Relativity For Ripples

There are some words in French that just convey how different life is here. The word “Auberge” carries such a quality of  hospitality and warmth. Oscar and I decided to lunch out today at Taillebourg at a restaurant named “L’Auberge des Glycines”. For the Romantic novelist this is the kind of venue where lovers might dine. Earlier in the year I strolled past when the front of the building was ablaze with mauve wisteria. Today rain fell on the river Charente as it swept past. In this mood I think the lovers would be discussing the impossibility of their love. As they talk, the raindrops leave their stamp of ripples on the flowing water – perfect circles, reaching for ever outwards and yet are swept helplessly onwards in the flow of life. These reaching innocent moments of perfection are born to fade into the chaotic power of the river. Maybe our lovers can escape the pull of time?  As I sat sipping my aperitif, these were my sketches anyway. This restaurant is in a beautiful location. The cuisine is absolutely first class. The menu is relatively limited – but believe me, this is no bad thing. It means they know what they are doing and do it well. If you are in the region and fancy a real gourmet treat at a very reasonable price check out “L’Auberge des Glycines” here.

You know those cookery shows where some celebrities get a tin of baked beans, 2 kippers and a cabbage. Their task is to create a gourmet meal whilst celebrity chefs pontificate and mock their efforts. I thought I’d give it a go but without the mocking supercooks.  I had some left over salmon, some Brussel sprouts and some potatoes and a couple of slices of bacon. I also had a rather dried out baguette, garden herbs and some chillis. The result was breaded salmon fish cakes with chilli sauce served with stir fried sprouts with bacon. At Intermarché whole Pacific salmon costs about 6 Euros and the bottle of Bordeaux will cost you 1.43 Euros. It’s obviously not a grand cru but it’s more than acceptable.

One day I’m gonna patent the safety cheese grater. Making my breadcrumbs I managed to remove enough fingerprints from my thumb to keep me out of Scotland Yard’s data base for life.

You can tell I’m back in France because I’m rattling on about love,  food and wine. Well everything else is just dust and existence isn’t it? (Well, there is cycling I suppose).

Emma thinx: Love does not confer rights. But it makes your wrongs delicious.

The Sultan Of Sullen.

All of the kids except one come out of college at 3.45pm. The final passenger finishes his class at 4.15pm and emerges at about 4.30pm.(Funding only runs to one bus for the whole city). He does not rush. He is a charmless youth whom I think of as the Sultan of Sullen. If such thoughts ever became known to the Authorities I think I’d be looking at a spell in jail. Whilst we all wait for him the kids do what they do best: ARGUE and FIGHT. I suppose I should care, but I really don’t. A student runs from the bus in tears and returns with an harassed tutor who attempts to intervene in a matter of infantile infinity rooted in the affairs of a pop singer called Justin Beaver who one supports or does not support. After five minutes of counselling the teacher rolls his eyes at me and suggests that I seat various kids apart. I suggest firmly that I am a bus driver and that louts who cannot behave should walk to college. Eventually the Sultan of Sullen turns up and exclaims “F**k**g  shut up you c***ts” (Actually I couldn’t have put it better myself).The tutor exits stage left pursued by a stare.

I direct the bus out into the traffic. Miles away there has been a crash and rather like stock markets, serial panic has set in. I inch my way across the city, dropping off my students. Suddenly a plaintiff call from a girl behind – “Emma – I need a toilet.” Now, this kid has been on the bus for nearly 2 hours. To my left are some bushes on a kind of road island. I pull over. I don’t ask but I hope it’s just a pee. I get her off the bus and stand there as a kinda guard. After far too long she comes back looking grubby with a branch of holly in her hair and dead leaves sticking out of her clothing. I didn’t ask – I did not want to know the answer. No one died. So far I’m not in jail. All in all a good day. Romance writing and middle class life in France (or anywhere) seem like a universe away. Well, actually they are. 

Nobel prizes today for the dark matter physicists. These are the guys who have shown that the rate of expansion of the universe is increasing. Apparently this leads to a theory of dark energy. Look – my dark roots used to grow at an increasing rate until grey energy started to take over  and slow everything down into decline. Believe me guys – everything will shrink back. Classical Physics remains unchallenged. 

Emma thinx: Would a dark matter neutrino out-accelerate its own non existence?

Where next for determinism?

A gorgeous Autumn day. I am looking out at verdant grass, sparkling with slightly amber dew as the low sun hauls itself above the trees. Oh yes- this is England. Now no church bells mark my hours and once again I will wear a watch. The noose of time tightens. At least I know the words for everything – well almost. I’ve just been phoning around to get some pâté de foie gras. Can you believe that there is none! Whist on the line to the deli I asked a young girl if they stocked moules. She went off to ask the manager and didn’t come back.

Other than imminent economic implosion, the News is filled with uplifting English tales. Eight year old boys apparently put on a cage fight in a social club to entertain the crowd. I suppose I should be shocked – but I’m not. At least there were adults to supervise and I imagine that the parents actually knew where their children were that night. When my brood were adolescents I suggested to various toy companies that they produce inflatable street corners with spittoons so that kids could hang out safely in the warm at home. Since then inflatable friendships and hostilities have been developed by social media and most kids are too badly affected with rickets to go out.

On the subject of pugilism I hear that the boxers of Azerbaijan tried to buy gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics. If you wanna read about this kinda stuff in boxing get my novel “Knockout”. It’s all true. The book is damn near free at 99 cents or 86 pence on Amazon Kindle. There’s SEX too, but I know you wouldn’t read it just for that soppy stuff.

I’m not sure what to make of the discovery by Italian scientists of particles that travel faster than the speed of light. I’ve always known that if you are in a hurry, stockings ladder before you touch them. I’ve also found out that banks put charges on your  account before you perform any transactions. The philosophical implications for fiction writers are massive. Characters will  move ahead of the plot into a kind of uncharted mist without any causal structure. Come to think of it, I might have already written a couple of novels like this.

This afternoon I’m going to the bus depot to sort out my next career move. I’ve spotted quite a few lady bus drivers. Dear old Geoffrey will be there to ease me into the system. Once again I am to be a horny handed daughter of toil. Maybe I won’t drone on about the shortage of foie gras just yet.

Emma thinx: Causality – the next great step for man.