Places

92 – Les Jardins Suspendus de Perrache

Ever seen a garden on top of a train station. I have. And it’s not small either. Handsomely large, complete with firs, hawthorne, yew, laurel, lime, ash, a vegetable patch and an area of grass for picnics. All of this above Perrache station in the centre of Lyon. Continue reading

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Writing and Books

91 – Zircon

I’m back at Zircon. They make air filters for cars. If you were reading this blog last year, you might remember my weekly dashes to Descines on Tuesdays to teach a spattering of idle secretaries, smug sales-reps and ageing production managers still dressed in their 1970s suits. It was always a pleasant trip, so the prospect of going back didn’t seem too bad. Until… Continue reading

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Sport

88 – Le Grand Bornand

I could have easily eaten four plates of the spaghetti carbonara I’d made for myself last night instead of the two. Another day of speeding up and down the ski slopes had created a kind of hunger in me I might feel if allowed to eat once every twenty five years. The same period incidentally since my last visit to Le Grand Bornand: a ski holiday with my parents when I was 13. Continue reading

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Writing and Books

87 – Cylindyne

Cylindyne make crankshaft pulleys for car engines. A factory devoted to moulding high tensile steel into saucer-sized chunks of metal that drive the fans and alternators of Peugeots. But that doesn’t really matter.

What matters is that I’m wandering through one of the most desolate parts of Lyon trying to find the wretched place. The regular teacher suddenly had to fly to Bolivia. But not before he told me: ‘You’ll probably want to kill yourself after a day teaching at Cylindyne.’ Continue reading

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Sport

86 – Alpe D’huez

I feel that I have conquered the two great peaks of France since my arrival back here in the autumn. The first in November when I walked up Mt. Ventoux (Lyon 64). The second yesterday when I went to Alpe D’huez. Any keen cyclist will quickly spot what I’m eluding to. Continue reading

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