A Yucatán post(card)

Coati Bill, shooting the breeze with his buddy, Dr Death. Tulum, Mexico. Coati Joe and the Missus, distant relations of Bill’s, at the ruins of Coba, Yucatán peninsula. Yucatán postcard 1. View from breakfast. This past end-of-year, we decided to spend the holidays with the whole family near Tulum, on the Yucatán peninsula, near Tulum.…

An African* childhood, part 3

The magic house, Conakry, Guinea, West Africa, c.1962. I’m sitting on the table, pondering the day’s next play. Little Sis walks down the stairs with her cast on her arm. Keep a safe distance lest she clubs you. The house may be long gone, the African village at the back has been replaced by rows…

Van Gogh, Auvers-sur-Oise

Vincent Van Gogh arrived at Auvers-sur-Oise in May 1890. Nearly 130 years ago. Auvers is a small town, or a large village North of Paris. Long time friends of ours live 10 kms away. Our old house in Normandy was 20-25 kms away perhaps. Monet’s Giverny lies 30-40 kms to the West. One week-end we…

Pot-Pourri two and soixante

Tiger hunt with the Prince of Wales. c.1905. First row, 2nd from the left, holding a stick, Rao Scindia, Maharajah of Gwalior; dressed in a dark suit, the Prince of Wales, future King George V; last from right, with a colonial helmet under his arm, my great-uncle, Frank Onraet, Chief-of-staff of the Maharajah, and organizer…

Street art somewhere

American History. Guarani art, Asunción, Paraguay. Look at life through pink glasses. Mexico city. Putin was here. Or was it Kilroy? Mexico. Guarani eyes, Asunción. Gimme your hand. Asunción. Fly, little bird, fly. Asunción. Imperialism shall prevail. Mexico. “Alas, poor Yorrick. I knew him well, Horatio. A fellow of infinite jest, of excellent fancy.” (Hamlet).…

A black cat in Montmartre

In the old days, Montmartre was the end of some Metro lines. “Direction Montmartre”. Not any more. It’s actually hard to find the appropriate station to go to “Matha’s hill”. I recommend Lamarck-Caulaincourt. No stairs, just walk up from the back. (The first half of this post has just been wiped out by WP. Grrr.…