Once upon a time a young Chinese boy was taken by his parents to have dinner with a family friend. The boy seldom had enough to eat having been brought up when Chairman Mao's greatest errors were being perpetrated and something like sixty million people died of starvation and associated illnesses.
The little boy's mother had very little food and made soup from the bark of trees and augmented their diet with grass roots, leaves and a tiny bit of rice.
The little boy
Dressed in a bright yellow oilskin, hooded over a matching hard hat, the young reporter told us of the devastation following last night's typhoon.
'There are lots of leaves and twigs on the floor', she announced, 'although the wind and rain has died down considerably. There are still no ferries operating to the outlying islands.'
Well that was a relief!
But last night we were running round the apartment with buckets and towels as water leaked through
Lunch with Picasso
‘While you are here we must take you to La Columbe d’Or.’
That was in the car from Nice airport. And then I forgot about it as it swirled in a maelstrom of freshly baked croissants, gallons of very drinkable rose wine and sorties into the market at Antibes and the promenade at Juan les Pins. Quite as I had imagined it except for a strip of shops that could have been in any English seaside resort.
Our hosts were mortally offended
We have a new wine shop on what the 'management' laughingly call our 'shopping piazza'. They sell French wine and French cheese and on one of my fairly regular visits I got to mulling over the world of the grape.
There was this old New Zealander and another guy who described himself as a sommelier and they were tasting some of the stock. I joined them, eager to learn. I learned that wine stored in American oak barrels differed from wine stored in European oak barrels - wait, wait
Wei Wei is four. His sister Wing is six. Yet this evening they will be running round our mall waving strange shaped lanterns until past midnight. Their parents will have purchased these lanterns because the lanterns that Wei Wei made at kindergarten were of traditional design but Mr and Mrs Leung are modern parents with huge hopes for their perfectly behaved, cutesy off-spring. Wei Wei has a space ship lit by a battery powered bulb while Wing has a large flower of indeterminate pedigree. Mr and