News from Jupiter

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 […]

And the prize goes to . . .

March 21, 2017

My little essay on records has stirred up a bit of controversy and predictably turned over a few stones. So first, let me reassure everyone that I don’t actually give a hang about setting records. If you didn’t notice the tongue in my cheek it must be that my cheeks have grown too fat on all this lovely cheese I’m eating in la Belle France. […]


March 18, 2017

The other day in London I met Gianluca Renato, the marketing director of Pirelli, a very likeable, youngish man with an obviously acute intelligence. We met thanks to an introduction from a friend in Russia, who thought we might be able to help each other. Unfortunately, like too many people, he had never heard of me, and I had the uncomfortable job of having to […]

At least there’s music

February 17, 2017

My bike sits in the garage, gloomy and forlorn. I can’t ride it because it still has British plates on it, and I can’t get it insured. To get French plates I have to have a piece of paper to prove to the French authorities that the bike conforms to the  European norms. Of course it does. It was made in Italy, sold and used […]


November 30, 2016

I had a nightmare last night. The world was in ruins, in a rather colourful and impressionistic way, and I was in a famous photographer’s studio where he was trying to turn the ruins into an art object. I had been up and down the west coast of America, on a bike I think, getting lost in hotels and viewing the destruction, and I was […]

Banter ranter

October 16, 2016

I haven’t been in a locker room since I was 17 which probably accounts for the fact that all my joints seem to be working quite painlessly, but even back then in post-war London boys might be heard saying some pretty disgusting things. I don’t remember anything about pussies because we hadn’t graduated yet to reverse anthropomorphism. The C word was certainly uttered from time […]