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To Mr. The president.
February 17, 2017
10:09 PM

To Mr. The president.

Brian Bilston ‏

PRESS CONFERENCE

searching
inside his cranium
trying to find
a brain to rack,
he found the word
"uranium"
and launched
an unclear attack


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Hermitage.
09:10 PM

Hermitage.

In 1996 Julian Barnes wrote "Cross Channel" -a book of short stories which were really a sort of love story to France.
One of the stories, "Hermitage", is about two English ladies of a certain age, a couple plainly, who,at the turn of the last century bought a vineyard in Bordeaux.
By this time the Canal de Midi was established for nearly two hundred years and this linked Bordeaux to the Languedoc and went right down to the Bouche de Rhone into the Mediterranean.
The ladies employed a vineyard manager who ran all the aspects of the business. They were surprised to discover that, after their first harvest, and in the dead of night, their unfermented grape juice was loaded into a barge and taken down the Canal. Some time later, also at night, a barge full of grape juice returned to be unloaded into their fermenting tanks in Bordeaux. When they asked their manager to explain he assured them that this is the way it has always been done, this they accepted happily and went on with their lives.
With the advantage of hindsight we now of course understand exactly what the man was about. The wines of France have always been priced according to Terroire rather than Cepage. Wines of Bordeaux, Clarets, have long commanded a primium price in France and in England this, it is probably fair to say, irrespective of their quality. Wines in the Languedoc- down the canal from Bordeaux- have the opposite reputation and were always extremely cheap, this also irrespective of quality. Barnes' guess (and remember this is a work of fiction) was that there could well have been clever substitutions made using the canal as the go-between.
There are times when, as I see great juggernaut wine tankers rumbling along the A9 in October, I wonder if, by chance, it could still be happening.


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At St. Tropez
February 16, 2017
07:40 PM

At St. Tropez

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Paul Signac's Etude pour le Temps d'harmonie in l'Annunciade Museé in nSt Tropez.


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Swedish Boarding House
January 28, 2017
08:24 AM

Swedish Boarding House

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Danish artist Bertha Wegmann


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Choirsters
08:21 AM

Choirsters

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Dinner in Le Presbytere with some of Síle's choir Cantarela. Good time had by all.


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