News from Jupiter

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 […]

One white knuckle, more to come.

April 23, 2017

  Aspiran is voting today. As you can see from my picture, posters of all 11 candidates are up in the village square, but only Marine Le Pen’s is defaced. Those of you who would like to take consolation from this should beware. The people round here are much inclined to like her regardless of the neo-fascist origins of her party and her friendship with […]

My Paper Doll

April 1, 2017

    Just when I thought it was all over for me, just as I enter my leaden years with all thought of romance a nostalgic dream, I find myself launched on a new affair. It crept up on me so quietly and unobtrusively that I didn’t even realise it was happening . I was on my way back from meeting her in Béziers, a […]

Is it Heaven . . . or is it Hell

March 22, 2017

There should have been trumpets and a drum roll, but the trumpeter sloped off months ago and somebody turned the drums into lampshades. Nevertheless, it was a momentous event. That beautiful piece of brass I have been rabbiting on about for ages did finally arrive. So today it is OFFICIAL. I have finally got the brass plaque. The names are on the plaque. The plaque […]