two exhibitions, one wedding and the bbc


This weekend the great and good of the publishing and photographic worlds plus a substantial portion of the Brat Pack descended upon our corner of Provence for the wedding of Rachel and Morgan. We were encouraged to put something on to entertain the masses, promised a stream of wealthy visitors keen to take back a souvenir, and so a hundred invitations were sent out for Julian's little show. It was hot. It clashed with an infinitely preferable wine tour. Five people came. With very kind sponsorship from our favourite wine maker, Paul Vendran, we sat amongst friends under the tamarisk fronds etched against the setting sun getting gently pissed for two days.

Julian squeezed in his two paintings for the day whilst I took an hour stretched out in the local pool trying to release my tired Rameau-ified muscles, and both paintings sold immediately. We rose our glasses to Postcards From Provence, to the end of Crillon le Brave, and to the future of art on the internet.

I had organised the music for the wedding. My choice quartet and I coaxed and heralded Rachel, Morgan, flower girls, mothers and maids of honour in and out of the church with Haydn and Handel. It was a dream wedding and in a Hollywood comes to the Vaucluse moment, and to the sound of Handel's march from Judas Maccabeus, the doors of the tiny church opened to reveal the bride bathed in early evening Provençal light. We proceeded to the reception at Chateau Talaud. There we ate folded aubergines with clothes-pegs, and drank champagne (and, because we had had no time to shop, Julian nicked a couple of rosy bottom-shaped apricots for today's still life). P.J. O'Rourke, Jay McInery and others made speeches, read from the Corinthians, and we all boogied and guzzled Chateau La Nerthe.......

The groom informed Julian that his painting, commissioned by the brides's sister, was their loveliest present.


Returning home I drunkenly picked up the phone to check for messages and to my utter horror, Nick from the BBC had called saying he would like to come at nine am (which was in six hours) and could they please have a bit of cello. I gulped and went straight to bed.

So here I am, on three hours sleep, Chateau Neuf du Pape of all hues still sloshing around in my belly, in the extraordinary natural church of the Demoiselles Coiffées playing Bach to the drone of the cicadas. The lanky morning shadows of the pines move across the ochre cliffs to the sound of the sarabande. My feet are planted in the red sand amongst the cones, and between phrases exhaled my bow comes to rest and I breathe in the songs of black birds, a hoopoe, warblers, goldcrests and nightingales. Now there's inspiration.



But at least you can wear your birkenstocks..

P.J. O'Rourke and Jay McInerney - wow! (you shameless namedropper you!!)

yeah, if Julia Roberts can wear them so can I (and PJO'R and JmcI.....)

your description of receiving the voicemail made me bubble up inside with laughter at the familiarity of that experience. love the whole piece... especially the photos. your friends are fortunate indeed!

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