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lundi 3 novembre 2003

That was the one she forgot. It's appalling. They all do! "Malicious, considerate, manipulative, perceptive, very kind, adorable..." I forget the other word she used, but that's what she called me tonight, the Wildcat.
Killing time while she waited for the start of a film about cancer, 'My Life without Me', of which I knew nothing.
My life without her is hard. Sometimes...
I still wish she hadn't left out the "sexy".

Sam made up for it earlier, though, serving up yet another Sunday special. The meal at the Canteen was especially good today, in excellent company. The usual gang was there, Baudier the mournful lion, the elderly lady who likes to listen a lot but says little, Sam working miracles in the kitchen, Lynda serving up the food, even Jacques came down from his flat above the restaurant, another retired fellow I must write more about one day, bringing his own wry curiosity to our talk of everything and of nothing...
There was also a surprise star appearance in the shape of a child I took to in an instant.
It's a pity the Kid didn't come this weekend after all, because she missed a first chance to meet Jean-Paul's daughter Emma, who has been talked about to her often. As it would seem the delightful Emma has been told of me and the Kid.
Not only did Sam do something novel and very spicy with my "Menu Marianne", the main course named after the Kid (Sundays see interesting variations in the vegetables with the escalope Milanaise+ French fries).
For dessert, he served up a tarte tatin warm out of the oven, another item not on the menu and so good that even Jean-Paul succumbed and had pudding for the first time I've seen. Lynda said that Sam is at his best in the kitchen when he can't eat anything himself because he observes Ramadan.

Walking home, I suddenly remembered where I first found the Kid's second name particularly attractive. It goes back a long way. I can't have been more than 15 when I read John Fowles' 'The Magus' (1966), whose anti-hero bears my own name. One of the women in the singularly original novel has this second name I gave the Kid when she was born many years later.

I've no idea why this recollection soared up into my consciousness just as a jet black cat crossed my path in the drizzle and then came out from under a parked car to rub its nuzzle and ears against my leg.
But I plan to read 'The Magus' again. I wonder if I'll still think Fowles shouldn't have revised it 11 years later, robbing this enigmatic and seductive masterpiece of some of its mystery.
There's more explicit sex in the revised version, but I found the original as erotic as it was intriguing.
If and where a cat came into it, I don't recall.

But one thing's for sure.
The Panther is slinking my way.
And when her day comes, I face a choice.
Apple's new version of the OS X operating system will mean saying goodbye to some hard disk space as well as Jaguar. Just as I feel really familiar with the whims and most of the mysteries of the big cat that has been the heart of my Mac for the past year.
Old habits die as hard for a grey wolf as some of a human spirit's deepest fantasies and fancies, particularly the ones that usually lie deep, deep beneath the surface.
Desert island dreams.
How I wish the Wildcat were here!
The Wildcat and her shared love of so many things Mediterranean ... it's time to follow our instincts and the birds and head south, south for the Sun and places where music isn't just a vital part of life, but the very breath of life.
Today, I turned up later than planned at the Canteen because I was entranced by an elderly woman on the Food Programme (catch this incarnation of the page before it disappears).
The Orsi family, a restaurant in Pontypridd, 75 years of Italian cooking in Wales, two nations where song is so much. The mama in this week's broadcast had a voice which sang in two accents, her Italian one and the Welsh one that took me straight back to my university days in Swansea.
To hear her made me hungry!
Sam did outstandingly well to satisfy the tastebuds that set a-quiver, and his cooking gave me time to speed home again to collect a couple of African CDs Jean-Paul wanted to borrow. Why wait when the occasion presents itself unexpectedly?
Indeed, our lazy afternoon chit-chat was accompanied by David Fanshawe's 'African Sanctus', which everybody seemed happy to discover. It was in Sam's music machine before I realised he'd even snitched it.
The 1970s, when first I heard this, "was the decade of 'fusion'. But when David Fanshawe presented his eclectic mix of tape recordings from travels in Africa and his own compositions, he still caused quite a stir. No one had heard anything like it..." (from Amazon UK's five-star review).

Rêve d'un temple souterrainIn tune with my mind's current workings, the subterranean temple is one of my favourite desktop pictures.
I know where I'm going to have to shed some space on my Mac, in the interest of a pleasure principle too long denied, buried, suppressed...
No more choosing between women and the world's musics.
They go far too well together, except, with reluctance, in the bowels of the machine. Hard disk space is still expensive, to buy one as Jean-Paul suggested would be at the unacceptable cost of air and train fares to come...

It's been mostly the women, of late, who have told me that I know how to talk about music without being boring or incomprehensible. That's a gift I renounced in the early '80s. Other priorities.
No longer.
Some people say I can even talk about computers without being geekish or dull, perhaps because I'm sharing a passion. And something we all have to know a little about if we're to make sense of our children's world...
So, if you click on the temple, you'll open a gallery. A tribute to Jaguar. And perhaps, a hint of why for the majority of Windows users, computers are a tool, a means to an end, machines that inexplicably crash and confound.
I know enough people who are productively original with Micro$oft, or perhaps despite it, not to generalise or wage boring "platform wars".
Yet still Macs, Apple and the 'Think different' sales slogan are for many a complex love-hate relationship, the machine and the software perhaps best suited to the creative imagination. And, yes -- admettons -- some of us are insufferably elitist...
This Monday afternoon, I have an important appointment. Until a few days ago, I didn't know there were doctors specialised in "psychosomatic medicine".
When I meet one, said to be very pragmatic and bright, it'll be a key step in the changes still to come in my life after such a strange six months.
My father was very intrigued at what I was able to tell him tonight. "Such a year you've had!"
And he plans to explain to me, in writing, exactly why he has "long, thought [I'm] a journalist by default rather than by design."
My real nature, he said (and whatever that may be), is elsewhere. But it's taken me a quarter of a century to find that out. Along with a nine-month "experiment" in putting myself on the line. Online ... for anybody who may care to pass by.
The Wildcat repeatedly reassures me that whatever I really am isn't incompatible with my "career" at the Factory. I hope you're right, Wildcat, but I can't help being apprehensive.
You wanted me there to hold your hand. These months of exile from the city of your heart and from yourself can't last forever, my friend.

2:33:42 AM  link   your views? []

nick b. 2007 do share, don't steal, please credit
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