Monday, August 25, 2014

I freeze my bollocks off and hope for warmer weather elsewhere in a few weeks, while Francois apparently hasn’t done the decent thing and it might not have been his decision anyway. As for that Vlad Putin: does he really have a plan?

Given the continuing interest of some folk in the love lives of Francois Hollande and his most recent squeeze actress Julie Gayet, and the claim that he was about to pop the question on his 60th birthday last week (August 12), these three pictures would seem to prove that if he did pop it, he didn’t pop it hard enough. For Francois has most recently been pictured on holiday – alone. And Ms Gayet has also recently been pictured on holiday – but not alone. The chap in question is said to be finance management lawyer Pierre Puybasset (so he won’t be short of a centimes or two, and if there’s one thing woman like, it’s a chap with deep pockets).


Here we have Francois getting stuck into his newspaper at (so I am informed, but it isn’t obvious from the picture0 a poolside. Well, where else would you expect to find him in mid-August?

Then there are these two snaps: in the first Julie (as we must now call her) emerges from a dip in the sea with Pierre (as we must now call him).


Here, in the second, they seem to be saying goodbye, and for what it’s worth that kiss seems more a goodbye kiss between two friends than two lovers.


The obvious question is, of course, why did Francois go on holiday alone? Is Julie getting just a little fed up with all the attention?
The real question, of course, is: what the hell does it matter (which would make my posting these pictures here just a tad irrelevant). The world seems well on its way to Hell in a handcart in Syria, Iraq, Gaza and the Ukraine, the weather here in Old Blighty is bloody awful, Miley Cyris is pretending to be grown-up again, Manchester United still haven’t won a Premier League game in this new season (they were held to a 1-1 draw by Sunderland, although the way they have been playing it might be more accurated to describe it as United holding Sunderland to a 1-1 draw. And whether or not van Gaal, the apparent deus ex machina who is proving to be nothing of the kind is capable of Ferige-style ‘hairdryer’ tirades in the dressing room which at least ensure United kept on winning is anyone’s guess).

So why are you and I wasting our time with speculating about the love life of a fat Frenchman who by 2017 will be less than a footnote in history? Because we’re stupid, that’s why.

. . .

In own life (as you ask) the next great event is a week in the depths of Valencia county or whatever it is called with my 80-year-old potter friend, Seth Cardew. I must admit I am looking forward to those seven days because it really is a question of doing fuck-all for 24 hours every day, and there are a few books I am looking forward to reading. I don’t know whether of not he will have any students for the week I am there, but it doesn’t really matter. I’m hoping that the temperature will be at least 10c warmer than it is here, which, for mid-August, is an appalling 11c. I’m told be those who take a far keener interest in these matters than I do that we even had a ground frost in Cornwall a few nights ago. Well!

(NB Just looked at the weather forecast for the week I am there, and apart from a thunderstorm – for surely t-storm means thunderstorm – on the day I arrive, it looks like sun, sun, sun all the way with temperatures around 30c. Thank the Lord!)

And there isn’t even a government department we can complain to and claim compensation from! Talk of bloody democracy! I blame the EU! Lord, knows what it’s up to! No wonder we are getting freezing temperatures in August! Makes you bloody sick! Well, what do you expect! Look at the pig’s ear they made of Ukraine! All we want to do is station a few hundreds tanks on its eastern border and have some of our fighter jets parked discreetly in some of its military airports, but look at the fuck-up they have made of that! Makes you bloody sick.

. . .

One of the better and more persuasive observations I have heard about the whole Ukraine fuck-up (and it still is being conveniently overlooked that this new chap Peroshenko is about as legitimate as nine-bob note given how his predecessor was ousted in a coup) is that Vlad the Lad Putin has rather miscalculated: no one denies that his popularity rating is soaring in Russia, but he seems to have painted himself into a corner: the crowd want ever more of this Mother Russia triumphalist shite and so to keep them happy he is obliged to supply it.

Yet the only way out of this must be negotiations, a route he might suspect he can’t take for fear of looking weak. That, at least, is the view of two former British ambassadors to Moscow, pronounced independently. And one of them opined that Putin is at heart rather a cautious man and is not the master strategist many would think him to be (perhaps even Vladimir himself) after the easy, easy way he annexed Crimea.

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