Monday, 26 July 2010

73. Calm before the storm..

24th July 2010. Beautiful day here today - cloudless blue sky and it looks like being a perfect day on the river. I'm just getting ready to leave for my Saturday morning row up the Nive.

While I'm away, here's something to keep you occupied for a minute or two. I don't normally do online tests (compatability, intelligence, personality etc) but the other day I came across this intriguing Personality Test. On completing the questions, I found the result described me remarkably accurately. It's aimed at people who are in the job market but it's none the worse for that. Try it and prepare yourself to be astonished.

Here are three for listening to late at night - Chet Baker with My Funny Valentine, Thelonius Monk and 'Round Midnight and, to finish up with, the great Charlie Parker with Summertime:

Feel like a dreamlike flight over Paris..? The fifteen minute video that you'll find at the link below has Madame (une vraie Parisienne) transfixed.. she's watched it at least half a dozen times - if not double figures - to my knowledge.. I had wondered out loud at Post #39 if a film tribute to Paris had ever been made along the lines of Woody Allen's opening credits for Manhattan. Stunning photography coupled with some highly nostalgic music (by some of the greats - inc. Piaf & Brel) are combined here to produce a memorable fifteen minutes. Step right this way - and be prepared for something special..

26th July 2010. Walked to the post office in town this afternoon and the final preparations for the Fete de Bayonne are in full swing.. Heavy lorries loaded up with fairground rides are parked in key locations. Fast food shacks are springing up everywhere.. The usual wandering souls (and their dogs), who appear (as if by magic) when crowds are expected, are here too - looking for a pay day. The park benches had some late risers stretched out on them this afternoon. I think the population of the town has already doubled in size with many more to come.
The start is less than 48 hours away now - at 2200hrs (French time) on Wednesday night. You can watch the scene outside the Town Hall live on this webcam.. (you'll have to click the refresh button after 3 minutes) Following the opening ceremony, there's the Mother Of All Firework displays at 2210hrs right in the centre of town... watch the clip below at 0:40 - it's as noisy as the opening 15 minutes of "Saving Private Ryan" - and again at 5:30. In the Pays Basque, fireworks come in just the one flavour - deafeningly LOUD!!

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