Who doesn’t love a good wine bar? Personally, my tawdry love affair with wine has been well documented throughout the years and, despite numerous interventions, I continue to enjoy sipping this refreshing beverage in stylish environs.

So, you can imagine my delight, when one of my dear friends decided to open such a place. Not your traditional bar, the centrally located Carrousel Français employs a most marvellous concept, where a wide selection of cheese, charcuterie and desserts just coasts by your table waiting for you to snatch up whatever takes your fancy. A most civilised means of service, indeed.

The ambiance is charming, the wine is very, very drinkable and the food is absolutely delicious…especially the rosette à la truffe! The only danger is that you’ll be tempted to overindulge in pretty much everything really, leaving you to waddle home in shame. Trust me, I’ve learned from experience, although self-control has admittedly never been one of my virtues.

The Play’s The Thing…

Hey Campers,

First, I must apologize for the extended absence of my musings – to those of you who noticed at any rate. It has been a hectic past couple of months with a great deal of my time being consumed by my ever-growing duties with The Big Funk Company – not that I’m complaining…well, maybe just a little.

I’ve written before about this marvellous group of people and their successful efforts to put on bilingual theatre events in gay Paris – namely staged play readings and delicious brunch/theatre combos. Over the past year, they have allowed me to dive back into the wonderful world of theatrics and given me room to explore all the different facets of production.

In this vein, there have been several exciting new developments of late. Perhaps the most important one of these being the fact that tomorrow evening shall see the WORLD PREMIER of the first play I’ve ever written – The Evil Queen and the Precocious Princess. Trust me, I’m just as shocked and surprised as the rest of you.

The play is based on a short story I wrote a few years back and is a rollicking romp through a rather dysfunctional fairytale kingdom. Granted, it is only being put on as one of the aforementioned staged readings but we are discussing the logistics of transforming it into a full production. As excited as I am for the event, there is still the pressure to succeed, coupled with my lingering doubt that my friends are simply humouring me and that the general public won’t find it as funny as I tend to think it is.

Happy Australia Gay!

Even though, I’ve been living in Paris for the better part of a decade, I do still get a tad homesick from time to time. Usually, this happens around special occasions, such as family birthdays, Xmas, Mardi Gras…or anything involving a party really. So, I tend to celebrate my Antipodean heritage whenever I get the chance. As was the case last Sunday when I hosted an early, celebratory Aussie-themed lunch in honour of our National Day.

To be honest, it was partly due to my trying to banish the winter blues with thoughts of summer in Sydney. To invoke the true spirit of the occasion, I pranced about in a brightly coloured t-shirt, short swimming trunks and a pink Australian flag worn like a cape – a present from a dear friend during a long ago Mardi Gras season. Not that I’ve ever needed much encouragement to play dress up, mind you.

Also, I do so enjoy trying to convert foreigners to the ways of the land Down Under, particularly in relation to our food. To this end, the lunch was a bit of a hybrid affair – much like my marriage – with a delicious mix of Australian and French fare…baguettes and wine thrown together with a sausage sizzle and TimTams. I even managed to have non-Australians trying and actually liking Vegemite. Admittedly, I was a bit sneaky about it, as I’d spread just a smidge of the salty, black goodness inside a cob of bread and then covered it with a ridiculous amount of cheese – it is a bit of an acquired taste, after all.

Country Bumpkin…

Hey Campers,

As I type this in front of a roaring fire, without WiFi or even decent phone reception, I find myself appreciating the simple things in life, such as the happy glow of the flames coupled with the generous amount of rosé that is now sloshing about my veins.

As a treat, we headed off for a weekend in the French countryside – in Sologne – at the country estate of a well-heeled friend of my beloved. Situated on 50 hectares, it is rather pleasant and quiet, and with the lack of digital interruption I find that I have managed to actually write quite a deal.