Для всех моих друзей в России

OK – I’m showing off again. I bet no one thought I was fluent in Russian – well Google translation is as close as I can get. The title line should translate as “For all my friends in Russia”. I do not know who they are but there are hundreds of them logging on to my blog and I have no idea why Comrades. So dear Russians – I love you all and special love will go to any one adding a comment from Russia. 

Reach for the skies

I am on holiday so I am writing this blog on my terrasse. In fact I find myself sitting idly on my terrasse more and more. As the sun dries my skin I will soon look like a remake of Terrassic Park. And yes- there are real lizards in the dry stone wall. As temperatures zoom towards the melting point of foie gras I’m just gonna post a few photos from around the gorgeous undiscovered town of Saint Savinien Sur Charente. I cannot believe my good fortune at living here. Of course, les tournesols are grown as a commercial crop – it does not seem possible that they turn out millions of Van Gogh masterpieces just so that you can fry a perfect frite to go with your moules. But they do. 

If I had ever doubted that this place is in fact paradise, I must confess to a moment of religious experience a couple of days ago. I had put some left over chocolate sauce in the fridge and someone had seen it and dipped in a finger. The following morning the sauce had set, revealing the true nature of the Universe – Love and Chocolate. Just at that moment the church bells started to ring and a cockerel crowed while a neighbour’s dog howled at the bells. All of Nature gelled as one. Not since I was a teenager and saw the face of Marc Bolan in a cloud had I felt this close to The Infinite.И так до свидания моих русских читателей.

Emma thinx:  Man cultivates. Nature culminates.  

Kissing Is Calorie Free

I guess I thought that if I reduced my output of blogs I would automatically have more time to do all sorts of other things. What has actually happened is that I spend longer doing the same number of things. 

As an act of pure self indulgence I went out to see a movie last night. Nothing too bad about that except that the screening was preceded by a chocolate tasting. It was an odd kind of event to be honest. The film was French entitled “Les Emotifs Anonymes”. In the UK it is playing as “Romantics Anonymous”. (There are sub-titles.) In fact this is not really a translation because the term and psychological condition “emotif” does not exist in English. In France there are self help and counselling facilities that recognise shyness, timidity, blushing, fear of intimacy, fear of social situations etc as at least a problem. In France I find my neighbours and friends to be both more formal and emotionally open all at once. We English (although this term is increasingly loose), are trained to cover our meaning and soul in layers of vagueness and politeness, rather like a hazelnut in a bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk. 

The story of the film is set in a chocolate factory and hence some marketeer came up with the idea that a couple of the sales staff from the local “Hotel Chocolat” shop should stand in front of the cinema audience and chocolatize them. The girls done good and we all received some samples to reflect upon. I quickly analysed my tastes in matters of cocoa solids and sugar content and decided that there was just not enough of any of it. I must admit I did wonder how I would have felt if I had been ordered to stand in front of a chocolate hungry mob and give a speech. I think I might have crawled away to attend the local branch of “Emotifs Anonymes”. By the way, this is a great film. In movies and plays there is often a pre-snog moment when the story focuses in on lips, eyes and glances. In a couple of moments the comedy is so potent that Angélique (played by the lovely Isabelle Carré), is fighting not to laugh as she approaches a kiss. It is a charming and lovely screen kiss quand même. This film sheds a light on a lot of private heartache and longing. It is subtle French cinema at its beautiful  best. 

Oh dear, world economy red alert. I’m out of work today because of strikes by government employees. European leadership has fallen silent and I get this image of ears pressed to the ground in citadels of power to hear the first crack and split. If I were a leader I’d be withdrawing all camouflage clothing from shops. When the marching and the flag waving starts, a rag-bag mob look less serious. Any lateral thinking government should be stocking up with chocolate bullets.

Emma thinx: They put orange creams in the box to show the flow of my generosity.

Holding Out For A Hero

Really I’m a bit of a pleaser type. If I write something I’ve got half an eye on what I think folk want to read. I don’t think I could have been a Charles Bukowski although I do admire him. He portrayed himself as a drunken sexist, although I’ve found that men like me more when they’re drunk. He spent years sending his poetry to editors and getting knocked back. For years he worked as a postman and from his own account in his book “Post Office” was hardly employee of the week. When I’ve entered poetry competitions I have been guilty of double guessing what the judges would like instead of ploughing the arid furrow of artistic truth. In social situations I try to pretend to be kinda like the other folk there and just go home. As an employee I’m semi obsequious because I want people to be pleased with me. I think I am most people don’t you?

All of this brings me on to another of my heroes. Yes – you’ve probably guessed it – Silvio Berlusconi, that slimy arrogant self seeker who should be the enemy of all righteous pure people like me. Take a look at this clip which is just so outrageous that when I first saw it I could not believe it. Also notice that he only had about a quarter of the hair on his head that he has today. The point is that people like this represent the possibility of being audacious and getting away with it. I would not want this guy anywhere around me, but I rejoice in the comedy of his vileness. This is a most inconsistent argument and I’m not proud of it. But it sure makes me laugh. 

I’m missing France and the French language. I’ve been tweaking the foreword to Oscar’s book and called him. In the background he was playing Jacques Brel singing “La Chanson des Vieux Amants”. Brel was an unparalleled genius as a musician and a poet. If you love French, or your soul longs to understand its longings or you feel homesick, have a chocolate and a weep with me. Go on, give in! This song is so beautiful in French. 

Emma thinx: The imbalance of your inconsistencies = YOU.

Chocs Away.

I’m tempted to quote Oscar Wilde on the subject of temptation. Unlike a genius and literary superstar, I can resist – which is probably why I drive a bus. But I am sure that many of my own romantic fiction readers here in the UK will know that it is National Chocolate week. Why do we need it? Every week is chocolate week, even if you don’t succumb to a solitary Malteser. Look – all I’ve had this week is a packet of Turkish Delight – and that was an ASDA own brand budget deal so it can’t really be counted can it? I have put up a struggle in the face of immense aggression from the chocolatiers of this world. Hotel Chocolat sent me an invitation to join their Chocolate Tasting Club. Their brochure invites me to “reach my bliss point”. Do they think that such blatant erotically charged lustful hedonism would move me? Too bloody right it would! Most junk mail goes straight in the bin. I’m not quite ready to take that final step, but I will be once I’ve signed up.

Whilst in ASDA buying my budget Turkish Delight (I think it’s a love it or hate it), I bought some sun flowers. At home in Charente Maritime they are a backdrop to summer, an orgy of careless beauty grown as a crop. You know I think that the context in which we see things is more important than the thing itself. A huge field of blooms is like a mob, an army or a nameless crowd. A few individuals in a vase are a work of art and a study of joy. How would life be if we saw the mass proletariat as precious and beautiful? How would it be if the poor and all the trampled dead of war could live an hour on canvas or in a vase or in the heart of the oppressors? We would know something then of our purpose – which is to love, to forgive and to share our chocolates. You thought I’d got God didn’t you?

Emma thinx: The crop is our reality. Each bloom is our truth.