Music and poetry...

Sorry for having been a lousy blogger for a while… and probably will be so still for another while. I’m quite busy with a number of things right now. One of them has been the involvement in a chamber concert which took place last week.

It all started with an article about me in the Göteborgs-Posten, my birth town’s local newspaper. The article was read by a leading violinist in the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, more or less on her way to Paris. Her name is Marja Inkinen-Engström. She read about Paris walks, my interest in music… She contacted me… and we met. I arranged a meeting with a local friend and professional pianist, Cecilia Löfstrand, and we met in the 17th century apartment of another friend, author and poet, Birgitta Lindqvist. Spontaneously, it was decided to, as soon as possible, use the place - and the piano - for a chamber concert.

A couple of weeks later, in May, two weekend concerts could take place. Marja took a few days off, came to Paris again, and was joined by her friend Per Nyström who also flew in from Sweden with his cello. So, Marja, Cecilia and Per could perform together, concentrating on French rather contemporary chamber music. We had invited some selected guests, mostly members of the local Swedish Art Association, who could during the music pause listen to some wonderful poetry by Birgitta… and drink a glass of champagne.

Sincere thanks to everybody who made these memorable moments possible – the musicians and Birgitta – not forgetting the journalist who wrote the article which started it all, Johan Tollgerdt!

Unfortunately there is no video from the concert – you have to imagine! It was a moment never to forget!    


There will be a break...

I’m back from Sweden. I have a very busy program the coming few weeks, so there will hardly be any regular posting for a while. Also, I have already reported quite a lot on my birth town Gothenburg, so from this latest trip there will only be this duck mother and her 15 (!!!) babies, met in a street. I already published a photo on Facebook a couple of days ago. I should have made a video! The mother decided to leave the street for a little garden. There was a little wall. It took a couple of minutes before the last baby managed the jump – after many tries. Only then the mother decided to continue further into the garden. Can ducks count? 

Well, another little thing... I noticed that the French language sometimes is in use in Sweden. 



10 years ago - I had just started blogging (yes, 10 years!!) - I left the below message to say that I left for my birth-town for a couple of days to celebrate the 45 years years since I passed my "baccaluréat". Now it's time again for the 55 years (there was a 50-years celebration in the meantime, see further below). I took a new selfie, still with the stupid cap. (Yes, there will be a short while without new posts.)

This is what the already old gentlemen looked like 5 years ago.


More from the 14th arrondissement...

Once I was at Rue des Thermopyles (see previous post), I continued the walk in the area and discovered some other little streets and alleys. Here is one example, “Impasse du Moulin Vert” - I suppose there must have been a green windmill around… Not anymore, just another little street where you still feel some countryside atmosphere, cobblestones, wisterias… .   (One of the buildings is where Patrick Dewaere lived … and left us too early.)

However, someone decided a few decades ago to replace a large part of one side of the street with a neutral, dull, apartment building, meaning that there is a clear contrast between one side of the street and the other side. I doubt that such a decision would have been taken today. 

There are some other charming buildings – and wisterias - in the neighbourhood. 


Rue des Thermopyles

The more you walk around the 14th arrondissement, the more you discover some really charming streets, narrow alleys… Here is another one with the name Rue des Thermopyles. The name of the street is a bit surprising, it refers to a coastal passage in Greece, Thermopylae, where a number of battles have taken place,

…. the most famous obviously between the Greek / Spartan and Persian forces in 480 BC (illustrated by Jacques-Louis David in 1814) and the – hopefully – last one in 1941 between Greek and German forces. 

There is actually not much else to say about the street – I found no names of famous inhabitants… you can just enjoy the atmosphere and right now especially the wisterias.

The street ends with a little “jardin partagé” (garden shared by the inhabitants)… and some street art.

The famous personality I was looking for can be found in the prolongation of the street, the Square Alberto-Giacometti… and the nearby address where this artist had his studio for 40 years, from 1926 until his death in 1966, at no. 46, rue Hippolyte-Mandron. Picasso, Braque… and especially Samuel Beckett were frequent visitors.