Invincible Summer |||

Falling towards England

Hardly a ballistic parabola, falling towards England… i-it’s more like a rubber band, snapping me home. Paris by lunchtime and I’m much encouraged to find my way faultlessly from the A6 round the Boulevard Périphérique to Anne McClain’s little rue off the Avenue New York. Hats off to Google Maps, which lets me study in detail any tricky passages. A-and a car vacates its precious stretch of curb just as I enter the street. A quick lunch with Anne, who seems to be inventing a new profession, part NGO activist, part cultural attaché and part investment banker. I’m mildly disappointed after lunch to find my car unticketed, how unlike Westminster — nothing to put in my collection beside the one I picked up in Milan.

Grabbing fuel and coffee at an aire on the A1 north, I’m cheered to see that Charlie Hebdo is still being published, and that Wolinski is drawing his strange, obscene cartoons. My favourite strip of a quarter century ago, “Le Monde Fantastique des Belges” no longer offers surreal lies about the Belgians. (Were they lies?)

A conversation on the car ferry with Beth from Yorkshire, recently repotted as an ex-pat in Geneva. Outside England, she says, the light is better.

Home to Hampstead a little after midnight.

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