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



Taliesin left England for France in 1980, after five crazy and enjoyable years at the BBC's Broadcasting House in London, where he started to learn how to be a journalist by writing about music for a living.
In late 2004, music resumed shaping his life instead, a state of affairs he says he found so satisfactory that within six months women musicians took charge of his website and transformed its face for the fourth time.
"There won't be any big more changes," he maintains, "unless they're cosmetic and with a little help from my friends."

Some of his French friends insist he remains stubbornly rosbif, particularly in his accent since he can't roll his "r"s like they do. A few British ones consider him corrupted beyond redemption by foreigners. Everyone else takes him for a bit of both.
He's lost his right to vote in Britain, "never bothered" to take French nationality and is one of those people who likes to themselves as a "citizen of Planet Earth. When I can keep my feet on it."
SnatchedHe generally answers to the name of Nick Barrett but Taliesin is no nom de plume or "pseudo", it's the second bit of his full name, which I couldn't get out of him.

Nick's first books were a flimsy one called 'God, Life and Everything' and ... he can't remember a novel called 'Womb of Fire'. The last typewritten copy of this allegorical fantasy probably ended up in a waste-bin in India.
An epic foray into poetry, 'Gaia's Complaint', engrossed him for a summer. It was a distressingly pretentious bid to tackle 'The Waste Land' as he thought T.S. Eliot might have done in 1993. It too went unpublished, rejected by Faber and Faber, a publisher he appreciates for telling him why in a very encouraging way.

Since the 1970s, Taliesin has travelled widely in south Asia, Africa and parts of Europe. He has occasionally worked abroad, but rarely for the international multimedia agency where he became the African news editor during the 1990s.
"I admire those who do it and work with them all the time," he says, "but being in Africa and keeping deadlines when I am don't suit me."

His most memorable effort at cooking on duty was the day he filled "the Factory's" Johannesburg office with acrid smoke by setting fire to the microwave oven with his lunch.
He usually serves on the agency's English Desk in Paris, filling his keyboard with sandwich crumbs until the Condition struck. Nobody knows exactly what this was, but it took him off work for several months. Afterwards he started fetching lunch trays and nowadays he oils his AFP terminal with yoghurt. The picture of more than a mug-shot was taken at a Dakar hotel in 2004 during a seminar on AFP's Africa coverage. Nick let me put it here only after cropping out a recumbent woman who was probably playing truant as well.

A love-hate relationship with Apple began when he had to have one of the first iMacs. Nick dislikes being a nerd, but can often mend people's "busted" Macs and iPods, owing what he knows to half-read books, ill-digested manuals, and the people with whom he helped found the Mac website TechSurvivors ('TS').

DakarNick first decided to add to the blogosphere brewed by half a million others because his off-topic rants, raves and flights of fancy were inappropriate to TS and its lightly but firmly enforced policy on PRS (politics, religion and sex). There used to be a lot of all three on the log.

Divorced but very fond of his former spouse, Nick long fell in love more often than he thought good for him and usually succeeds in avoiding being whirled round the little finger of his daughter Marianne (her place), born in 1989.

He was a trade-union activist for a quarter of a century until 2004 when he slid on to the "back benches". A year later, he quietly resigned from TS. Nick has quit most of his volunteer posts to focus on his paid work, the people he holds dear and his consuming interests.
"Why do you say 'most'?" I asked him early in 2006.
"That's none of your business," the surly sod said. "But I'd love to be a musical shaman."

Taliesin is a 'Balance' (Libra), born in 1955 with a sting in the ascendant (Scorpio). The book he regards as "my political bible" also proved to be the mayor of London's desert island choice back in the days when he was 'Red Ken' Livingstone: Ursula K. LeGuin's novel about what anarchy could be, 'The Dispossessed'.
He often mentions Ursula because he considers her utopias, in many shapes, the finest story-telling of the 20th and now 21st century, but if ever Nick were forced into a desert island choice, he would very likely take Richard Wilhelm's version of the 'I Ching' ('Yi King'), in Etienne Perrot's French translation.

Since 1993, he has lived in a small but snug nest on a lively street two short Métro stops, or a swift walk, from Montparnasse, the French capital's nearest thing to Picadilly Circus. He and Marianne know where the best seats are in far too many of Paris's cinemas. Rather that, he insists, than a telly.
He doubts he'll live in Losserand Street forever -- that's what he said about France in 1980 and he's changed his mind since -- but "it's in one of the last Parisian villages left, a very cosmopolitan one. I still don't know why they call me 'British Airways' in my local café.
"You want to know about the woman who flies me? There's only one of her."

fountains and fortunes
voices of women
(ecstatic naiades, erotic firebirds, eccentric angels, electric dryades ...)

the orchard:
a blog behind the log
(popping those green pills sometimes gives me strange fruit)

musical months
march 2007
[feb 2007]
jan 2007
[dec 2006]
nov 2006
oct 2006
[sept 2006]
aug 2006
july 2006
june 2006
may 2006
april 2006
march 2006
feb 2006
jan 2006
dec 2005
nov 2005
oct 2005
sept 2005
aug 2005
july 2005
june 2005
may 2005
previous lives
april 2005
march 2005
feb 2005
jan 2005
dec 2004
nov 2004
oct 2004
sept 2004
aug 2004
july 2004
june 2004
may 2004
april 2004
march 2004
feb 2004
jan 2004
dec 2003
nov 2003
oct 2003
sept 2003
aug 2003
july 2003
june 2003
may 2003
april 2003
march 2003
feb 2003

good ideas
creative commons licence
artistic licence;
contributing friends (pix, other work)
retain their rights.

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