oh Là Là!
Isabelle Georges and her all star band, Oh Là Là!

Friday, 26th: Up at 7 and do my medical chores. Back to bed for an hour. At 8, shave. Go down for breakfast. Marta calls to ask if she may join me. Yes, of course! Tell Lukasz at the front desk that I am expecting a call or a visit from Bobby Yarra. Marta arrives and orders eggs and tomatoes. Bobby arrives. He has been in Ireland and will be staying in a hotel in the Bridges. He is pleased to be in Edinburgh and says that the city is truly beautiful. Vicki, from Melbourne, is our waitress.

I call Steve Gove. He was supposed to join me for breakfast, but he overslept. He apologizes and says he is now in a show and cannot talk.
Go out and bus to Princes Street. This should last me for a while. Taxi to Charlotte Square. Greet Al Sender and we chat briefly about the book he is reading. Have a bowl of soup in the Yurt. Liam brings me a book that Ian Rankin has left for me. I leave a copy of World Citizen for Ian and his wife, Miranda Harvey. Chat briefly with Tessa.
Go once again to see Cole with Bobby Yarra. Discover Jan Thompson and her friends Susan and Julie are also attending. And once again I love it. The film crew have permission to film the show. Afterwards thank Michael Griffiths and give him a copy of World Citizen. Six of us pile into a taxi and race to St. Andrew Square for Frederik & Isabelle Georges wonderful concert. Again the film crew have permission to film this performance. Roza and David are also in attendance. So too are Gavin Mitchell and Clare Waugh. We all love the show and I manage to give Isabelle a few warm hugs afterwards. David drops Roza at the Book Festival and me in Forrest Road. I manage to enter Sanjoy's dinner party. Tim Cornwell opens the door for me. This dinner is one of the highlights always of my festival. Hug Sanjoy and tell him I am looking forward to eating his fabulous Indian cuisine. And it does not disappoint. Talk to a number of people. Alas I cannot remember everyone's name. But I do have a long talk with Tim Cornwell, with Bob Flynn, with Dana MacLeod, with Faith Liddell and with Claudia Monteiro. Suddenly I am tired. I thank Sanjoy and Dana. To my pleasant surprise, Faith Liddell says she will walk me to my hotel. And she does!

  World Citizen, a book by Jim Haynes
World Citizen, at home in Paris, a new book by Jim Haynes

Saturday, 27th: Sugar level is 99 this morning. This is a bit low. Bobby Yarra joins me for breakfast. We gossip about last night. He repeats how much he enjoyed the two shows we saw together. We also talk about Kyle Roderick and Gregory Corso, about Allen Ginsberg and Eddie Woods, about Bill Levy and the Living Theatre. Give the lovely waitress, Vicky, a copy of World Citizen. Get a call from Martin Belk. Susie Parker calls me from Paris. I have a lunch date with Ricky Demarco here at the hotel at 1. And Steve Gove will pass at 2.30. Go to Waverley Station in the afternoon and book a wheelchair for Monday morning. Call Sheila Colvin and John Calder and chat with John. Call Natalia Shkola and we agree to meet next Monday in London. Go to the book Festival and leave a copy of World Citizen for Dana Macleod with Charlotte Gosling. Go to the 19.15 session about writers in Mexico. Sit next to Nick Barley. My old flat mate, Christopher MacLeHose, has something to do with this event.

Sunday, 28th: Late breakfast. Slowly get into action. I want to attend Pete Ayrton's talk on his book about Spain's view of their Civil War, but somehow or other manage to miss it. The film crew will interview Bill Burdett-Coutts this afternoon. And there is a reading of David Greig's play Europe in the Book Festival that I wish to attend, but I manage not to do so.

Monday, 29th: Today depart Edinburgh and take the 10.45 train to London. Breakfast and quickly pack. The film crew arrive at the hotel to collect me. Thank Lukasz and all the staff of the Hotel du Vin for their kindness to me during the past three weeks. We have a smooth and uneventful ride to London. The film crew heads for Tamara Alferoff's home. Natalia Shkola meets me and we taxi to Ernie Eban's home. Today is the last day of Notting Hill Carnival. Natalia suggests a Lebanese restaurant that she recently enjoyed and we elect to go there. I call Dorota Chrisp and Masha Mombelli and they join us. We have a feast...

This is the end of this newsletter. More adventures to follow in the next newsletter about the Victoria & Albert Museum's show, You Say You Want a Revolution?, on London in the 60s. Stay tuned.

Steven Ullman and I hope to co-produce Casablanca - the Gin Joint Cut off-Broadway early next year. We are still seeking investments. If you are interested, please contact me for further details.

 

Jim Haynes
November 2016

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

 

 

 

 

 

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