News from Jupiter

Its not all about Dracula

September 21, 2018

These days every time I get on a bike it’s like a new lease of life. Always, before I hoist my leg over the saddle (and hoist is the right word)  there is that small tremor of nervousness. Will it be OK? Will I still feel in command? And then the relief of finding that Yes, it feels good. I still belong here. This time […]

Underneath the arches . . .

August 20, 2018

. . . in luxury I dined. My night at the Bike Shed was a revelation. It just goes to show what a cool, cosmopolitan lot we are. They’ve turned these railway arches into a very attractive place to meet and eat and relax. I would say, quite honestly, that it was one of the most pleasant and interesting conversions I’ve seen in a long […]

A night n the Shed

August 16, 2018

In an hour I will be driving to the airport at Montpellier, and by six this evening I should arrive at the Bike Shed in London’s Shoreditch. I’ve never been there before. Apparently it’s a super cool biker club, and every now and again they invite worthy people like me to sit at the Captain’s table and be interrogated – in a friendly way, I […]

In memory of the Mayle Man

April 26, 2018

I only recently learned that Peter Mayle has died, much too young, at 78. David Ogilvy, the advertising wizard,  used to call him the Mayle Man but you may know of him as the man who wrote a hugely successful book, A Year in Provence, followed by many others.  I knew him long before all that. It was just after I’d come back from my […]

Kid stuff

April 2, 2018

  Spring is sprung, as Mr Durante used to say, and I’ve been out on my MP3 to taste it. Unfortunately my yellow BMW still cowers in the corner of my garage, because a rare but violent disagreement with an erstwhile friend has left me with a bureaucratic nightmare, but Hey, shit happens and one day it will be resolved. Meanwhile there’s always the bar […]

I drew a blank

December 12, 2017

Remember this? Three weeks ago I was on my way to see the Mayor about getting murals up on the wall. Plenty of you thought it was a fine idea. some of you even offered to paint them. And then you probably thought I’d forgotten all about it. Not at all. The Mayor, Monsieur Bernardi, was in Paris at a congress of mayors from all […]

The walls are hungry

November 20, 2017

I’ve had this idea for a while and I’ve finally decided to do something about it On a corner between my house and the cafe, the commune recently demolished a burned-out building and finally left a wall that was neatly reinforced and stuccoed and looks like this: So I thought wouldn’t it be terrific if it could look like this: and I am going to […]

This sun also rises

November 14, 2017

Although the Jupiter journey for which I am best known began in October 1973, the road leading up to it was long and eventful. There were several major milestones along the way. Getting the bike from Triumph was one. Getting a license to ride it was another. But the most significant of them all in those pre-digital days, when newspapers were still the most powerful […]

Back To Life

August 17, 2017

People with long memories may recall that four years ago, in 2013, I rode my 20-year-old 650 to Greece and had a few minor mishaps along the way (see Greece: A slippery adventure). When I brought it back to the shop in Duisburg where Dirk Erker kept it and maintained it for me, it was a bit battered and the forks were noticeably skewed: Nothing […]

Goings and comings

June 19, 2017

There’s a hotel at the Paris airport called Citizen M that proclaims itself, in a way I find rather clumsy and irritating, as though it were an exclusive, almost secret, organization. The walls and furniture are peppered with little homilies like “Citizen M says a good night’s sleep is worth two at the office” or some such nonsense. However, the typography is brilliant and the […]