I have just entered into the Formula One August holiday period, after the Hungarian Grand Prix and before the Belgian Grand Prix in four weeks. It coincides with the August holiday in Paris, so I am now at home in Paris (read: a suburb) absorbing what many people think of as the finest month in Paris – because the city is empty of everyone except a few tourists. For me, however, I find it the worst month of the year because it also means there is far less nightlife, music, cultural happenings, etc. And that means boredom.
So I’m staying at home mostly and working on a few unfinished projects, including both musical and written. I will find the occasional open mic, I’m sure, and I will no doubt take a trip here and there to the countryside, starting possibly with Strasbourg in the coming days. But at the moment, it’s pure concentration on a chapter I have to finish by mid-August for a book about Colin Wilson, the British writer and one of the original Angry Young Men of the 1950s.
I wrote an interview book on Colin Wilson and have now been invited to write a chapter on his book called The Occult. This is no easy task, reading about the history of the occult and then being expected to write something intelligent about it. But it is fascinating, and ultimately the most interesting aspect I think I am finding is just how Wilson may be writing about the occult, but his theories expounded in the book are the same he has whether he is writing about literature, dance, religion, sex or other topics – as in right from his first book, The Outsider, which catapaulted him to fame at age 24.
I am also playing my guitar, thinking about new songs, sending off CDs of the songs I just recorded in the studio at the Point Ephémère, and cleaning up my apartment. The CD thing brings me back to the month of August: I just went out to send a CD to an important music business guy in the United States and when I arrived at my local post office, they told me that they could do no work as the computer system was down. It had been down for several hours, or all day, maybe even. It meant they could not provide stamps or weigh up the CD envelope or anything. And, of course, it being the month of August, there was no help on the way. So I went to another post office – it was closed, August hours had meant it closed early. So I went to a tobacco-dispensing cafe, as they also sell postage stamps. “Sorry, we ran out of stamps, and it’s the month of August, so we weren’t supplied with more….”
Great bloody idea, this month of August. I think I have no choice but to get out of town as quickly as possible, like all the other French people….