European commencement: organs cats and saxophones

Posted by Rowan Coupland on Saturday, June 5, 2010
I decided not to walk to Newhaven from Brighton, having been advised by everyone that a day of travelling and trudging would not be best prefaced by a morning of trudging. I got lost on the way, got off at the wrong station, qnd had to be driven by ferry staff to the correct check-in.
Still, managed to make the ferry in fairly easy time and passed the journey with Simon, an organist who had worked at Perth Cathedral for 13 years. He advised me of the benefits of laying newspaper on the bed of your tent and helped me on my way to faire autostop: a gentleman.

hitchhiking from dieppe was not easy. i was not entirely sure where i was going; nor where the cars i was trying to thumb were headed. eventually when i was a lone figure by the countryroadside i managed to get lucky and was picked up by two cars in quick succession. the latter, with a guy called davide; kindly took me to the tiny village where i would be couchsurfing, and i was soon met by Bénédicte (couchsurfing host) and taken to her pretty wonderful country house. It was all old beams and fireplaces, on two levels with cats lurking on the upper beams. The cat was insane, having fell as a kitten and hit its head. no sight in one eye and a propensity to walk in circles. Not only that, but it got into strange loops of climb, purr, knead, circle, stop, look, walk, climb, purr, knead, circle, stop, look,walk.... it did this lots of times with its purrs becoming slightly more menacing all the while until i shifted position and broke the chain.

i left the next morning for paris with Bénédicte giving me a lift to the station; My initial fumbles to fit into the city upon arrival were failing: paris had placed large distances between myself and things like internet cafés and hostels; It had also stopped serving breakfast; After managing to find a youth hostel for the afternoon I wandered with some unease, not sure where to place myself; Eventually i found shakespeare and co, the english language bookshop that puts up young writers tumbleweeding through paris, and tried to make conversation with an italian jazz pianist (really saxophonist) operating in the reading/piano room upstairs. he was... friendly if not a little  alarming for a wet-behind the ears english folker like myself. somehow the conversation managed to spur the room into life though, and a girl from london confessed to also playing saxophone, then two voices from the back piped up, some alaskan texan tenesseers named Telula and Elinor. We hung out at the bookshop for a while until the evening culminated in a weird reading of the blues by myself, the italian saxophonist, and a french girl who had arrived to scat over the top; we got told to shut up by one of the people in the bookstore: 'this is a LIBRARY'
'no, it's a bookstore' countered Jay, a octlingual serbocroat costa rican american who had been taking photos of miley cyrus books all night, fairly diplomatically.

blog comments powered by Disqus


Make a free website with Yola