Planes, Trains and Autobahns

-)

BERLIN pt II  – After several weeks of prep-work and dealing with a demanding client, we were both a little apprehensive about what awaited us in Germany (neither having visited before) but we jumped in our cab and headed to the airport, tablets in hand, nerves on edge. £55 for the first taxi… this was an indication of what was to come. We both clutched our purses as we made our way to Departures.  Some clutching tighter than others… Suddenly a voice was heard asking if we’d forgotten something and a frantic (blond) Luisa realised she’d just left a £200 tip (in Euros) at the Cash Exchange!! She bustled her way through the queue for security and hurried (as fast as her veleveteen legs would carry her, without catching fire) back to the Exchange… only to find no-one there! I waited anxiously at security, the guards twitching their trigger fingers while looking me up and down. An embarrassed Luisa barged her way through the queue towards security, where a small posse of concerned officials were waving a wad of Euros across the security gate!! Much red faces later, we were allowed to head to our gate, for a much deserved glass of wine while we awaited our flight.

Berlin!! We arrived and hailed down a taxi to The Savoy Hotel… no expenses spared there! The hotel was fab, though eyebrows were raised when one key was given to the both of us and asked “double bed or twins?” The thought of having to explain this to Luisa’s husband was too much and so a second room was soon allocated. The rooms were slightly Art Deco, with all the basics, except an iron, kettle or any bath towels or flanels to wash with. Luisa was unphased, as she later explained that she hadn’t infact showered since Woodstock and so would not be needing a capitalist borgoise shower! We dumped the bags and headed for food, in the hope of finding a true German restaurant. Half an hour later we gave up our search and headed for ‘Bar Paris’ where we quenched our thirst for German wine and enjoyed L’escargot followed by Fillet steak. The decor was eccentric to say the least, the company was good and we soaked up the authentic French atmosphere… in Berlin.

Sunday morning and we were being picked up in our Foyer by the client at 8am. I set my mobile alarm for 6.50am, thinking I would be refreshed and ready to face the world by 8am… only to be hailed by a phone call from the Foyer asking where I was. “I’m in the shower” was my response. “Well its 8.15am and the client is getting anxious!” came Luisa’s reply. I too had a blonde moment and realised that I hadn’t put my phone clock forward by the required hour (my alarm had sounded at 7.50am!). I pulled my suit on and ran down the corridor, while zipping my fly and gargling mouthwash. Fortunatley the client was understanding and so we all made our way to the conference.

We arrived with the realisation that I had forgotten my pass and so would have to climb in through an open toilet window, past the SS guards and over the barbed wire. It wasn’t easy, but I managed and soon began to set up my laptop. One hour later, their technician still hadn’t matched my laptop with their plasma monitor and nerves were showing, tempers were fraying! As a last-ditch attemp, I scrolled through my laptop’s options and with a flick of a pressure-pad, we were on display.

Heads down, time to work!

Heads down, time to work!

Sweating and fraught with nerves, I drew my first caricature, then my second and soon my 4 hour shift flew by, without food or a break. But I was happy when Luisa turned up to take over my post. I returned to my hotel room for a nap. The client accompanied Luisa back to our hotel and proudly told me that she had drawn 23 clients… “so the challenge is on”!  I instantly wondered if Luisa had been the right choice for the job…. perhaps a novice would’ve made me look better  LOL

The evenings entertainment commenced at our favourite restaurant, Bar Paris, where we enjoyed a healthy salad followed by several Kir Royals and what seemed like a case of Liebfraumilch. A healthy political and social debate ensued, as Mrs De Calvo became more and more tipsy. **What happened next has been edited, due to the severe embarrassment of parties concerned, not to mention a possible National incident, with legal ramifications! **Lets just say Basil Fawlty’s ghost loomed and seemed to take possession of Luisa’s saluting arm!!!

The following day, heads were hung in shame and hangovers were apparent. Though the day passed without incident, the Police never made an appearance and we were getting into the swing of our assigned drawing tasks.

George looks on in awe at Luisa's cheesy grin!

George admires Luisa’s artwork

The evening saw us craving the real Germany, so on the hotel’s recommendation, we headed towards a bonafide German restaurant/kellar. We were pleased with the bar, the atmos was good and sausages were aplenty!  We indulged in Bratwurst, sauerkraut and potatoes from the pan, washed down with a tankard of beer. The mood was light and our laughter echoed around the Kellar. A good time was had by all and the evening flew by… another late night!

Luisa enjoys her German sausage

Mmmm sausage & sauerkraut

Tuesday flew by and a new pen setting saw me enjoying my drawing much more than I had on previous days. Once more lunch was skipped and by the evening we were both ravenous. We decided to side-skip the client’s invitation to dinner and instead chose to head for some sight seeing. The Brandenburg Gate beckoned, with all its pomp and history.

Luisa at Brandenburg Gate

Luisa at Brandenburg Gate

We arrived around 8.30pm to a well lit night-time scene… many photos were taken and we explored the area. The most haunting scene was the Holocaust Memorial, which took the form of an area of concrete slabs, in matrix formation, evoking a cold, un-named graveyard, particularly eary at night.  The Brandenburg Tor itself was grand, but unimpressive. The overwhelming feeling was of sadness and an embarrassed Germany, desperate to eradicate its recent history.

Holocaust Memorial

Holocaust Memorial

We headed back across town to another French restaurant.  As we were in the heart of Berlin, I enjoyed a typically French Gin Martini….

enjoying a Gin Martini

Me enjoying a Gin Martini

As it was our last night, we splashed out and I had tuna carpaccio and lobster. Luisa chose the pork tenderloin as I recall… a good choice

Luisa spies an impressive looking sausage dish!

Luisa was impressed by the menu

One Tiramisu later, we paid our impressive tab  and headed back to the hotel, passing a number of photo-opportunities on the way; including a Light-bulb Shop and one of several hundred giant statue bears dressed in a dickie-bow and waist-coat.

Wednesday morning came and upon check-out we were asked to pay our room-service bills, which could have proven embarrassing, having already run out of Euros the day before. We both paid up and bid the Savoy “Auf Weidersehen” then headed to our last day of work. The conference was empty and so we ended up drawing other stand staff and annoying hangers-on who insisted we draw them EVERY day on different bodies! I amused one particularly intimidating blond dominatrix of a frauline, when she sat for me and announced “I luff your piercinks!” with a wink… “Really? But you can’t see them!” I replied with a wink. Her cheeks matched her bright red lips, as she chuckled for the next hour! She never left my shoulder from that moment and became my biggest fan!  Meanwhile Luisa had a challenge; a large (22st) Greek looking man, with the features of a walrus and a neck wider than his head, had sat for her (after badgering previous sitters to ‘hurry’) and demanded to look like Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean. I suggested Laurel & Hardy, but he was determined to look like Cap’n Sparrow. Luisa asked him to face left and was met with “No, this is my better side!”… in all seriousness. We were both in stitches by the end of the drawing, but the sitter never cracked a smile. I’m guessing he has a Fair-ground mirror at home, cos he definitely wasn’t seeing what we were!!

After rumours that Luisa wanted to draw Richard (the client) as a horse, with flaired nostrils, he was understandably nervous to sit for her. Eventually we both took a crack at drawing him.

Luisa draws the client

Luisa draws the client

the client - Richard (by George)

the client – Richard (by George)

May I add how wonderful Amy was throughout our stay and how totally undemanding she was… and I’m so sorry for making her look like her Mum!

Amy was not amused LOL

Amy was not amused LOL

Drawing finished for the day, we headed to the cafeteria for our last taste of German sausage and a glass of Warsteiner beer.

Eddie Hitler contemplates his German experience!

Eddie Hitler contemplates his German experience!

One taxi drive later and we were at Berlin airport, waiting for our flight.

Some German airoplanes

Some German airoplanes

All in all we enjoyed our visit to Paris… I mean Berlin, but wouldn’t hurry back there without the lure of serious lucre!

Thanks for accepting the job Luisa, the professional throughout!  🙂

——————————————————————– 

ZURICH 2009

AKA – Planes, Trains and Canapes:  It all began with an email from a spin-off client from Tesco; Elliott. He needed myself and Jed to draw the usual feedback group (a job we’d done regularly for some 6 years) but this time in Zurich!  I jumped at the chance of an adventure and the wheels were set in motion.

The flight details arrived and we were both booked on a 6.30am flight from London City… that meant driving from Leicester at 2am, arriving Zurich at 9am, then a train to Zug in time for work at 11am… Blimey!!  Jed and I were not impressed at this prospect and tried in vain to find a less exhausting schedule. The best we were offered was a few hours sleep in a Travelodge, the night before the flight. So it came to pass. We trundled into the Travelodge, supped a quick beer then hit the hay at 9pm. I woke at 4.30am, showered then made my way to reception and waited for Jed…. and waited… I rang Jed in a flap and he appeared at 5:05am.  I should explain; I get extremely uptight when on route to a booking, timing is everything to me and to this end poor Jed suffered my wrath all morning!  We checked in at an empty airport and tucked into a delicious breakfast… for £13 a head it shoulda been! This was the beginning of our expenses and the last of our sustenance.

The flight was a delight and I watched the sun rise while Jed snored in the seat beside me…

Zurich flight

flight to Zurich

We touched down in good time and found the train station with ease. The train was just a 20 minute wait, then a one hour journey to Zug. The double decker trains were impressive and I looked forward to a scenic Swiss journey. Jed had opened one eye by this time…

Zurich train

Turns out that the trip was 90% underground; lotta tunnels in Switzerland, so no scenic photos I’m afraid. We arrived at our destination around 10.40am and made ourselves ready for the job ahead. Elliott greeted us and explained they were ‘running late’ and we would have to stay til 3pm possible…. we both climbed inside our boxes and firmly closed the lids!! We planned to catch the 2:15 train back to the airport for our flight at 5:10pm and so were rather anxious to say the least. The lack of sleep had by now turned us both into ravenous, slavvering wolverines, hungry to work and get the hell outa there. Our first sitting came at 11.35am, then a break for lunch… if you can call it that. More a finger buffet.

Zurich lunch

Lunch with the Clients

Jed had now opened both eyes as you can see. The ‘petit manger’ had barely touched the sides and left us both with rumbling tums. The cafeteria was rather sterile to say the least, but the view was impressive!

Zurich scene

Nice office view!

Back to work; The job over-ran and so we had to insist on a taxi to the airport, which got us there in ample time. Panic over, we indulged in buying a lifetime’s supply of Toblerone and praline for our spouses, then retired to the bar/lounge for a well earned beer.

Zurich bar

Drinkees at Zurich

Toblerone – £30,  Beer – £5,  Roll – £7.50,  Look on Jed’s face as beer went down – £priceless….

Jed’s eyes had again began to close as we made our way back onto the plane and made ourselves comfy, next to a Japanese businessman with serious personal hygeine problems. We came, we saw nothing, we got knackered, we left. Landed in London at around 6pm and headed out onto the open road once more. We came to an abrupt halt before we reached the Inner Ring Rd, then trundled slowly towards the M11. This was becoming torturous!! Several diversions later, I dropped Jed safely at home in Sandy and headed for the A1 North… which was CLOSED!  I eventually stopped sobbing and turned the car in the direction of a small country lane. I ploughed my way through the villages, across fields and rivers, until I emerged somewhere near Leicester. Battered and broken, the lights beckoned me, as did FOOD. They say you shouldn’t eat after 8pm, but at 10.30pm a bag of chips looked damn good.

Another job well done I thought as I scoffed the chips and fell asleep on my sofa, after 18 hours of travelling….

——————————————————————————

ZURICH 2010

02/09/10:  Just back from a day of riding mountains in Wales, scrubbed the mud, packed my bags and hit my bed. Up at 4am for a bonus booking in Switzerland; a very rich lady decided she would like some entertainment at her 50th Birthday lunch, then later at her dinner in Zug, 18 guests in total. Apparently the Swiss have no sense of humour and as an ex-pat the client prefferred an entertainer with a very British sense of humour… ME! Expense was no obstacle and I was given everything I asked for in order to carry out my task.

Main problem was a weekend of weddings, which followed directly on my return from Switzerland. I packed my bags for 4 days away from home.

03/09/10 – 4am:  Bleary eyed I packed my case into my car, along with 4 days’ worth of drawing kit and two suits, then headed off to London City Airport. I love to fly, especially from LCY as its always quick and easy, no queues. The flight to Zurich was a joy, with some spectacular views as a misty Switzerland woke.

I was met at the airport by my gold-clad clients, a lovely couple of Brits, who whisked me across Zurich to a picturesque restaurant, overlooking a beautiful lake, where we awaited our 8 guests. The flamboyant party consisted of camp Fashion designers, personal stylists, graphic designers and self-made money men/women!

Zug lake

 Zurich caricatures

Lunch flew and less than an hour later I was whisked away in a cab, 100CF in my top pocket, heading for my hotel – the stunning Radisson Blu. The lobby greets you with a huge modern space, filled mostly by the incredible wine rack, standing some 6o’ high, an impressive feature in perspex.

Raddisson wine rack

I was in need of a nap and some food; Sword-fish steak and salad, Coconut soup – 68CF!  Fully rested, I was dressed and ready for my evening in Zug. I headed for the station and hopped a train through the mountains and was met at the train station by my hosts, who walked me through the lovely lakeside town of Zug, on our way to a local Kellar!

beautiful zug sunset

03/09 – 7.30pm:  The evening guests were equally flamboyant and made good subjects, all 10 of them… an hour later and I was once more making my way to the train, having thoroughly enjoyed my day in Switzerland.  Oh if all bookings could be this way 🙂

Zug caricature

04/09/10 – 6.30am:  Breakfast was 37CF (£25) so I skipped it and headed for my plane. I marvelled at the Swiss Alps as I flew home to Blighty the following morning.

Swiss Alps

Those aren’t clouds on the horizon… mountains

I paid for my overnight parking – £53 and headed towards the first of my three weddings that weekend. Welcome home George!!

———————————————————————————————-

SCOTLAND 2011  – Ricoh Women’s Open Golf Tournament

I got the call to travel to Scotland to entertain at a golf thang, not really my scene and a very long way to go. Hence I tried to over-price my fee and pass it along to a colleague. The client however (Ricoh) was adamant that they wanted me at any cost! So my flights were booked, as was my room at the Carnoustie Golf Club Hotel and courtesy cars to ferry me to and from the airport. How could I refuse?

sun over Scotland

So I flew upto Dundee on the early morning flight on 27th July and was whisked away to Carnoustie Golf Club, to be greeted like a fart in a space suit! The place was full of over-tanned Americans and ultra-conservative golfers (no surprise really). However I bagged a glorious room, overlooking the first tee.

Carnoustie first tee

I managed to grab 3 hours sleep before I was suited & booted and waiting for my car to Glamis Castle for the evening’s reception. It was a magnificent drive, through the Scottish countryside and down a mile long driveway, to be greeted by the most amazing castle…

Glamis Castle

I was to draw for 2 hours in the most glorious surroundings, the childhood home of Queen Mother.

Glamis chapel

I was in awe of the decor but after a while I became aware of its undertones; a pink drawing room, with homo-erotic paintings on the walls and erotic fireplace statues… a strange place to bring up royalty surely?!

Glamis drawing room

I began by drawing the head of Ricoh, followed by a queue of eager Koreans, all loving my drawings. The buzz was good and I felt like royalty myself.

Korean caricatureartwork caricaturelady golfer caricature

My evening was fun and all too soon I was driven back to the golf club for my respite. Once again I felt instantly like a porkupine at a balloon party! I could not wait to leave and escape the staring eyes of the conservative masses.

The next day saw a 6 hour wait in the lounge, while the tournament tee’d off behind me. All in all; lovely clients, lovely venue, shame about the hotel LOL. I was happy to be home.
————————————————————————————————–

 PARIS 2012

I had been hired by 3M to attend the Anaesthesiology Expo 2012 in Paris for 2 days. I had agreed to work two 6 hour days on their stand, drawing on  branded paper, all travel and hotels paid for by client, a nice deal. I was looking forward to it.  As the day drew nearer it transpired that I was given one night’s accommodation and had to fly at 6am to Paris, work solidly, then return at 8pm the following night. I knew this would be intense and hard work, but was up for the challenge and the experience.

I was awake at 4am and drove like a bat-outa-bed to BHX for my morning flight. Having checked in online and with only hand-luggage, I sailed through the Check-in and was soon flying across the channel to Paris. A taxi-ride  to my hotel, a change of clothes and I was ready to hit the Metro for my destination, Congres De Paris.

Congres de Paris

Suited and booted, I was ready to draw at midday and got stuck into the obligatory staff drawings, but with 18 staff on the stand, I was kept busy for some time! That said, the branded paper had left me with just an A4 area to draw on, so the sketches were flowing at 2-3 minutes each. I was enjoying working on A4, with all its limitations and it produced some pretty good (if simple) results.

3M caricatures

3M caricatures

3M Russian caricatures

My 6 hours on the stand were soon finished and I was hoping for an invitation to join the crew for dinner, but this was not forthcoming, so I retired to my hotel and changed clothes for the evening. A very helpful Concierge recommended a lovely local French restaurant on the Avenue Charles De Gaul  and so I decided to dine there alone, I was looking forward to practicing my Franglaise and sampling the wines.  I was not disappointed with the food and chose my favorite starter; Carpaccio

Carpaccio

Having been on my feet since 4am, I was ready for bed by 8.30pm and so after an early diner, followed by Cognac, I retired to my hotel and crashed out.  The next day I rose at 8am, for another early start; 9.30am on the stand. The Metro was closed on sunday and so I tried my luck on  the local bus, which dropped me outside my name’s sake restaurant, in time for a coffee.

George in Paris

I arrived on the stand to find a full compliment of 20 staff loitering around, most of whom I had already drawn! As predicted, the venue was empty and I had nothing to do for the first hour or so, which made the client nervous, but I had already advised against an early start, for just this reason.  I was instructed to “Grab anyone with a blue badge and draw them” which usually ends in me scaring most punters away and so I chose to sit it out and wait for curious punters, as is my chosen technique. I did suggest that perhaps one of the 20 staff could point customers in my direction, as this keeps them busy too! While loitering I came across a local Caricaturist, “Sali Saouchi” who was a great individual character, with Parisienne flair! A very friendly chap, who donated one of his unique charcoal pencils to me, as a parting gift.

Soon enough the punters came and work began, I wasn’t doing too badly considering it was 10.30am on a sunday! LOL

3M caricatures

3M caricatures

3M caricatures

The day was long and split into two shifts, finishing at 5pm, at which point I changed into my ‘civvies’ and headed for the Airport bus and a flight home once more. I sped through CDG and found myself in the lounge, looking for food, but to no avail; the local Canteen was unimpressive and so I skipped my meal and sat pondering my surroundings instead. Only in Paris would they install a piano on the Terminal waiting area!!

Paris piano

A good trip, practiced my French but couldn’t find any L’escargots, so went home hungry and exhausted. Fingers crossed for next year in Barcelona.   😉

——————————————————————– 

LUBECK (Hamburg) 2014

As some may know, I am sponsored by Edding, who supply me with marker pens and assorted stationery aids. In return for this, I am required to help them promote their brands, by attending various events and exhibitions to draw people, free of charge. This is an amicable arrangement which this year saw me invited to a corporate party in Lubeck near Hamburg, where I would be working on the new Legamaster rota-board and also promoting my new stage act, with a PowerPoint presentation after dinner. All in all it was an opportunity I could not turn down – Free flights and hotel, free food and drink, plus the opportunity to sell myself to 100 business partners in an international setting. I was looking forward to it as I set off on the rain to Heathrow for my first evening with the Edding crew.

A little background; I am developing new strands to my business, such as large scale drawings for exhibitions and after dinner speaking or workshops, using Power Point presentations and a hands-free mic. For this purpose I had invested in a head-mic with transmitter, some new PP software and clicker, plus Edding supplied me with a new Legamaster Roller Flip-chart to work with. I was rather nervous about using all the new hardware for the first time in front of an international audience who weren’t expecting my performance, but t had to be done!!

I flew over with two Edding girls and a Beatles tribute band “Imagine The Beatles” who greeted me by saying “Obviously you don’t make a living from this, so what do you do?”!!  This put me immediately on the defensive, as I launched into my career life story and listed my qualifications and achievements over 23 years. Their response came “But do you not regret choosing caricatures over proper art?”…. I was clearly going to have to prove my talents to the guys in the band as well as the audience!

I stole a few hours sleep at the Radisson Blu hotel before visiting the venue, a lovely waterside barn in the city of Lubeck.

Lubeck city

Lubeck caricatures

Lubeck caricatures

Lubeck caricatures

The evening’s theme was 1960s and so the 100 guests were all in fancy dress, which made for some fun drawings. I had set up my slide show, tested my clicker and plugged in my head-mic, which thankfully worked.  All I could do then was drink Red Bull and wait for the dinner to pass.

I began by drawing random guests as they arrived, in front of the stage. I averaged around 5-6 minutes per person, but it was slightly more time consuming on large scale and so I only managed a half dozen or so before dinner was called.

corporate caricatures

corporate caricatures

I was feeling distinctly nervous about what to say, as I waited in the wings, mic’d up and sweating Red Bull. I had planned to speak for 15 minutes, without notes, on the subject of caricatures and in particular picking on the four main Directors. Easy I thought…

nervous caricaturist

Thankfully I got straight into the swing as I started talking and despite forgetting my introduction and a couple of points, I managed to keep the audience’s attention for the duration of the presentation, even got some applause with each slide. I finished by picking on one lady and drawing her live, which also earned crowd applause and then it was over!!

Lubeck caricatures

Lubeck caricatures

Lubeck caricatures

Apparently it went down well and Edding had some interest from partners in Turkey and Hungary, so fingers crossed for a few future bookings. The rest of the evening was spent watching people let their hair down, as I necked the free beer and made friends with the Beatles, who turned out to be great guys and very talented musicians too.

Imagine The Beatles

Unfortunately I had drank 5-6 Red Bulls prior to my talk and so relaxing was not on the menu and no matter how many Jaeger Bombs I downed, I could not get drunk!! I finally hit my pillow around 3am and slept like a baby, until breakfast at 9.30am, which was an interesting German take on an English breakfast, accompanied by various oddities including a whole honey comb!! At 11.15am we found one band member had overslept and so after being shaken out of bed, we had just one hour to make our flight back to London…

Hamburg flight

 

——————————————————————————————————–

 

PARIS 2014

My colleague and friend Simon Cassini very kindly passed along a booking for an evening in Paris, drawing alongside David Lewis, for JP Morgan. All expenses were paid and we travelled via Eurostar, which was a new experience for me. David very kindly offered to show me the cultural side of Paris and so we scheduled a late return the day after our gig.

The day began with an early train from Leicester to London, where I met David and we boarded the Eurostar for our adventure!

Paris caricatures

 

The journey was a couple of hours which gave us time to compare professional notes and opinions on the state of the UK caricature market. Some hilarious stories where shared and it turns out we are both huge Simpsons fans!

We disembarked at Le Gare Du Nord and quickly came upon a couple of Magicians, also working with us at the event. We shared a taxi to our accommodation; a pokey hotel in central Paris, which made the Ibis look like luxury!

Paris hotel

Jardin des Tuileries

David and I took a walk around Jardin des Tuileries in search of lunch and some scenery, before a costume change and heading to the venue for our ‘Brief Meeting’ to tell us what to do, where and when to do it. The meeting was 2 hours prior to the event and consisted of “Hello, you know what you’re doing, right?” So afterwards we headed back for a power nap! LOL

Paris caricaturist

 

 

We woke refreshed and headed to the venue to find a crowded ball room, full of suited Bankers and cocktail waiters. We instantly mingled and made an effort to entertain the masses. For my part I found them to be slightly obtuse and hard to raise a smile from, indeed one or two came across as distinctly vain and many of my drawings were instantly folded and filed away under trays of canapes. I was not feeling the joy for the first hour, though David seemed extremely popular.

Paris venue

Paris caricaturist

We both retired to the Green room for our first break and were instantly waited upon by the staff, who festooned us with trays of canapes and dishes of lobster and Foie Gras, washed down with Champagne, which we relished. After 15 minutes or so, we were joined by the client, who encouraged us to stay for more food and to enjoy the hospitality. We repaid his kindness by drawing him…

double caricature

After several glasses of champagne, we returned to the floor and my drawings were flowing well with lots of eager volunteers. I’m not a fan of working on A4, but I got used to the constraints after a while and loosened up.

Paris caricatures

By 10pm the crowd had thinned out and it was clear that our job was done, so the client suggested we call it a day, which we happily did. The quest was then on to find a Parisienne bar in which to unwind and debrief!  We searched the nearby streets and came across an Irish Bar, which looked like a safe bet, so we retired to it and enjoyed a few pints while exchanging notes on caricature theory and styles. The bar was littered with paper by the end of the evening, when we staggered back to the hotel.

The following morning, we inhaled a traditional French breakfast of pastry and coffee, before heading across the park towards the Musee D’Orsay for a cultural visit. David and I visited the Impressionist exhibition and discussed the virtues of Manet versus Monet, the diversity and strength of Degas compared to the wetness of Renoir. It was a thoroughly enjoyable morning, made richer by David’s in depth knowledge of the subject matter.

Musee D'Orsay Musee D'Orsay

We spent the afternoon on a mission to buy me a floppy hat and to investigate the South Bank by foot. My mission was unsuccessful, but we did soak up some fabulous scenery on route and managed to enjoy some of Paris’s finest cuisine…

L'escargot

George in Paris George at Louvre

George a la Metro

Musee D'Louvre

The day flew by and after a walk through the Louvre we decided to hop a taxi for the station and our train home. After a long day of sightseeing, culture and excitement we were both too tired to maintain conversation and soon David drifted into the world of napland to dream of his Paris adventure…

David Lewis

A thoroughly enjoyable time was had and the client was most pleased with both David and I. I do hope I can return to Paris soon, this time wearing a suitably floppy hat!

Comments
  1. Jed Pascoe says:

    LOL!!
    “Switzerland!” my chums exclaimed, ‘How jealous are WE?’
    Let’s explain: Switzerland has many beautiful towns- Geneva, Lucerne, the delicate gingerbread villages of Vallais. But, my friends, Zurich ain’t one of them. Zurich is the Swiss version of Stevenage- only without the class and style.
    Did I snore all the way through the flights? I tried to sleep but with a dog-breath wannabe Samurai sitting next to me it was impossible.
    And listen, matey- I was up at 4.30, showered and on my way to reception- only my watch was about right and you were on GMT: George Mean Time. Talk about bear with a sore head in the morning! :-E Yeesh!
    Can’t wait for the next one!

  2. simonelli says:

    What a wonderful time you had! Working solidly THROUGH LUNCHBREAKS ! I’ll be telling the Union about this.

    And how UNGENTLEMANLY, George! Luisa, I would have put up with your snoring with not a single complaint.

    Looks like someone had a brilliant idea in opening a lightbulb shop!

  3. Luisa Calvo says:

    Dear Eddie, an excellent summary of our trip!!! I had a good old chuckle and forgive you for painting me as a drunken air headed blonde (I have my moments!) Mind you, I liked the fact that you admitted to blonde moments yourself – LOL! Was relieved at the omission of the details of my MEGA faux pas, but expect the Basil Fawlty comparison will evoke images! You are sworn to secrecy!

    One question – read what you’ve written under the one with you drinking a Gin Martini – what’s all that about a sausage?!!??!

    I will keep this page as a memory of our trip and read it whenever I need cheering up! It was a blast!

    Cheers m’darlin’,

    Luisa
    xxxxxx

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